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    1. Natural rubber prices are rising

      If you’ve read this column for any length of time, then you know I am obsessed with the fact that tires are agricultural products. Natural rubber is a key component in every tire, some more important than others. Without it, tires will not be able to perform at the same level. I’m not a chemist or an engineer, so my knowledge of rubber compounding is rudimentary at best, but I know enough to know that nothing is more effective than natural rubber for certain performance characteristics. According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), natural rubber comprises 34% of a truck tire, which is the most of any raw material or component. Passenger and light truck tires are 19% natural rubber, so the price of tires can be linked to the price of rubber.

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    2. Toyo expands two commercial tire sizes

      Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. announces a size expansion for two of its commercial tire products, the Toyo M920 drive tire and the Toyo M149 Super Single. Both tires are part of the M-Line of commercial tire products from Toyo Tires.

      According to the company, the M920 drive traction tire is ideal for trucks that require all-season capabilities to deliver loads in any weather condition in regional or long-haul applications. It has wide, staggered tread blocks for improved traction and performance while additional features assist in excellent wet performance, longer tire life and reduced irregular wear.  Its two wide circumferential grooves are designed to shed water during wet conditions. New sizes added to the M920 lineup include a 315/80R22.5 with a Load Index of L, also an 11R24.5 and a 285/75R24.5. 

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