Why do police vehicles use such [censored] tires?

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6,570
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
A few weeks ago I was walking by a police station where there were over a dozen Crown Vic Police Interceptors parked on the street in police-only spaces. I noticed the tires - and none were what any of us would consider that great. Goodyear Eagle RS-A seemed to be the most common, although I saw one with some Firestones and another with BFGoodrich Advantage T/A. I've heard somewhere that the RS-A is the gold standard for police use, but I'm still not sure why. It always seemed like more an OEM compromise tire designed for good mileage but rather poor performance and relatively quick wear. It's also one of the older tires on the market, although I suppose it could have changed. Perhaps there's something special about this one size that's OE size on the Crown Vic? Is there something about police use where this seems to be the #1 choice for police vehicles? It sounds like Goodyear specifically markets them for police use, but I couldn't see anything that indicates it's a special police-specific design. http://www.goodyearautoservice.com/product/eagle-rs-a-police/155009.uts
 
Messages
1,852
Location
Laramie, WY
not sure what you mean by "great" but I have the cheapest tires from firestone (Primewell brand) its a 40k tire for my car's tire size. I have done 25k on the tire with 9/32" thread left, brand new it was 11/32"...I have done wheel balance/tire rotation/alignment every 1-2k (whenever I remember and that's what it averages out to), that goes to show me that tire maintenance is more important then the so called tire quality, it did perfectly fine in this awful winter in the hands of a driver with 6 months driving experience with zero bad weather driving experience(my wife who is only 5 feet...her spatial awareness is hands down the worst in our household of 5 drivers) Note: being raised in USA in a family of recent immigrants(ridiculously successful now), everyone including all my uncles...cuzins...they all bought their tires from walmart, whatever the cheapest tire offered that day and not a single one had an issue so far.
 
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Messages
505
Location
Winston-Salem, NC
I have known several city cops here and have been told they usually have one good tire per car. I suppose it keeps the drivers from "Wasting" them, but it keeps them dangerous in bad weather. I did know one guy who got fed up with it and purchased 4 new Goodyear eagles for his patrol car. Then took it to the city garage for an oil change. And you guessed it, came out with one good tire! He tried to get 'em back but only got this response, "...you're only supposed to have one good tire. Other people need a good tire and that's what you have." Poor guy couldn't get them to believe or care that he had paid for the tires. I don't think he ever got that straightened out.
 
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3,082
Lowest "responsible" bidder is how ours are bought. All no name, very hard rubber tires. They are replaced when needed and almost always before they are bald.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
Does it matter since 95% of drive time they are just going about easily along? In the winter here they equip them with a Goodyear winter tire typically.
 
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2,417
Location
SD
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
I have done wheel balance/tire rotation/alignment every 1-2k
Am I reading this right?
 
Messages
14,828
Location
Central NY
The local police use Goodyear Ultra Grip GW-2 and GW-3 around here from what I have seen. Must work well, because I've never seen a stuck police car!
 
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36,528
Location
ME
We had a blizzard here a while back and the cops parked the CVPIs for Parks & Rec F150 4x4s (that got no respect) and a D.A.R.E. Chrysler Minivan from the mid 90s. crackmeup
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Tires on police cruisers are actually typically far from cheap. In fact, they're often very expensive tires. The Goodyear Eagle RS-As are not run-of-the-mill RS-A tires. They're RS-A Plus, which is a severe duty tire designed for law enforcement duty. V-rated, increased resistance to puncture, etc. No, seriously: http://www.goodyear.com/cfmx/web/gov/police/psb_0206.cfm Likewise, the Firestone Firehawk GT Pursuit tire is made specifically for police cruisers, and is reinforced for the type of use those cars see: http://www.firestonetire.com/tires/firehawk/firehawk-gt-pursuit As these are V- and W-rated tires, they're often not cheap. I remember seeing prices of over $200 each for these tires.
 
Messages
6,367
Location
Midwest
We allow the sheriff to budget for a set of tires for each vehicle each year. It's not unusual for some of the cruisers in the department to see 50,000 miles each year, and much of that is in rain, snow, ice and other sorts of inclement weather. It's extremely important that we keep quality tires on the deputy's vehicles, and we also make sure other maintenance is completed to the highest standards. There are some vehicles that don't need tires every year, but the excess budget is allowed so that the vehicles that do need the highest quality tires can have them, and it allows the sheriff to do it without going over the budget. There are a lot of areas where we can (and have) cut county spending. Deputy safety is not one of them.
 
Messages
14,828
Location
Central NY
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Tires on police cruisers are actually typically far from cheap. In fact, they're often very expensive tires. The Goodyear Eagle RS-As are not run-of-the-mill RS-A tires. They're RS-A Plus, which is a severe duty tire designed for law enforcement duty. V-rated, increased resistance to puncture, etc. No, seriously: http://www.goodyear.com/cfmx/web/gov/police/psb_0206.cfm Likewise, the Firestone Firehawk GT Pursuit tire is made specifically for police cruisers, and is reinforced for the type of use those cars see: http://www.firestonetire.com/tires/firehawk/firehawk-gt-pursuit As these are V- and W-rated tires, they're often not cheap. I remember seeing prices of over $200 each for these tires.
Agree - the Eagle RS-A seems to be used here in the summer. I never have seen "cheap" tires on an entire police fleet. Cheapest tire I have ever seen on a police car was Cooper Weathermaster M+S on a few undercover Crown Vics around here. I feel uncomfortable with 90% of other drivers running around on bald tires in the winter. I guess with the police running decent tires that's a few less other vehicles I have to worry about!
 
Messages
1,250
Location
Tennessee
I never had any problems with RS-A's on Crown Vics. We ran some firestone police spec stuff too. Not sure why everybody thinks they suck. They are well tested by Michigan State Police. I guess as far as ride, noise etc, nobody cares. All we care about is grip, braking, durability and high speed safety. As far as price, we get them tax free. I seem to remember for the 16" ones in 2004 they were about $50 each on the state bid.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: 95busa
Not sure why everybody thinks they suck.
I think that many folks just don't understand that there are engineering differences in these tires that make them better suited to police pursuit duty. The name on the sidewall is shared with other tires that are known to be only mediocre, but the police tires are very different under the skin.
 
Messages
3,967
Location
Somewhere in the US
Some thoughts on tires for police cars. First, while they are OE on cruisers coming from the big three, they are the exception to the rule. The car manufacturers don't have rolling resistance specifications on them, so they are completely different than other OE tires. Second is that how the buyers for each police department source tires varies all over the ballpark. Some are very cheap and will source whatever the lowest bidder is. Some have really restrictive specification and there are only 3 or so tires that will fit the specs (which turns out to be the OE specs!) In this case, the Goodyear RS-A would be completely different from any other RS-A. Sometimes, the tire manufacturers will produce a police pursuit version for this usage - and you have to order directly through a local Goodyear dealer who would be bidding on this. (ie, you can't order it through Tire Rack or the like) Sometimes the police pursuit version is made with a longer wearing tread compound than the normal V or W rated tire. This is because V and W rated tires generally have grippy, but fast wearing tread compounds - and the need to a grippy tire for police work is pretty low.
 
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Messages
9,124
Location
Illinois
Originally Posted By: CapriRacer
In this case, the Goodyear RS-A would be completely different from any other RS-A. Sometimes, the tire manufacturers will produce a police pursuit version for this usage - and you have to order directly through a local Goodyear dealer who would be bidding on this. (ie, you can't order it through Tire Rack or the like)
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?...romCompare1=yes
 

y_p_w

Thread starter
Messages
6,570
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Does it matter since 95% of drive time they are just going about easily along? In the winter here they equip them with a Goodyear winter tire typically.
I've seen some pretty crazy stuff. All it takes is the occasional duty that really messes up the tire. I've seen police cruisers making a U-turn on the freeway across an unpaved median covered with grass and scrub brush. I've seen quite a few cases where they'll flash the lights and make a high speed U-turn with smoke coming from the tires. And the Michigan police duty tire study was brought up, and I did see that before I posted. They actually tested Nokian WRG for police use, with the assumption made that it was an all-season tire.
 
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