Today’s Illustration: A Way To View Life — Tires


  tire-structure-infographic-TireAnatomyA Useful Metaphor 


On This Day:  October 2, 2013 — 8 dead, 14 hospitalized in I-40 crash involving NC church bus

“Investigators say five members of the church were ejected from the bus during the crash.

In addition to Morrison and his wife, Cloyce Matheny, Brenda Smith, Marsha McLelland and John Wright were killed in the crash.

Twelve other church members were injured in the crash.

The group was returning from the 17th Annual Fall Jubilee at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

During its initial investigation, troopers said the bus veered across the median and into oncoming traffic after a tire blew out, hitting a sport utility vehicle and a tractor-trailer, which caught fire.”

“The bus was carrying eighteen passengers the day of the crash. Five of the passengers were ejected and killed during the moment of impact. One more died inside the bus. One person in the Chevy Tahoe and the driver of the tractor-trailer were also killed, bringing the death toll to eight.”


“Troopers said it would be extremely difficult to keep control of the bus if a tire were to malfunction.”


Whether it is on a car or on a bike, your tires are one of the most important concerns in owning and driving a car.  Your tire is the only contact you have with the ground when you are driving!

Facts & Information:

Many people do not think about tires until they finally need some — after a flat, an accident which could have been prevented by good tires, experiencing bad weather, a necessary sudden stop, and the like.

When was the last time you decided on the purchase of a new car and thought about the tires?

The footprint of a car tire is about twice the surface area our two feet, but the weight of a car is around 10X more — 2,000 – 3,000 lbs.

The proper inflation of the tire affects both mileage, the heating up of the tire, and stopping distances.

High performace tires are made of a “stickier” rubber than the standard commerical tire.

Used cars often have used tires, and they are cleaned up and shine because a silocone is applied.

Synthetic rubber was invented in the laboratories of Bayer in the 1920’s.

Approximately 11,000 accidents a year are the result of tire failure.

History of Tires:

Solid Rubber Tires: 1888

Pneumatic Tires: 1895

Balloon Tire: 1923

Tubless Tire: 1947

Radial Tire: 1949

Tire Uses:

monster vehicles
industrial — hand trucks / baby strollers / wheel chairs

Vehicle Tire Variations:

all season
all terrain
high performance
full spare
donut spare

“Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories.

Tire blowouts are the leading cause of accidents!

“If you spend enough time driving on a highway, you are sure to drive by the scattered pieces of a blown-out or fragments of a tire tread separation — especially on the freeway — from trucks and tractor trailers.  A blowout occurs when a flat tire is so severely damaged that immediately loses all air pressure and causes a driver to lose control, which is why it is one of the top causes of car accidents. . . . catastrophic and fatal big rig truck accidents are often the result of a major tire blowout.”

“The more / larger grooves a tire has, the better the tire pumps out water.”

When Do People Think About Tires?:

Stuck on the highway with a flat – at night
Son or daughter’s first car.
Family trip
Seasons change
Weather changes
Road demands change — winding narrow roads
Squealing sounds when turning
Hit lying water on the road
Someone in front of you stops suddenly

Tire Are About: Safety, Efficiency, Performance, Traction

The Making of Tires:

“Tires are made of layers of rubber, polyester and steel. Plies, which hold a tire’s structure, are typically made of polyester cords encased in rubber. Belts made of steel wires wrap around the tire’s core. The braided-steel bead and chaffer portion sits against the wheel

The sidewall is a layer of thick rubber, and the rubber tread area constitutes the visible portion of the tire. Grooves and sipes, the small breaks in the tread, split the tread into separate blocks to remove water efficiently. The rubber shoulder is the rounded area where the tire’s tread joins its sidewall. Once tires are constructed, they are inserted into a heated pressing machine, which creates the tread and melts the tire layers together. The process allows tires to return to their original shape after flexing.”

Tires Made In The USA: B.F Goodrich, Bridgestone/Firestone, Cooper, Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly-Springfield, Titan Tire and Yokohama Tire.

The Tire: A rubber sphere filled with air.  The tire is about acceleration, riding, stopping, turning, stability, and ride.

Size: The size of a tire matters.  The size is related to stability and traction.  A larger tire is going to have fewer circular rotations per mile which means they are actually moving slower than a smaller sized tire.  Slower rotation means less slippage.

Accuracy of Speedometer:  Changing your tire size from the originally installed size which affects the accuracy of your speedometer.

Matching: Mixing tire brands and/or kind affects how the car handles.  Different tires have different trackings, handling, and traction.

Grip:  The depth of tread and the tire pattern affects gripping the road surface

Mileage:  The average tire is rated for approximately 40,000 – 60,000 miles.  The useful life of a tire is lessened by age, so that a tire’s useful life may be less even if not driven 40,000 miles.

Savings: The MPG – miles per gallon of gas – is affected by choice and/or the condition of the tires and their proper inflation.

Common Rule of Thumb:


In the United States, tire tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. New tires typically come with 10/32” or 11/32” tread depths, and some truck, SUV and winter tires may have deeper tread depths than other models. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32”, and many states legally require tires to be replaced at this depth.

The idea of the penny test is to check whether you’ve hit the 2/32” threshold. Here’s how it works:

Place a penny between the tread ribs on your tire. A “rib” refers to the raised portion of tread that spans the circumference of your tire. Tire tread is composed of several ribs.

Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread.

See if the top of his head disappears between the ribs. If it does, your tread is still above 2/32”, If you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace the tire because your tread is no longer deep enough.”


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• slipping & sliding in life
• grip / losing grip
• may not be thinking about it now
• changing road conditions
• facing a downpour
• quality of life — rolling, but losing mpg
• costing you more than it should be
• Safety, Efficiency, Performance, and Traction
•  stopping distance
• past Lincoln’s head long ago
• road demands
• preventable
• difficult to keep control when a tire blows out
• losing traction
• biblical roads and tire failure
• “my feet had nigh well slipped” – Ps. 73
• “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” – Ps. 18:36
• “and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings – Ps. 40:2


An Example Of Pulling Some Words / Phrases Down:

“Tires matter.   Contact with and your car’s grip on the road matters when you get moving.  And the faster you move, and the more the road conditions change — tires begin to matter even more!  Who hasn’t felt that feeling inside of the stomach when we are in the middle of a downpour or when we are on a crowded and fast-moving highway? . . . .”

The wise understand how important tires are on a car — primarily when gripping the road is important or the driving demands are at or near their highest.

Likewise —

 . . . . when life is moving you at a good clip — at high speed — and you are not going to the grocery store but traveling down some roads with a lot of fast-moving traffic.

. . . . when the demands of life are at or near their highest

. . . . or when — both the road conditions and the high demand occur together!

There are some people who are ridding on tires which are getting below “Lincoln’s head” for thread.  They would fail “The Penny Test.”

Their tires don’t look as bad as others — They have thread and aren’t bald — and maybe aren’t so bad — as long as they are rolling along on a dry day, with little demand.

But let the weather conditions change a little — a wet road — or worse – a little snow and it will make a difference.  The needed grip won’t be there, and they will begin to slide in unwanted and unanticipated directions.

Sooner or later, they are going to make a turn in life, and they are not going to grip the road and off in a ditch they will be.




Other Infomation & Links:

Your Car: A Metaphor for Your Life

I have always been intrigued by how easy it is to use a car as a metaphor for explaining the importance of self-care. After all, because our cars are so important to our quality of life we take good care of them. Doesn’t the vehicle that transports us through life deserve the same? Consider these:

A car engine that’s well tuned operates at peak efficiency. If your body is tuned up with exercise, your metabolism will be in top form and you will get peak performance from your body.

You use high-quality products to fuel your engine to assure a smoother ride. You’ll get a smoother ride from your body when your diet has more nutrient dense vitamin and mineral filled calories and less empty fat and sugar filled calories.

Your car’s radiator must have enough water to prevent overheating. When the water levels are low you add this important coolant. Water is integral to life. Drinking water, juice, milk and watery foods keep you from overheating.

When the battery in our car runs low, we recharge it. When we are low on energy sleep, time for self-reflection and recreation can recharge our body and mind.

Your car runs best when there is proper pressure in the tires. Living life so the pressures of work and home don’t become overwhelming keeps us on an even keel.

The tires on your car must be balanced. So must your life. Like a car, a life out of balance can predispose you to physical, mental and emotional danger.

You must limit the weight and passengers in your car to a level it can handle. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is important too.

You have to keep your car clean and protected from the elements to assure it doesn’t rust and decay. Bathing, brushing, flossing and protecting your skin from the sun assures you stay healthy too.

If you want your car dealer to fulfill promises for a warranty you must comply with regular maintenance schedules. You are more likely to get a lifetime warranty when your life includes periodic evaluation of goals and objectives.

You wouldn’t take a long journey without a map and a plan. Life works best when we have short and long range goals and objectives and a plan to get us where we want to go.

If you want to learn more about the operation of your car you read the owner’s manual and books that can teach you as much as you want or need to know. Sadly, humans don’t come with an owner’s manual, but there is ample information to learn more about how our body works and the lifestyle changes that can support lifetime peak performance.

If your car isn’t running well you take it in for a checkup. When problems are revealed you fix them right away. If you aren’t feeling up to par, a checkup can allay any fears and if there is a problem you can take care of it right away.

I could go on and on. Instead, this week I encourage you to pay attention to the parallels between your life and your car. Remember that it is often easy to repair and replace damaged parts on our car. That’s not always the case with our body. If you find your self-care is lacking, get back on track. Realign your priorities. If you park them in the right place you can care for your body as carefully as you care for your car. You will discover it is worth the effort. — by Rhonda Gates

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.