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Author Topic: Anybody familiar with ALPHA (Brand )Tires?  (Read 4512 times)
trailblazer2
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« on: March 11, 2009, 06:44:28 AM »

 I am looking at putting some new 1200 x 22.5's on the front & was given a price of $316.00 (ea)for a "Alpha" tire. I have never heard of this brand. I was told that they have been around for a while,and have made mostly tractor tires.
Bill
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 06:57:53 AM »

I don't know where they are made or you owns that brand now but at one time it was Alliance Tire made in Israel I used their tractor and loader tires since the late 70's with good results    good luck
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 08:40:09 AM »

My bus/coach spends more time on dirt than on asphalt.  It sits in the company of 30 some odd antique tractors.  I think that it would be more at home with tractor tires!  LOL  Regards John
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 01:42:08 PM »

Alpha Tire, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.

They may be right up there with a Japanese tire, but I'll let someone else find that out for me.

A cheap tire does not interest me. I only run the best tires I can get around the public, based on wear, wear, wear, safety, safety, safety, and casing value to someone else when they are worn out.

Once when I was a kid I had a tire shop boot an almost new tire that had a large puncture. I carried it for a spare trailer tire. It blew up minutes after I put it on. Since then I always carry a quality spare tire because you can't make money or have fun if you are broke down and there are no short cuts with tires, you pretty much get what you pay for and reap what you sew.
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 08:08:50 PM »

Just because something is foreign made does not necessarily mean it is "cheap"!!

Why does this "cheap" comment always seem to come up??

A high price does not guarantee high quality.

A lot of people spend a lot of money on overpriced stuff thinking they are getting the best. Kind of like using premium fuel in an auto that only needs regular.
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 08:35:55 PM »

Regardless of what county the tire is manufactured in if it has a DOT number, it has meet the requirements of our government same as Michlen,Bridgestone,Goodyear or any other manufacture  good luck
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 09:11:06 PM »

Regardless of what county the tire is manufactured in if it has a DOT number, it has meet the requirements of our government same as Michlen,Bridgestone,Goodyear or any other manufacture  good luck

Sorry, but I think that anyone that bases the safety of their family and themselves on the presence of a DOT number could be making a serious mistake.  I acknowledge that there are published DOT requirements, but in this day and age who can be sure that they are properly enforced? If baby formula and pet food coming from China is tainted and responsible for multiple deaths, we should trust their tires?  Heck, I don't think we can trust manufacturers here in the U.S. to follow the regs (think peanut industry).  Do I believe the DOT has control over a manufacturing process halfway around the globe? I think not.   

I've spent the last couple years trudging around North American tire plants. From Bridgestone/Firestone's plant outside Montreal, to the Goodyear plant in Lawton, Oklahoma. From Cooper Tire in Tupleo, MS, to Michelin in Aiken, SC.  I've been there working on automation projects and I have watched the tires being built and inspected.

Yes, there are some quality products coming out of China and South Korea, but I still have doubts about their overall consistency. There has been a track record that shows when they have manufacturing issues, they will keep the production lines moving, even if they are turning out substandard products.  ... can you say Melamine?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 09:57:47 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 05:38:05 AM »

My answer was they meet the DOT specs and that is only the guide line the tire manufactures have to go by.I don't use China made tire's I do use Japan made tires Toyo brand and when they arrived in the states in the late 70's it was the same story with all the Japan made tires. The made in China Michelin tires are comman here now I saw a brand new J4500 that had  315/80 22.5. Michelin's made in China. The Europen countries have a stricker guide line than we do here for tires. FWIW when the Michelin's were first introduced here through Sears in the 60's as the Roadhandler I bought a set and noticed the made in France and raised so much hell Sears gave me my money back and told me to keep the tires they were best of tires I ever had and you being a tire guy you know the radial tire design came from Europe not here . As for the baby and dog food what can I say    Good luck
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 05:43:25 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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WEC4104
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 07:03:50 AM »

Agreed.  I have used Toyos on my bus, and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. I would also be okay with Michelins coming out of China. I know how Michelin approaches their own standards and quality control here in North America and doubt they would waive that for their China facilities.

I guess I'm making a distinction between major recognized brands and the other guys.  The folks like  Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone, Michelin, etc support plants scattered across the globe, and have the manufacturing controls in place to maintain consistency.  I would not share the same confidence in a Chinese brand people preface with "Anybody familiar with..".   DOT stamps and meeting standards like FMVSS 119 not withstanding, I'll choose something else.   
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trailblazer2
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 02:26:03 PM »

 These  tires might serve as a compromise,when one is weighing them against old tires that have started to dry rot. I would think that they might want to use them on the drive,or tag.
Certainly ,you would gain some kind of confidence?
Bill
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 03:05:40 PM »

As I remember the faulty tires on SUVs a few years ago were all made in the US by Cooper and Firestone. I think the Cooper tire plant in AR closed because of this, turned out the inspectors were puncturing tire bubbles with picks to keep down their reject numbers!!

It is very common for one mfg to build tires for many brands.

Tire companies are always changing tire line names, what was great last year is junk this year. Consumer Reports tire test have shown this over the years.

The bottom line is that there is no sure way to know the quality of a tire by the brand or price.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 03:39:38 PM »

Wouldn't it be fairly trivial to include a fake DOT marking on the tires?  I haven't paid attention to DOT markings since I bought from Firestone, but do DOT markings have registration numbers on file with DOT?
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2009, 10:19:56 AM »

Don't know if I'm too late to answer this thread.  "Alpha" tires were installed on my bus.  My alpha tires are very poor tires and have Samson GL-74 written on the side.  They are out of round from side to side so they wander.  Which is pronounced with independent front suspension.

From my talks with several tire dealers "Alpha" seems to be the name given to house tires and not a specific brand.  Since the house tire brands are always changing in the warehouse it is easier to keep track with a place holder name like alpha.  So your Alpha could be a good tire or a terrible tire.  Mine is one of the myriad of tires that comes out Zingzough China and as I said it has Samson written on the side.  The tip off may be designation, GL-74.  I've now seen GL-74 on different brands of tires all made in Zingzough China.

I'm in the middle of disputing my alpha purchase.  I went to a Bridgestone dealer to change out my 24 year old Michelin tires.  I received a quote that specified Bridgestone tires.  I however, signed at the end of the service for Alpha tire.  New ignorant bus owner didn't know that Alpha wasn't a Bridgestone tire and now slightly wiser bus owner knows more about tires.

Mike
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WEC4104
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2009, 12:24:24 PM »

Mike:

Sorry to hear of your problems with your tires.  As mentioned earlier, I spent a few years working in the tire industry, so your situation raised my curiosity a bit and I started poking around the web.  I'll share a little about what I found, in hopes that it might help you bring a quicker resolution.

First off, I did a quick search to see what tire plants are in Zingzough, China.  A Google search with that town name and "tire factory" together came up empty.  In fact, a Google search on "Zingzough China" comes up empty.  It could be just a spelling thing, but Google suggests a spelling change to "zigzough", and that comes up empty again.  Any chance you have a reliable source for the spelling to check against?    

My next recommendation is for you to find the two digit code at the beginning of the DOT stamp.  The pair of characters (numbers or letters) can be compared against a chart to determine the plant that manufactured the tire.  The chart can be found at the following weblink

http://www.harriger.com/tiremakers.htm

You will note that the list does not have an "Alpha" company listed, nor does it have a Zingzough plant.  It does have a "Samson Tire & Rubber Company" based out of Israel (Code: AW),  but I'm not convinced that has anything to do with the "Samson" that appears on your tire.   I personally think it is more likely that the name on your tire is a reference back to Samson Machinery, a Taiwan based manufacturer of tire building machinery.  Link here:    http://www.samson.com.tw/products.html

A search on "GL74" and "tire"  together, yielded a link to a website for Rakla Tires.   If you go to http://www.rakla.com/ and poke around, you will see that they are basically a middle-man tire importer that brokers container loads of tires.   They have the GL74 listed under the product titled "Advance".  If it turns out your tires came through Rakla,  their "About Us"  page includes the statement:   All tires are backed by a customer satisfaction guarantee and all claims are handled promptly and highly prioritized , so hopefully that will help you with your dealer.  Rakla is based out of Mississauga, Ontario Canada and their address, email, and phone number are shown.

Best of Luck

« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 12:28:47 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2009, 01:03:55 PM »

Gus,

The Alpha is $300. The BS R 280 is right at $500, hence the "cheap" wording. I have couple hundred + tires on the ground and if I could save a buck and keep drivers by paying less than $500 a tire, I would do it in a minute.

I feel the difference could be if one were full timing and permantly parked, then you would just be looking at the tires and not have breakdown and safety issues to deal with.

To me good tires are cheap, I put them on and I have no issues with ballance, irregular wear, blowouts, lost time, service calls in the middle of nowhere or any other problems until they are worn out. Don't get any better than that for my situation.

A side issue relating to safety is drive tires. People think that you can get by with less in that position, but if one comes apart, the last time I looked, (a couple days ago), my buddies 05 Eagle only had a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood between the tire and the passenger compartment. The tire can't go down, so its likely comming inside the coach if it comes apart. I have seen them destroy trailer doors at road speed, so the potential is not good.

To me, I can pretty much  prove that the high dollar tire is the "cheap" tire in the long run, every time. I am a big BS fan because I have ran them with excellent results since the old man bought our first rail car full of them in 1971. I respect all the Japanese tires though, and Korea does a fair job with the Kumho tire. Bridgestone opening a plant in the USA many years ago also has something to do with it as I enjoy buying American if I can.

If you want to stray from the norm, you need to look at how the brand runs out in service. Ask to see the last run out set that came off a truck or bus, then decide if thats the way you want to go. Mostly, you are not going to like what you see.

$500 for a tire I can trust and forget about until its run out is a cheap tire, then because I live in the Seattle area I usually get close to $100 credit for the casing. You won't get that in the south because of the heat, they have stacks of good casings with no market. Caps don't stay glued togather to well in the heat down south and there are a few states down there you can let the big dog eat if you got the gears and the rubber.

I really want only the very best I can get to haul my friends and family. Tires are a very bad place to save a buck, and I don't think you can in reality.

I will say no more....
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Gold is the money of Kings, Silver is the money of Gentlemen, Barter is the money of Peasants, Debt is the money of Slaves.

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$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2009, 02:45:56 PM »

Mike:

Sorry to hear of your problems with your tires... 

First off, I did a quick search to see what tire plants are in Zingzough, China.  A Google search with that town name and "tire factory" together came up empty.  In fact, a Google search on "Zingzough China" comes up empty.  It could be just a spelling thing, but Google suggests a spelling change to "zigzough", and that comes up empty again.  Any chance you have a reliable source for the spelling to check against?  



Guizhou is how it is spelledon the tires.  My Chinese is rusty.  DOT OD 422 is on the Samson tire.  I discovered Advance tires on the inside dual.  It is also made in Guizhou.  The only additional number on the Advance tire is 900 after the word rim close to the bead.

My patience is wearing thin with the dealer.  I liked the guy but he has been dragging his feet.  I called the credit card company and told them my woes.  They said they would help.

Mike
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2009, 07:58:08 PM »

The "OD" plant code, Guizhou, and the presence of the word "Advance" on your tire all seem to fit together nicely.   However, there should be some additional characters stamped on your tire, other than just the "900" and the "422".  

The plant code has to appear on both sides of your tire, but some of the other info can be on one side only.  You probably need to check the side of the tire that faces the underside of your bus.  Grab all the info you can find on that side of the tire as well.  This is important. First, it will tell you the age of the tire and whether you can raise a stink at the dealer for selling you old tires to begin with.  Second, you can get whatever info is available regarding the manufacturer's lot or tracking numbers, info that most definitely will be asked for should you get to a point where a warranty or customer return request is submitted.

Should you have further dealing with your local dealer, I'd ask him point blank what steps he is taking to help you and what he intends to do.   You might also try to see if he will divulge where he bought your tires.  Did they come from Rakla, either directly, or through some regional distributor?

I'd be polite but direct with the dealer, letting him know that your dissatisfaction with the tires isn't something you are going to give up on.   A lazy dealer is going to hope that this will blow over and he can save himself a lot of paperwork, if he can simply dodge you long enough.  You want to present yourself in a way that conveys that fact that you are doing your homework, and this matter is going to cause him a whole lot of heartburn if he doesn't take steps to assist you. Make sure you are dealing with the store owner/manager, or he is at a minimum aware of your situation.  Document all your discussions, and it wouldn't hurt to let them see that you are keeping accurate notes. Anticipate the fact that they will try to dish the problem to somebody else....  "Mr. Customer, we can't help you. You need to call the so-and-so toll free number."    Tell them you agree to try that, but if you don't get satisfaction, they are not off the hook since you made your purchase through them.

Keep us posted on how you make out.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2009, 08:57:54 PM »

NJT,

I wish it were true that more money buys better tires, and any other stuff for that matter. If it were true I would gladly pay the price. Unfortunately, I have not had that experience with tires or anything else.

I have bought more junk made in the US, including tires, than I care to remember. Anyway, there is no way of knowing for sure where something was made in spite of the laws and that goes for fake parts as well.

In my many years of being a shade tree mechanic I have found no guarantee of getting quality parts or anything else based on brand or price. I remember only one time finding that a particular part was better in one brand than another, but that is the only one I remember!

I've found good and bad tires and batteries in the same brand many times. My conclusion is that there is just no way to know for sure. I would use tires made in Afghanistan if I thought they were good and the price was right!

Michelin tires are very good but they are grossly overpriced. They were not always so and I used to use them. Some are junk just like any other brand but most are good. However, they are not a value.

One thing that really ticks me off is people automatically assuming that because something was made in China, Japan(Japan?? Where are the best autos made?), India, Korea, Mexico or any other foreign country is automatically inferior. This is plain bigotry folks, pure and simple.
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2009, 09:25:19 PM »

Gus,

 I'm kinda like Paccar. They build both Kenworth and Peterbilt. As soon as they put some Alphas on the new trucks, I'll follow suit, but public safety has to be number one everyday from where I sit, so that and keeping drivers, forces me to run the best tires I can get without the option of expermentation. If you think tires are expensive, start rebuilding todays engines and gears. Start buying new trucks or buses. Tires are a small part of the transportation industry costs. If I liked Michelin and I do, I would have no qualms about putting them in service, I just can't justify them from a cost and service stand point.

If you think all the above are expensive, try getting involved in a fatality accident, that will really ruin your day.
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$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
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$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2009, 11:36:19 AM »

NJT,

I wish it were true that more money buys better tires, and any other stuff for that matter. If it were true I would gladly pay the price. Unfortunately, I have not had that experience with tires or anything else...

Michelin tires are very good but they are grossly overpriced. They were not always so and I used to use them. Some are junk just like any other brand but most are good. However, they are not a value.

One thing that really ticks me off is people automatically assuming that because something was made in China, Japan(Japan?? Where are the best autos made?), India, Korea, Mexico or any other foreign country is automatically inferior. This is plain bigotry folks, pure and simple.


Often times expensive items are expensive because of QC and not because they were manufactured in a revolutionary way.  I had a run of factory jobs and the companies ran pretty much the same way.  Parts for the most critical/expensive items were 100% QC'd down to the economy lines with little QC that shipped with all but the farthest out of spec items.  Now days things might have changed with companies concerned with how much debt they can carry rather than the quality of the products sold.

I confess I fall into the camp that an organization or country must prove they have a quality product before I will not expect them to be inferior.  I bigotry, doubt it; common sense, hopefully. 

Maybe I'm weird if so I'm not alone in that respect.  In the 70's there were a number of electronic/stereo companies that made quality products.  Many of these companies shut down in the 80's and 90's as tastes and interests changed and the most expensive asset they sold was their names.  Because consumers expected quality because of the quality history of the name.

New items must prove to be better, cheaper or easier to use to gain traction.  Do you think bigotry or common sense?   

Mike
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2009, 02:08:34 PM »

When selecting products I wish to purchase, I admit I do take into consideration the local area where they are manufactured.  It is not that I hold something against the people in other areas, I just recognize that the world is not homogeneous when it comes to skills and experience. As things become more globalized, that is changing, but we are not there yet.  Call me a nasty name, but I do let these things affect my purchasing habits.

Let's say I go into a restaurant and glance at the menu. Both the BBQ ribs and the Cheese Steak sandwich catch my eye.  My decision on which to order WILL factor in whether the restaurant is in Memphis or Philly.  Does that make me a bad person?   

I don't buy hand tied rugs from Switzerland or chocolate from Persia, either.

There is probably a decent cheese maker in TN or KY, and a bourbon distiller in Wisc, but I'd rather take my chances with their products vice versa.

I'll go back to my original statement I made on March 12th.  I'd buy a Goodyear/Michelin/Bridgestone tire that was manufactured in China, because I would be confident that the expertise and QC processes would imported.  I don't know that I would take the risk on an unknown brand from there.

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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2009, 09:23:57 AM »

I had them put Bridgestone on the front.  There is a world of difference.  The Alphas couldn't be balanced, aligned shaved etc. to run smooth or in a straight line.  The Bridgestone's ran straight and smooth from the installation.  They are wonderful.  Well worth the difference in price.

Mike
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2009, 09:58:14 AM »

Tires are much more then just big black rubber round things that revolve and support the bus.  Michelin makes 45 models of truck tires alone.  Having the correct, best tires for your bus can make the difference between having a bus that rides well, gets the best fuel mileage possible, and most importantly having the best tire tread design for maximum traction-in this case braking.  If you're willing to risk your families safety on a tire from the mid east that "looks good" on the shelf, but has no safety testing, go for it.  But remember, having a tire that affords you the maximum traction will make the difference between being able to stop in time, or running into what's stopped in front of you-in this case, a bus is not what you want to get into a rear end collision with.  This is why I use Michelin tires exclusively-not because they are the most expensive or have some sort of status symbol, but that they are on the fore front of tire research and development with much testing and proving.  My truck has BFGoodrich front tires that are the same as Michelin XZA1's.  I am going to invest in running the XDN2's on the rear-even though they are close to $600.00 apiece since they are the highest traction highway tire Michelin makes-translated the best braking tire available. 
Tires are not the place to be cheap.  Good Luck, TomC
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