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Old 12-03-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
brassarl
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Question Sams Club National Directive or BS?

Has anyone run into this scenario? Sound a little far fetched!

Went into a Sams Club in Arizona yesterday and I was getting a price to replace my 2006 Sprinter 2500 tires. Currently I have Michelin LT235/75R16 and I would like the same tire or close to the same. These originals have over 55K miles and have more than half left, the wear bars are way down yet.

The clerk tells me that Sams Club/Walmart policy is that only a Class E tire (10 Ply) be installed on a 2500 (3/4 ton) vehicle.

Has anyone heard of such a Policy? Alhough the tire shop sits empty most of the time with a couple or three guys sitting around, I was thinking he did not want to be bothered with this larger tire change.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brassarl View Post
...
Has anyone heard of such a Policy? Alhough the tire shop sits empty most of the time with a couple or three guys sitting around, I was thinking he did not want to be bothered with this larger tire change.
I don't think it is B.S. on their part. They want to sell and install tires. That's what they do.

As lawsuits continue to escalate in the USA all businesses are becoming more cognizant of expanding legal liability so they institute policies to help avoid the problems. I can see where they could get included in an accident lawsuit related to installing underrated tires on a truck. The typical legal response is to name everyone, especially those with deep pockets.

This thread is not exactly what you describe, but I think it shows that the employee you encountered was likely following a company policy. In this thread I think it was commendable that they allowed the customer to use their tools. FWIW. vic

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Old 12-03-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

The idea that a 2500 Sprinter is a "3/4 ton" (payload) vehicle is flawed - since the payload for a 2500 Sprinter (T1N) can exceed 3000 lbs (depending on wheelbase, configuration, specific model type)
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

The terms "half ton", "three quarter ton" and "one ton" are holdovers from a long time ago.
They referred to "truck classes", which were (in the 1960s?) somewhat related to the payload capacity
(back then, a "half ton" was frequently built on a passenger car frame, and the 3/4 ton was what got you a truck's frame)
The 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton were/are also slightly reflected in the model numbers... such as Ford's F-150, F-250 and F-350
(and the Sprinters (and others) 2500 and 3500).
Light trucks have gotten beefier over the decades... our "3/4 ton" Sprinters have a GVW of 8550 pounds, and the "one ton" 3500 is 11,000 pounds.
That quarter-ton class change gets us about a ton of extra payload (mostly)

If you had a Dodge Ram 2500 and Dodge Ram 3500, the only difference (so i'm told) is the springs... the rest of the frame and running gear is the same.
As an example of this approach, Sprinters in the UK can be "derated" from 11,000 pounds to 9990 by adding steel "travel limits" .. so the 11,000-pound-capable springs "bottom out" at the new (lower) rating. Here in the US, that would mean you could bypass the "10,000 pound GVW" truck weigh stations.
The from-factory 9990 pound-rated Sprinter 3500 was sold in the US.

The Ten-ply rating is called for by your axle loads/ratings. On my 118" 2500 T1N, the front axle is rated 3,858 lbs (1,750 kg), and the rear 5,357 lbs (2,430 kg). (yes, the total exceeds 8550 GVW... they're allowing for the 500 pound tongue weight of a trailer)
In a panic stop, a significant percentage of your rear load is transferred to the front wheels and brakes. Hitting a pothole at that time really tests the 10 plies.

--dick
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Default Sams Club National Directive or BS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
I don't think it is B.S. on their part. They want to sell and install tires. That's what they do.

As lawsuits continue to escalate in the USA all businesses are becoming more cognizant of expanding legal liability so they institute policies to help avoid the problems. I can see where they could get included in an accident lawsuit related to installing underrated tires on a truck. The typical legal response is to name everyone, especially those with deep pockets.

This thread is not exactly what you describe, but I think it shows that the employee you encountered was likely following a company policy. In this thread I think it was commendable that they allowed the customer to use their tools. FWIW. vic

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/292254.html
Thanks Vic, as usual you seem to find answers. You're right in the land of many unemployed lawyers; Walmart becomes quite an attractive target. Like you said deep pockets!

My next thought was, ask them once the new tires are purchased; if I removed them one at a time and roll them to the door if they would mount the new tires for me.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

Why wouldn't you want E load range tires? I have driven vehicles that were 3/4 ton with D load range and they just don't handle as well. I made the mistake of putting BFG All Terrains onto my K2500 Suburban, and found they rolled the tires way to easily. They also didn't last very long. Next set I switched to a Bridgestone Dualler AT and never looked back. Handling on the street was vastly improved.

The extra stiffness in the sidewall makes a big difference in handling, but as suggested above also makes a much stronger sidewall for puncture protection.

FWIW I have sold tires in the past working for an auto repair shop, so I familiar with quality vs crap. All tire companies have good tires and crappy tires too, including Michelin.

Typically the difference between a 1 ton and a 3/4 ton is the springs and sometimes the gear ratio. The running gear is the same for most brands.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

I think you would get the same response from Discount Tire or any other tire vendor. I vote for safety. You need the correct load range.... FWIW, I bought a 'spare' tire for my Sprinter (didn't have a spare) from Discount. It is a Cooper Discoverer? the right load range and the most inexpensive tire I could find ... IIRRC, about $140 something mounted, balanced and tucked under the van.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

If you look up the load ratings for that size tire, anything less than an E range tire just isn't adequate for the Sprinter
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

Despite the first website I try telling me the wrong load rating, as far as I can tell I need a load rating of 112 (1120 kg -> 2240kg for rear axle). Most 112 rated tyres in the UK seem to be noted as 8 ply, although it seems that modern tyres don't actually have 8 plies, that whole thing is a throwback to the strength of fabric carcassed tyres. It looks as though only 6ply and 8ply are still in use as tyre descriptors here, but in the US you only use load ratings for passenger cars so vans fall onto a separate scale based on an old fashioned ply rating equivalent strength?

What is worrying is that some tyre websites return the wrong size and/or load and/or speed rating when I search for tyres, I really must try to get hold of a handbook!
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sams Club National Directive or BS?

I buy all my tires at Sams Club and here is what I have found.

They have a database with each vehicle listed and it tells them the minimum load rating and size required for each vehicle. They refuse to install any tire that does not at least meet the minimum requirement in their database. Trust me I tried and they refused and I believe it is due to what has been said above, lawsuits.

You may find a different Sams Club that will do it but the ones I have dealt with have refused. I really do not blame them.

Lets say you have a blowout and die and the family finds out it was due to improper tires, who do you think they will go after, not the tire manufacturer, Installing dealer.
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