Tires and seats for heavy-duty trucks are the focus of two customer satisfaction reports compiled recently by J D Power and Associates, Agoura Hills CA. The most frequently cited problems with heavy-duty truck tires are excessive or uneven tread wear and blowouts. Also measured were four other problem categories: sidewall separation, tread separation, tire out of round or unbalanced, and tire seal leaks.
Michelin tires received high marks from heavy-duty truck owners for overall satisfaction, and Bridgestone tire owners reported a low incidence of problems. Michelin received strong ratings from Class 8 customers in each of the three tire areas that comprise overall satisfaction: tire safety, wearability and tread life, and tire value. Bridgestone fared well, but below Michelin, on the same four attributes. However, Bridgestone customers reported the fewest number of things gone wrong, measured as problems per 100 tires.
Customers rated seat comfort, operation, and quality. National Seats received strong ratings for three of the five satisfaction measures: overall driver seat comfort, ease of reaching/operating driver seat controls, and driver seat lower back support (lumbar). The other two measures of overall satisfaction were durability of seat material and ability to adjust the seat position.
The study also measured seat problems. While only 3% of customers report such problems, Bostrom and National Seats customers report the fewest number of problems per 100 seats.
The 2001 Heavy-Duty Truck Original Equipment Tire Report and 2001 Heavy-Duty Truck Seat Customer Satisfaction Report are both derived from the 2001 Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study and are based on responses from more than 2,800 original owners of 1999 model-year trucks, according to J D Power.