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Hodel to lead Tire Performance Indicators LLC

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Tire industry veteran Nick Hodel is heading up a new company, Tire Performance Indicators LLC, which produces and markets patented Visual Tire Performance Indicators (VTPI) that warn motorists when their tires' performance capabilities have been diminished.

Hodel is the former CEO of Northwest Tire Factory LLC, a program group based in Portland, Ore.

The indicators "help drivers to easily see the need to change driving habits during wet or wintry weather and to schedule maintenance or replacement related to tread depth, inflation, alignment and rotation," say Tire Performance Indicators LLC officials. (The company is based in Vancouver, Wash.)

"Originally solid black, (the indicators) will show yellow to warn that wet weather traction and performance has been diminished, maintenance may be needed, and tires should be replaced soon. Indicators next will show red, signaling that tires should be replaced immediately.

"Tire manufacturers have been putting stud pins in winter traction tires for over 30 years, so this technology is very familiar, and the capitalization needed to insert the VTPI stud pins into existing or new molds is relatively inexpensive. VTPIs can be inserted utilizing the same standard studding equipment that is already used to insert studs into winter traction tires."

The company says tire manufacturers can establish performance loss standards "corresponding to wear points and specify that VTPIs be inserted to appropriate tread depths for each tire model. VTPIs can be custom built for insertion in any tire type or size, including passenger, SUV, light truck, medium truck, bus or off-road."

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