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1. Dependency on Tire Life on Operating Conditions

For a Particular Type of Construction Equipment 2. Car Life Varies with Driver


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Teknekron, Inc. has prepared this report entitled "Technical

and Policy Implications of Factors Influencing Product Durability" for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress under Contract Number 1004. The report presents the results of our general investigation, for various specified consumer product categories, of the availability of information and data on product physical and economic service life; a discussion of those factors which both qualitatively and quantitatively influence service life; alternative legislative and administrative approaches for increasing product durability; and legislative and administrative alternatives for increasing product

salvage values.


The purpose of this report is to summarize the results of

Teknekron, Inc.'s study of "Technical and Policy Implications of

Factors Influencing Product Durability" performed for the Congressional

Research Service of the Library of Congress under Contract Number 1004.

This study was intended to be a general overview of both the issues involved in determining product physical and economic service life and an assessment of the degree to which various factors quantitatively (or qualitatively) influence product durability. Another objective of the program was to formulate appropriate alternative legislative and administrative means by which relevant policies and procedures of manufacturing organizations could be directly influenced to effectively increase product durability and salvage value.

In the conduct of this study, we were quite cognizant of two major factors which appear to have somewhat constrained previous attempts

at similar undertakings, namely:

The wide range of variations in economic or physical

service life due to manner of utilization.

The relationship between economic service life and the

costs of maintenance.


It seemed to us, however, that these factors were not of immediate

primary concern here, in view of the fact that the results of this

program were to serve as a first essential step in an organized effort to develop consumer protection measures and to assure attendant bene

fits in terms of environmental protection. We felt that as long as it

could be established that information and data were available, that

proven analytical techniques were directly relevant and applicable, and that an initial framework could be developed within which future, larger efforts could be evaluated, then our original study objectives would be


In these terms, we believe that Teknekron has been quite


The following Sections present the results of our investigation.

Wherever possible, specific use is made of actual data for various product

categories to illustrate the findings. These examples should not be con

strued as complete, but should be considered as representative of the

kind of analyses which could be performed on an adequate base of more

specific and up-to-date information and data.



A basic objective of the study was to determine (a) the general availability of the information and data related to product durability and (b) those factors which influence both economic and physical service life. This objective was to be accomplished by examining a variety of consumer product categories which included tires, home appliances, motor vehicles, heavy construction equipment, recreational boats and boat engines and home power equipment. Also, various quantitative (if possible) and/or qualitative relationships, illustrating the influence of factors

such as costs of repair, design modifications and operating conditions

were to be developed.

In general, we found that specific information and data does

exist for some product categories which would permit development of quan

titative relationships. This was especially true for heavy construction equipment and, to a degree, for motor vehicles. On the other hand, such

source information was totally lacking for home power equipment. For

recreational boats and boat engines, the source of quantitative information

was identified, but it was not possible to acquire the data within the

available resource limitations.

A mix of quantitative/qualitative in

formation was found to exist for both tires and home appliances. Sources

of information for the product categories considered are presented in

Table 1.

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