As a truck driver or fleet manager, it’s important to make sure your tires are always in good condition. Good maintenance helps prevent flats and blowouts on the road, which present major safety hazards. It can also affect fuel economy and increase the lifespan of other truck systems like the brakes and suspension system.
Here are six truck tire care tips:
1. Regularly Rotate the Tires
Truck tires, like any other vehicle, should be rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles to distribute the tread wear evenly and help them last longer. In commercial trucks, the rear tires usually wear out faster than those in the front.
2. Get the Wheels Aligned
Wheel alignment is another major factor in tire health. If wheels are out of alignment in any way, they will wear out unevenly and usually much quicker than they would if they were aligned properly. You can usually feel when a truck’s wheels are out of alignment if the steering wheel is off-center, if it pulls to one side or the other, or if you notice a lot more vibration than usual when driving on a straight highway.
3. Keep the Tire Pressure Consistent
Regularly check the pressure in each tire to make sure they are inflated at the recommended air pressure. This will keep them lasting longer and will also help with fuel economy over those long hauls.
4. Keep the Wheels and Tires Clean
Not only does it look nice when the wheels and tires are kept clean. It is also good for the health of the wheels and tires themselves. Wash away the road salt, grease and grime to get more out of your tires.
5. Practice Smart Driving Habits
One of the biggest factors in poor tire performance is the driver’s habits. If you accelerate too quickly, drive over the speed limit or jam on the brakes too much, you will wear out the tires more quickly than if you drive smart and safe.
6. Always Perform Pre-Trip Inspections
This should be something you do before every trip. A pre-trip inspection of key systems for road readiness should always include the tires. Check the tire pressure, look at the tread wear and be prepared to address problems before you hit the highway to minimize damage.