4 Ways to Save your 32nds | Semi Truck Repair
In our preventative maintenance minded hearts, we know there are several of you out there that like to actively educate yourselves on what you can do to make sure your tires in tip top shape. Without further ado, we bring you the 4 things that will dramatically reduce your tires life cycle and their respective solutions.
Run ’em Right, Rubber Duck – At the risk of sounding like a broken record…. alignments are really just common sense, people! When your wheels are going down the road at any other angle besides straight aligned, you’re going to get irregular wear on your tires. And unless you actually enjoy having to rotate your tires to GET THEM to evenly wear… Or maybe if you just don’t care… Well…. our expert opinion is to get an alignment once a year at least. Twice if your trucks are constantly running.
Keep ’em at the Proper Pressure, Pops – Your tires are essentially the “shoes” on your trucks. And in that same vein, their contact patch is referred to as their “footprint,” and rightly so. That part of “the rubber that meets the road” (had to use that cliche there, no apologies) is supporting your freight… 80,000 pounds or whatever LTL amount you’ve got behind that tractor… AND doing it’s best to resist punctures, tears, and other road hazards. Overinflating or underinflating is compromising the integrity of the tire. Flat out. (I just can’t help myself with the puns today :)) Tires are designed with load limits in mind. So when you’re pushing for a smoother ride, or lower fuel mileage, or whatever the current excuse is… remember that.
Quit Riding Those Curbs, Cleatus! – And no, Mr. T.McGoverned, we’re not talking about you. (Although maybe we could be…. LOL) It’s a safe bet that most of your drivers had to pass a test to get their CDL’s right? So really the only excuse for rampant curbing is because your drivers are lazy or constantly in a hurry. Neither of which are good. Truck tires are not the only thing that’s expensive – so is your time. You can’t repair a tire with a tear in the sidewall, nor can you retread it – it’s scrap. (Minus the ‘s’ and you’ll see how most people really view those tires. Ha!) So, when you see a driver bringing back a piece of your equipment with the sidewall scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed some more…. it might be time to re-train. Knowledge IS power after all.
Rotate Regardless. – There are some people that seem to believe that if you regularly get your vehicle aligned, then tire rotation is not necessary. Yeah… right. Insert eye roll here. Though it may seem to make sense on the surface… well…. just… just no. It doesn’t. For those of you that are having a hard time believing us; we ask that you consider torque. Even if you’re bobtailing, your truck weighs around 18,000 pounds. Now add a load behind ya? The torque your engine creates is going to put different stresses on your tires as the engine moves them forward along the road. Factor in that there’s no such thing as a perfectly distributed load that doesn’t shift at all ever, and you’ve got even more unique stresses on your tires. And turning, and inclines even? I mean… we could go on; but we won’t.