Equipping your fleet’s semi-trucks with the right commercial tires is the first step in providing a smooth ride and keeping your drivers safe. Proper maintenance will help you get the maximum amount of life out of your investment. This guide will explain how wear typically occurs and what you can do to care for the tread.
What Causes Tire Wear?
Friction is the most significant threat to all tires. The type of rubber used to make them, how inflated they are, the weight of the load the tires are carrying, and the workings of the mechanical systems—particularly the suspension—all impact how the tire makes contact with the road. If the rubber is brittle, the tires are under-or over-inflated, or the truck is hauling too much, tire treads can develop irregular wear. This can lead to increased gas consumption, reduced traction and stability, and increased blowout risk.
Identify irregular wear by looking out for chunks of rubber missing from the tread surface. There might also be cuts or lines running along the circumference of the tire and abrasion marks on the tread face. Sometimes the interior ribs will wear more than the exterior ones and vice versa. You could also see stone or gravel that has become embedded between the tread blocks down to the steel cables.
How Can You Maximize the Life of Your Commercial Tires?
Both underinflation and overinflation cause unnecessary stress when driving. Overinflation reduces how much of the rubber contacts the road and makes the tires more susceptible to cutting and punctures. Underinflation increases heat buildup, speeding up internal damage and tread wear. Check the inflation level once a week to make sure it matches the axle load.
You should also inspect the tread wear pre- and post-trips. Mismatched tread depths could indicate a misalignment, improper inflation, or improper load weight. By catching these issues early, you can have the tires retreaded, rotated, or replaced without interfering with operations or risking an accident.
For quality commercial tires for your semi-truck, head to Texas Commercial Tire. This family-owned business carries tires from trusted brands like Goodyear®, Dunlop®, and Kelly®. They also offer tire repair services, including truck alignments, balancing, and rotations to owner-operators and commercial fleets across the DFW Metroplex and Central Texas. Schedule an appointment by calling their Hutchins location at (972) 225-6640 or their Temple shop at (254) 321-9961. Visit their website to learn more about their products and services.