Tire blowouts increase in summer, so the hottest season is a great time to review your truck’s or your entire fleet’s tire maintenance program. When you and your drivers are vigilant about semi-truck tire inspections and care, your drivers receive these four benefits.
Better Road Performance
A proper truck tire maintenance schedule includes routinely checking all of the tires on every truck for surface wear, tire pressure, tread depth, and grime. Alignment and rotation of tires is also part of a comprehensive tire-maintenance plan.
When semi-truck tires are in good shape and have adequate tread for the driving conditions, the tires perform better on the road. The overall ride is smoother for the trucker and the truck components. Braking and turning are easier and safer for the driver in a rig with good tires.
Properly aligned and rotated tires perform better because the tires wear more evenly. Misaligned tires will develop worn spots that make tires vibrate or veer to one side when drivers steer around curves or apply the brakes. If tires are never rotated, uneven wear can cause tires to prematurely fail.
Develop a strict inspection and maintenance schedule for all of your truck tires to get the optimum performance from your tire investments. Keep track of alignment and rotation schedules, so every truck and tire gets the attention it deserves.
Increased Fuel Efficiency
Inflate semi tires to the proper levels for the best fuel performance. Underinflated tires reduce fuel economy and lower the lifespan of truck tires.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a vehicle running on underinflated tires has reduced gas mileage by up to 0.3 percent for each pound-per-square-inch of too-low tire-inflation pressure. Trucking fleets and individual truckers often run their companies on tight budgets, so proper tire inflation can make a significant impact on the fuel expenses of the modest owner-operator or fleet operator.
Why do tires use more fuel when the tires are underinflated? Underinflated tires make more contact with the road, since the tires’ footprint is elongated when not fully inflated. When more rubber makes contact with the road, the tire becomes excessively hot. The rolling resistance of the underinflated tire increases, causing more friction between the tire and the road as well as increased fuel consumption.
Insist that drivers or your maintenance crew routinely check the tire pressure on all semi-trucks in service. Tire pressure should be checked at least once per week, so any problems with improper inflation can be caught and corrected before tire problems develop.
Less Driver Downtime
Heat causes air molecules to expand, so tires can sometimes become overinflated in summer. If truck tires are driven in an underinflated state during the winter (whether intentionally done to increase truck-tire traction or unintentionally occurring due to cold-weather contraction), cracks and other problems develop on the sidewalls and other components of the underinflated tires.
Underinflated tires flex more under load, which puts excess pressure on all parts of the tires’ construction. When previously underinflated tires are properly inflated in the summer, the tires are prone to fail due to the cracks and other weaknesses that developed in the tires while in their underinflated state.
Tires that have been routinely run at 20 percent or more under their recommended inflation pressures are more likely to suffer from zipper rupture. Zipper rupture occurs when the sidewall of a chronically underinflated tire experiences fatigue. The tire becomes so degraded in spots, proper inflation causes the tire to blow.
The worst possible time for a tire blowout is when a trucker is on the road. One bad tire can cause delayed delivery, increased driver fatigue, and scheduling disruptions.
When truck tire pressures and tire conditions are routinely checked, drivers experience less downtime on the road waiting for tire replacements or repair. A few moments each week checking semi-truck tires for proper inflation can save your drivers from wasting hours of their precious time.
Enhanced Fleet Safety
A safe trucking fleet is a productive trucking fleet. Trucking companies and owner-operators who practice vigilant tire care experience fewer tire-related emergencies and collisions. Semi-truck drivers and other motorists are safer on the road when truck tires are in the best shape possible for the loads the tires must carry.
A comprehensive truck tire maintenance plan can keep your vehicle and workers compensation insurance premiums from increasing. You’ll make fewer claims for tire-related accidents and collisions when your team catches tire problems before blowouts or other tire-safety issues happen.
When a trucking firm has a reputation for safety, the trucking company attracts clients who want the top people to deliver their goods. Your responsible trucking company attracts drivers who want to work under safe conditions and in safe vehicles. You get to hire some of the best drivers in the business when they learn that your team follows a strict tire safety program.
Grab more miles for your trucking team this summer with extra semis that meet your precise delivery needs. You’ll find all of the best makes and models of professional semi trucks by contacting Arrow Truck Sales today.