A guide to Steer and Drive Tire Issues

Steer and drive tires must be maintained effectively to ensure optimal driver and vehicle safety. Working with a specialist for commercial tires can help you analyze common tire issues and mitigate these issues within your fleet. Our team at STTC has many years’ experience responding to steer and drive tire challenges, and in this new post, we’ll present a guide to common issues in the marketplace.


Inflation problems

Tire inflation is the most common challenge fleet operators throughout the marketplace face when maintaining their tires. Inflation pressure carries the load on the tires and without proper pressure; you’ll find that the tire wears down quicker, shortening the tire’s lifetime.

It’s important to check the load and inflation tables and inflate to the recommended inflation pressure for each tire. The recommended inflation levels can range based on the wheel diameter and the specific style of tire.

If the tire is within 20% of the recommended inflation level, it should be re-inflated with pressurized air. But if the pressure is now more than 20% outside the recommended inflation level, it should be considered a flat tire and not re-inflated. This tire should be removed and inspected for punctures and potential degradation. Regardless of the quality of your commercial truck tires, all tires are susceptible to inflation loss and so it’s important to check tires before each trip.

Unusual wear

Another issue fleet operators face in operating their steer and drive tires is unusual wear. All free rolling axle tires, such as steer tires, face irregular wear due to gravitational forces. Tires used in long-haul applications may develop punch wear, river wear, and rib depressions, among various other problems. Shoulder and sidewall damage are often associated with construction steer tires. Unusual wear is often the result of poor tire alignment, and poor mounting, in addition to worn suspension parts. To improve tire wear over the long-term, consider the following steps:

  • Steer tires should be checked and balanced regularly, particularly if they begin to vibrate
  • Tires should be regularly aligned to ensure they’re pointing straight ahead, which will extend their lifetime

Following an optimized rotation, inflation, and alignment schedule can help keep steer and drive tires in immaculate condition for the years to come. Our team at STTC can offer comprehensive guidance on the tire maintenance process and help you devise a customized maintenance schedule that is best for your fleet. To discover more about this topic, and to address your questions to a local expert, please call today.


Further Reading on Tire Retreading Insights

Further Reading on Commercial Truck Tires 101