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How Driving at High Speeds Affects Commercial Truck Tires

  • March 19, 2018
  • Articles , News ,

The problem, as it turns out, is not the roads themselves – but rather the speeds at which a truck drives.  The majority of commercial truck tires are rated for 75MPH and have recommended inflation PSIs to match that speed.  Unfortunately, trucks do not always stick to 75MPH on highways.

Many interstates in North America allow for speeds in excess of 75MPH, and even if they top out at that speed, plenty of trucks will “cheat” the speed limit by an additional 5-10MPH anyway.  Even then, this would only cause minor issues and normal wear, except that so often, the tires are not properly inflated, to begin with.

At speeds in excess of 75MPH, under-inflated tires can start causing major problems.  The centrifugal forces on the tire start getting much more extreme, which causes tires to increasingly experience more flex.  This is exacerbated for under-inflated tires and ultimately they will flex more than they were designed to. The extra flexing causes the support structures built in the tire to deteriorate, causing casing wear. Additionally, the tire’s contact patch with the road will change from the designed patch, leading to uneven wear patterns and potentially bad traction.

Of course, the worse the under-inflation, the worse the problems become.  In short, at speeds above 75MPH, it becomes much easier for trucks to experience tire problems such as blowouts or even lost traction.

Protecting Your Tires When Driving at High Speeds

Fortunately, the solutions here are relatively simple:

  • First, always make sure to keep your commercial truck tires properly inflated to the PSI recommended by the manufacturer as part of daily maintenance.
  • Be certain to buy tires rated for the highest speeds possible.  If the tire is only rated for 55MPH, for example, it’s not suitable for high-speed freeways.
  • Try to avoid going above 75MPH, even if local laws permit it.  Beyond your tires, there are plenty of reasons not to max out a truck’s speed.

STTC Has A Superior Selection of Commercial Truck Tires

At STTC, we stock all the major brands and dozens of variations.  Come visit any of our locations for great tire selection!