How Are Commercial Truck Tires Manufactured?

Keeping your commercial truck tires maintained for the long-term is something all fleet managers strive to achieve. Understanding the manufacturing process will help fleet managers and their drivers to better identify and avoid potential tire damage.

The Parts of Commercial Truck Tires

Commercial truck tires have seven main components, each working together to ensure the tire  functions properly:

  • Beads: The beads are made up of high-quality steel coated in rubber, creating an air-tight seal between the tire and the rim.
  • Belt: Woven steel wire sheets covered in rubber are placed around the tire to reinforce its strength and rigidity.
  • Ply: The plies act as the skeleton of your tire, created from steel fiber cords that are coated in rubber to increase the tire’s flexibility.
  • Sidewall: This is the element that provides your tire with stability, running extra-thick rubber from the bead to the tread.
  • Sipe and Groove: Each drive tire has tread blocks, which are separated by deep grooves which allow you to easily traverse over water, snow, and mud. Smaller grooves in the tread blocks— called sipes — are used to provide extra grip for especially inclement weather, such as ice and snow.
  • Shoulder: A small beveled edge between the tread and sidewall create the shoulder, which is designed to assist with the way in which your commercial truck is able to handle turns and curves. Different shoulder patterns help with even tire wear for the application of intended use.
  • Tread: The tread is the part of your tire that touches the road, providing cushion and grip for optimal tire performance.

When each of these parts is in proper working order, your commercial truck tires will be able to handle the trip ahead with ease.

Commercial Truck Tire Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process involves four crucial steps: blend, mill, build and cure. The blending process is how your tire’s rubber is actually created. Each tire is comprised of up to 30 ingredients, including rubber, fillers, and other ingredients. Once the rubber has been properly blended and cooled, it goes through milling. During this process, the rubber is cut into the structural parts that make up the form of your tire. Additional parts, such as the beads, plies, and belt, are also created during the milling process.

Next comes the build: This is when the tire is constructed from the inside out, placing crucial components such as the beads, ply, steel belts, and tread. The end result is what’s known as a “green tire,” or one that is mostly finished but not quite road-ready. Finally, the tire gets vulcanized with hot molds in a curing press, resulting in the finished tires used for your commercial trucking fleet.

STTC Commercial Truck Tire Services

Understanding the manufacturing process will help you to identify potential issues with your tires. For additional help when you need it most, STTC provides exceptional commercial truck tire services for fleet managers, including tire retreading and preventative maintenance. Contact our team today to find out how partnering with STTC can help extend the life of your commercial truck tires.

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Further Reading on Commercial Truck Tires 101