One of the biggest hassles for fleet managers is maintaining the integrity of their vehicles and tires. Many fleets mistakenly believe that the costs of temporarily taking a vehicle off the road far outweigh the benefits that proper mounting and alignment can provide. Because the kinetic forces surging through a truck’s suspension are much stronger than a passenger vehicle, even one pothole can effectively destroy the balance and alignment of your semi-truck tires — so why bother fixing it?
But taking an indifferent attitude towards semi-truck tire mounting and alignment can have serious consequences for fleets over the long run. The best thing fleet managers can do for their vehicles is ensuring their semi-truck tires are properly mounted and aligned throughout their lifecycle.
Why Mounting Matters for Semi-Truck Tire Wear
The biggest expenses for fleet managers come down to fuel, drivers, and semi-truck tires. When tire and fuel costs are routinely higher than desired, the problem may lie in your semi-truck tire mounting. Proper mounting ensures your vehicle’s tires will promote accurate contact, safe connection, and smooth driving. When semi-truck tires are improperly mounted, the following problems can occur:
- Sidewall Damage: If the bead breaker is inserted too far away, it could damage the sidewalls or even the entire tire.
- Wobbling/Run-out: A common mistake made during mounting is outside coning, which can cause wobbling and run-out on your tires.
- Premature Corrosion: Failure to properly lubricate the wheel, tire, and axle assembly can result in tire failure, corrosion, and other problems.
Fleet managers should train their drivers to monitor for signs of improper mounting by having them perform visual inspections during their travels. By taking your rig in to have its tires properly mounted, you can avoid the cost associated with blow-outs, breakdowns, and downtime in the future.
How Alignment Impacts Semi-Truck Tires
When semi-truck tires are misaligned, it can have a serious impact on the tires’ wear pattern. This can result in the following issues during truck operation:
- Vehicle pulls to one direction or another
- Poor vehicle handling
- Increased tire vibration
- Excessive shoulder wear on tires
- Tire cupping
- Increased rolling resistance
- Decreased fuel economy
Any alignment issues detected by your drivers should be immediately addressed to prevent premature tire failure and blowout. In addition to training your drivers to watch for signs of misalignment and improper mounting, fleet managers should implement a preventative maintenance plan with a partner like STTC.
STTC Semi-Truck Tire Maintenance for Your Fleet
At STTC, we are dedicated to improving fleets’ experience while on the road. We provide fleet managers with customized preventative maintenance plans to catch issues before they escalate and keep vehicles on the road longer. With semi-truck tire maintenance provided by STTC, your vehicles will always be properly aligned, mounted, and ready to go. Contact our team today to find out more about STTC’s preventative maintenance plans!