In a dual assembly commercial truck, even the smallest differences between tires can cause major problems for fleets. From unnecessary replacements to lost productivity and profitability, mismatched duals should be on every fleet manager’s list of top things to avoid.
Dangers of Mismatched Duals
A dual assembly truck means that the load-carrying capacity of two tires are directly linked to one another. When there are differences between the tires, it can throw off the weight balance, causing one tire to do more work than it should. The following are just some factors that can contribute to mismatched duals:
- Height: If each tire has a different circumference or diameter, the tire with the greater circumference will suffer from more sidewall damage. The smaller tire will also experience excessive tread wear from scrubbing along the road.
- Inflation: Irregular inflation will throw off the balance of your load with the underinflated tire shifting its capacity to its counterpart. A difference of just 15 psi can result in the higher-inflated tire carrying an additional 500 pounds.
- Tread: Tires with more than a 4/32” difference in tread depth can cause uneven wear and tear. The tire with higher tread depth will wear quicker due to its tendency to “squirm under load,” according to Rick Phillips of Yokohama Tire.
Ensuring that a dual assembly has matching tires is the fleet manager’s responsibility, and many warranties will not cover premature replacement due to excessive wear and tear caused by mismatched duals.
Maintaining Your Commercial Truck Tires
Combatting the effects of mismatched duals is easy. If your dual assembly commercial truck tires are suffering from uneven tread, sidewall damage, or wrecked differentials, try the following:
- Same Is Safe: Whenever possible, only use the same brand of tire with the same tread depth and same circumference/diameter in a dual assembly. Use your truck’s manufacturer recommendations to ensure the best fit for your vehicle.
- Keep It Small: If using different tires is unavoidable, ensure that the height difference is no greater than ¼”, the circumference difference is no greater than ¾”, and the tread depth difference is no greater than 4/32”. Be sure to also mount smaller tires on the inside as outside tires wear faster.
Fortunately, there are a host of tools and services available for fleets to better manage their commercial truck tires and ensure safe travel, such as preventative maintenance plans and asset tracking.
STTC Commercial Truck Tire Services
STTC’s team of OSHA-certified tire technicians understand how to properly select and mount dual assembly tires for safe and secure travel conditions. We provide fleets with preventative maintenance plans, complete with professional inspection of your tires. Our team also offers live asset tracking so fleet managers can stay on top of their inventory needs and ensure a steady supply of required tires. Contact our team to find out more about what our commercial truck tire services can do to ensure a balanced dual assembly across your fleet!