The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that tire failure causes over 11,000 accidents each year. This figure is almost a decade old, so while recent statistics aren’t available yet, it’s likely that the numbers are much higher today. Commercial tires are much bigger and heavier than car tires, so when your commercial fleet has a blowout on the road, the potential to cause an accident with severe injuries is much greater. It goes without saying, tire safety is an ongoing issue facing fleet operators and drivers. Take a proactive stance to minimize your risk of tire blowouts with our tips.
Drivers aren’t necessarily paid to handle regular maintenance, so it can be difficult to get them to understand why pre-trip checklists are so important. Make sure drivers understand that spending 30 minutes to check their tires properly before a run is a worthwhile investment of time. It can save them a flat tire or blowout that can cost them hours of time on the road, which will likely cut into their pay even more.
Teach your drivers what constitutes a proper tire inspection. Tire pressure is one of the key indicators for tire safety. You should invest in a quality tire gauge that gives accurate information. Don’t use a stick pressure gauge. Dial or digital gauges more accurately measure pressure in commercial tires where a 10% to 20% difference can be a big deal. Measure the tread of all tires monthly. Propagate the rule that tires must be reported as low tread when they reach 4/32-inch. Tires are required to be replaced at 2/32-inch but getting an early notification can help get the process started before an accident or blowout occurs. Watch for bulges, cracks, and punctures on tires.
Keep documentation on tire maintenance to be able to alert drivers when tires should be rotated. Most experts recommend rotating tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Wheel alignment should be checked at regular intervals also. Keeping up with truck maintenance can ensure a comfortable ride, a safer experience on the road, and longer tire use. Your trucks won’t be stopped on the road as often when you have a good commercial tire maintenance program.
Tires are made for different conditions. Driving in an urban setting means that a truck will start and stop more, putting significantly extra wear on tires and brakes. If you have a big fleet of city trucks, you want tires with strong sidewalls that are thicker, to handle the conditions.
We’ve seen drivers add air to leaking tires to avoid downtime. Drivers who ignore tire safety and don’t drive safely are harming their tires and risking accidents. Don’t push your team so hard that they feel constrained for time to get small problems fixed. After all, it’s important to remember that it is your company’s reputation on the line when accidents do happen.
STTC is a leader in the industry when it comes to commercial tires. We stock a large inventory of brand-name tires at different price points to keep your trucks cruising down the road smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Our technicians can make recommendations to help you get the best tire for your needs.
Call us now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online for commercial tires and all tire-related services.