Truck tire maintenance is extremely important in order to ensure the safety and reliability of any rig. Yet a recent poll with truck tire experts shows that the most commonly ignored practice is that of performing a hands-on tire inspection. This is surprising, as a tire inspection is not only one of the quickest and easiest maintenance routines to perform, but also one of the most important. Commercial tires are, after all, the part that connects the truck to the road and keeps our freight moving along.
Still, many drivers and fleet owners skip their routine check-ups. This could be because the overall reliability of tires has increased greatly in recent years. New technologies and stronger materials have made our tires stronger, more durable, and more efficient. This doesn’t mean they should be ignored, however. Even a minor abrasion could lead to something disastrous down the line, so it is vital to follow some of these mechanics’ tips when it comes to maintaining your tires.
Every experienced truck driver knows what a healthy tire should look like, so there’s no excuse to skip this step. At the very least, a driver should take a quick walk around the truck and look for any obvious signs of wear at the end of any trip. Preferably, he or she should take a quick look at every stop off during a trip as well.
Watch Your PSI
Before riding with any new set of tires, drivers should be aware of the manufacturer’s specifications about proper PSI. They should monitor this throughout every trip and make sure to fill any tires that have lost pressure as the result of regular wear and tear. If any tires drop below the recommended PSI, then they should be filled as soon as possible.
See a Technician
If a driver notices any sort of abrasion, scuff, or wear and tear, they should see a technician as soon as they can to have it addressed. These professionals can diagnose all tire problems and will be sure to provide the highest level of service. When a professional services the tires, drivers can be confident that they will be safe and effective on the road.
Keep Tires Consistent
Do not mix and match different styles and brands of tires. If a tire needs replacement, it should match the rest of the tires on the truck. Using various tread depths or tire styles could cause significant damage to the vehicle as a whole because the tires will not work together. Drivers need to make sure that they have consistent traction throughout every part of the truck.
Use Flat Straps
Tires should not be lifted with a crane hook because it can harm the bed area. Instead, use flat straps that are designed to lift the tire from the bottom of the tread. These are more gentle than steel chains or slings, and will be less likely to cause damage to the tire during the lifting process.