Tire performance can be a big concern for commercial trucks. Maintaining traction, especially when driving on slick roads, is critical to avoiding accidents and staying on schedule. Tire siping is one method that can help tires perform better under wintry conditions, like snow or ice. If you’re wondering whether tire siping will benefit your commercial tires or rubber tracks, here’s what to know.
Tire siping is the process of cutting small slices across the tire tread to improve traction. The process was patented in the 1920s when John Sipe cut grooves across the soles of his shoes so he wouldn’t slip on the wet floors. Thirty years later, tire manufacturers caught on and started using siping as part of the tread designs. Many modern tires have tire siping tread patterns to increase a tire’s performance.
Siping increases the number of edges of a tire, meaning that the tire can grip the road more effectively in wet or wintry conditions. This improves traction and provides a smoother ride on bumpy roads. The tires are more flexible, so they conform better to the ridges on the road’s surface. Siping can also disperse heat of the tire better, so the tire doesn’t get too hot. This can increase a tire’s life. Siping can help improve braking power, because less traction is lost during the window of braking. Rubber tracks with added tire siping can make your skid steer safer in the winter.
There are tools that can be purchased to allow a consumer to sipe their own tires. However, tire siping changes the footprint of a tire that was designed to meet DOT regulations, which makes the tire unsafe on the highway. In some states, after-market tire siping is banned. In other states, there are regulations that limit siping. In Pennsylvania, tires cannot be grooved below the original tire tread depth. Siping should only be done on tires that are designed for siping. STTC always recommends that a certified tire dealer should perform tire siping to make sure the process is done correctly, in compliance with regulatory requirements for tire tread.
If your trucks never run in winter weather, tire siping may actually wear tires out faster. Modern tread design is also improved, so some think that tire siping is unnecessary. The best thing is to talk to your tire service provider who can help you find the quality tires that fit the driving conditions of your trucks. Tire siping can be included during retreading so your tires have the traction needed for winter weather. IMPORTANT: Tire siping is not a DIY project!
Whether you’re trying to get more out of your commercial tires or rubber tracks on skid steers, STTC can help you find solutions for your tire problems. With almost 70 years in the industry, we have the knowledge and experience to keep your tires and commercial vehicles at their best.
Call us now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online to ask about tire services for commercial vehicles and rubber tracks.