Maintaining Your Most Important Equipment: Tires
This article appeared in the Blue Ridge Business Journal on June 26, 2007. A formatted PDF is available under the Additional Reading section.
The most important equipment on your company’s trucks may be the tires. The phrase “where the rubber hits the road” is particularly important when discussing 18-wheelers.
The following seven tips should decrease the likelihood of an accident caused by truck tires:
- Check for correct air pressures. Drivers should have an accurate pressure gauge and be instructed to check the tires on their truck each day.
- Conduct a visual inspection of your vehicle’s tires prior to operation. Look for signs of irregular wear in the tread or shoulder of the tire and examine the tire for bubbles or bumps caused by air infiltration or foreign objects.
- Check the vehicle’s owner’s manual or the vehicle load and tire information placard to determine precise air pressure. It should provide initial data on the weight of the vehicle and standard load.
- Never weld or apply heat to the wheel when the tire is mounted. This can cause serious damage to tires and can cause them to explode, causing personal injury.
- Store tires properly when they are not in use. Place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid premature aging.
- Avoid mixing tires on your vehicle – for example, avoid pairing a normal tread depth with a deep tread depth or a bias-ply tire with a radial.
- Be sure to wash your tires. This helps prevent premature aging of the tires and deterioration of the rubber.
Rapid tire wear and tire debris on highways is often caused by improperly inflated tires. Let’s leave the “alligators” in Florida.