The tire experts at Michelin are offering commercial trucking fleets and individual owner/operators easy-to-follow tips to improve safety and save money by properly maintaining their truck tires.
Drivers often underestimate the value of their truck tires. Keeping them properly inflated not only improves the life of the tire and safety on the road, it can save you money both at the fuel pump and in future maintenance, said Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for Michelin. Tires are one of the most complex components on a commercial truck with many of them having more parts and materials than the truck’s engine.
1. Drivers should have an accurate pressure gauge (calibrated with a master gauge) and be instructed to check the tires on their truck each day.
2. Conduct a visual inspection of your vehicle’s tires prior to operation.
3. Check every tire on the tractor and trailer including inside dual tires (and the mounted spare if the truck has one).
4. Never weld or apply heat to the wheel when the tire is mounted.
5. Properly store tires when they are not in use.
6. Always use a safety cage when inflating tires after mounting.
7. Avoid mixing tires on your vehicle: for example, pairing a normal tread depth with a deep tread depth or a bias-ply tire with a radial.
8. Tire and rim servicing should be done by trained personnel using proper tools and procedures. Always dismount and inspect tires that have run under-inflated (less than 80% of recommended pressure).
9. Always dismount and inspect tires that have run under-inflated (less than 80 percent of recommended air pressure).
10. Do not limp-in on a flat dual tire. Doing so causes irreparable damage to both tires because of the increased load the inflated tire must carry.
In addition to increased safety, proper tire care delivers many benefits to the driver and the fleet. Correct tire pressure increases the tire’s tread life, the casing’s retreadability and saves fuel resulting in reduced fuel consumption and pollution. Versus an under inflated tire, Michelin estimates that the average driver can save nearly two weeks worth of fuel each year just by maintaining proper tire pressure.