Bear’s Tyres , an independent tyre management consultant, are against the longstanding industry practices of depth-testing tread grooves in truck tyres. Depth Tests are, according to Bear’s Tyres, are a poor way of analysing the quality of a costly truck tyre and if they required replacement.
Brad Bearman, of Bear’s Tyres, says the old-style depth test approach does not take into account of any important operating variables.
“It is all well and good slotting a measuring gauge into the grooves of a tyre, but the fact of the matter is all tyres wear unevenly,” says Bearman. Depth tests do not show consistency in their results due to the diverse operating variables, which is too complex for a simple gauge to accurately read the situation and the circumstances.
“Often, trucks are overloaded, a little heavier on one side or on one end, but that will probably not be the case on the very next trip so it’s wrong to assume on a depth test that the same tyre will continue to wear on the same side.”
“Also, seasonal difference and temperature have significant bearing. The rubber breaks down in the hotter weather but you can save the tyres now during the cooler weather by simply re-grooving them and doing a basic rotation.”
Bearman explains the depth test can easily sacrifice about 30% of the tyre’s lifespan, which can result in costly maintenance in the long run. “Tyre company reps go out there with a depth gauge and give all these big estimates on how long a tyre is going to last, but it isn’t that simple and doesn’t normally work that way,” says Bearman.