Road hazards can be a real problem for trucks and their tyres. Apart from the obvious safety issue, tyres and the need to change them represent a significant cost to the road transport industry.
But, if you are interested in saving money in this area, there is another big hazard to consider – tyre negligence. A lack of proper up-keep and maintenance leads to things like mis-matched dual tyres or mismatched pressures across dual tyres.
In turn, such lack of attention inevitably leads to tyres being consigned to the scrap heap with plenty of useable tread still on them.
Ferret.com.au has compiled a list of tyre ‘dos and don’ts’ for those in the trucking industry –
1) Tyre Selection
Running a tyre in the wrong application is one of the sure ways of damaging it. For example, tyres designed for on-highway use should not be used in an off-road environment.
Conversely, by using an application-specific tyre, you can help maximise a tyre’s performance and productivity.
2) Maintaining correct tyre pressure
Some blowouts just can’t be avoided; they are caused by hitting something on the road and maintaining the correct pressure will do nothing to stop them.
However, it is estimated that around 80% of blowouts are caused by incorrect tyre pressures.
Tyre pressure is something that needs to be checked and maintained at regular intervals. And there are systems available that alert drivers to incorrect tyre pressure readings.
But overall, regular maintenance is the real answer to this problem.
3) Mechanical problems
This covers a range of problems. Put simply, anything that prevents tyres from running smoothly, straight and true will damage them.
For example, fitting mismatched tyres of different makes or sizes is a sure way of consigning them to a premature retirement.
Similarly, misalignment is responsible for much premature wear. It can be caused by a number of factors, such as bad steering geometry or drive axles being out of alignment.
In addition, bent axles, axles that flex excessively or loose wheel bearings can result in rapid wear of the inner shoulder of the inner tyre on a dual wheel. And worn shock absorbers, which let tyres bounce more than they should, can affect the contact patch of the tyre.