Keeping an eye on proper tire inflation is an incredibly important step for tire maintenance,...

Keeping an eye on proper tire inflation is an incredibly important step for tire maintenance, but there is more fleets can do to extend the life of this essential item.

Photo: Michelin

Truck tires are where the rubber meets the road for work truck fleets. Making sure your tires are in proper working condition is very important, regardless of your fleet vocation. 

Work Truck shared the top five tips for servicing and maintaining your tires to help ensure your trucks stay safely and productively on the road: 

1.  Be Proactive with Truck Tire Maintenance 

Being proactive is not waiting for a problem to happen but actively participating in the maintenance process.

“Bridgestone encourages commercial truck drivers and fleet managers to be proactive in their tire management to keep trucks running efficiently and safely. Introductions of higher state highway speed limits, as well as the trend of commercial trucks running longer, faster, and with increased loads, make proper tire care imperative,” said Greg Kidd, application engineer for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.

Additionally, Kidd noted the importance of being proactive in maintaining additional items, such as Central Tire Inflation Systems (CTIS).

“Lack of proper CTIS care or maintenance may result in premature tire removal or possible tire failure,” he added.

Tire Safety is Key

Greg Kidd, application engineer for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, shared essential tips for commercial tire safety: 

  • Do not exceed a tire’s maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than the posted speed limits. 
  • Select the right tire for the job considering the proper tire size, load-carrying capacity, speed capability, and service type.
  • Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressures.
  • Inspect tires frequently for damage.

2. Keep Tires Properly Inflated

Tire inflation is not a guessing game. A truck and its tires perform their best at a specific psi.

“Proper air pressure is critical. Alignment can also be critically important, but a properly aligned piece of equipment cannot overcome poor air pressure maintenance,” said Tommy Bazzell, director of national account, truck stop & trailer OEM sales for Yokohama Tire.       

3. Stay on the Lookout for Tire Issues

Make sure drivers are looking for potential issues. 

“Visual inspections of your tires can help provide information on the health of your vehicle, from alignment to hub and brake issues. The next factor is checking air pressure regularly, which impacts the tire’s life, wear, performance, traction, fuel efficiency, and ride quality. The last is to use quality components, whether it’s lube, valves, or tires, and build a relationship with a great servicing dealer,” said Coy Jones, III, operational marketing manager, Michelin North America, Inc.

4. Mate Tires Accordingly 

Tires are not all built the same

“When changing tires, make sure tires mated in a dual application are measured and mated to within ¼ inch in diameter or ¾ inches in circumference. Also, ensure the tires mated in a dual application are inflated within four psi of each other. These two items will help distribute the load, promote a more even and longer-lasting tread wear, and enhance the handling, cornering, and traction of the tires,” said Kidd of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.

5. Lean on Tire Professionals

Not sure what to do? Ask the pros!

“Select the proper tires for the fleet utilizing a tire professional, keep your fleet in sound mechanical condition, including both the truck and trailer, and maintain the proper air pressure for the load. These simple steps will improve your uptime, maximize your return on investment and keep your drivers happy,” said Dave Johnston, senior manager, commercial business and product development at Toyo Tires

Curious about what’s new with light-, medium-, and heavy-duty commercial truck tires and what fleet trends are driving these tire-related trends? Check out the recent State of the Commercial Truck Tire Industry coverage. Wonder what electrification will mean for truck tires? Read more today! 

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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