Saving tires: It’s up to you

After fuel, no truck operating cost will eat your lunch faster than tires. To help you keep the rubber on the road safer, longer and for less money, truck-tire maintenance experts at Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT) have put together their own Top Ten list of Tire Tips. "Your tires are the only thing between your truck and the road, so it's important to make sure they're in good condition year

After fuel, no truck operating cost will eat your lunch faster than tires. To help you keep the rubber on the road safer, longer and for less money, truck-tire maintenance experts at Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT) have put together their own Top Ten list of Tire Tips.

"Your tires are the only thing between your truck and the road, so it's important to make sure they're in good condition year 'round," says Mac Demere, a Michelin test driver. "Making an effort to follow these simple tips now could save you and your business time, money and maybe even a life in the long run."

The ten to watch:

  1. Check tires for correct air pressures. Drivers should have an accurate pressure gauge and know how to check the tires on their truck each day.

  2. Conduct a visual inspection of your vehicle's tires prior to operation.

  3. Check the vehicle's owner's manual or the vehicle load and tire information placard to determine precise air pressure

  4. Check tires for correct air pressures.

  5. Never weld or apply heat to the wheel when the tire is mounted.

  6. Store tires properly when they are not in use.

  7. Always use a safety cage when inflating tires after mounting.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. Check tires for correct air pressures.

    Obviously, you can't check tires for correct air pressures too much!

    "Most operators have a regular maintenance program that includes checking tires, but those who do not should consider starting one immediately," advises Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for MATT. "Ideally, commercial truck drivers should check air pressure daily on vehicles that are in constant use. Air pressure should be checked weekly on vehicles with less demanding schedules."

    According to MATT, rapid tire wear and tire debris on highways is often caused by improperly inflated tires. But routine maintenance maximizes tread life, minimizes downtime and improves fleet operating efficiency, the company says. Maintenance also impacts retreadability, as consistent under-inflation can show up as casing damage during a normal inspection.

    For more information from MATT, go to www.michelintruck.com.

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