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10 Tips for Truck Tire Safety

Doug Jones, Customer Engineering Support manager for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, reminds fleets to follow a tire inspection routine to help assure safety. Routine maintenance maximizes tire life, minimizes downtime and improves fleet operating efficiency.

Michelin recommends a "Top 10" list of tire maintenance practices that include:

1. Check tires for correct air pressures. Drivers should have an accurate pressure 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. Look for signs of irregular wear in the tread or shoulder of the tire and examine the tire for bubbles or bumps caused by air infiltration or foreign objects.

3. Check the vehicle's owner's manual or the vehicle load and tire information placard to determine precise air pressure. It should provide initial data on the weight of the vehicle and standard load.

4. Check tires for correct air pressures.

5. Never weld or apply heat to the wheel when the tire is mounted. This can cause serious damage to tires and can cause them to explode, causing personal injury.

6. Store tires properly when they are not in use. Place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid premature aging.

7. Check tires for correct air pressures.

8. Avoid mixing tires on your vehicle-for example, avoid pairing a normal tread depth with a deep read depth or a bias-ply tire with a radial.

9. Be sure to wash your tires. This helps to prevent premature aging of the tires and deterioration of the rubber.

10. Check tires for correct air pressures.

"Check tires for correct air pressures" is purposely repeated on the list because it is vital to the safe and effective operation of a tire.

"Drivers should perform this step daily on commercial vehicles in constant use because air pressure is critical to a tire's performance," said Jones. Air pressure should be checked weekly on vehicles with less demanding schedules. Rapid tire wear and tire debris on highways is often caused by improperly inflated tires.

Article provided by: http://www.retread.org Used with permission, "Fleet Equipment", December 2003

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