I think we should start a campaign to SAVE THE TIRES!! After all tire breakdowns represent 25% of all breakdowns for OTR trucks at an estimated average cost of $1000.00 per incident. Most drivers have never planned to break down but the reality is every truck on the road today is expected to have an emergency breakdown at least once in the next 12 months. Which typically doesn’t include the compromise to delivery schedules, the loss of driving hours or the safety of the driver stranded on the side of the interstate. So I hope that you’ve put aside your $1000.00 for a “rainy” day based on these odds it may come sooner than you think.
The largest issues relating to tire failures are missing tread and or low tread depth. It should be common practice for a driver to check the tread depth at least weekly and report this information. As the manager of your truck or fleet you should be checking these reports to determine when tires should be replaced but that’s not all. It is also important to ensure that all the tires on your truck(s) are wearing at the same rate.
For example, if you replace a tire that has become dangerous you need to make sure that you replace it with the same make and model or at least with the same depth configuration to the tire on the same axle just using the same tire size doesn’t cut it. Otherwise the new tire could overcompensate due to a deeper tread position and therefore it will wear faster and not perform to the maximum life span. Since the axles are supposed to be level, it is plausible that a mismatched tire with the lesser depth of tread may barely touch the ground, causing the tire with deeper tread to carry the weight that should be shared by both. Not replacing both tires is a common mistake especially when the “other” tire might be within just millimeters from being replaced any way. Even if both tires are relatively new or even retreads, if they have different tread configurations the one with the largest tread depth will wear faster and therefore costs you money in the long run.
Different commercial truck tires have different original tread depths when they are brand new as reported by tire manufacturers. For example, a new Michelin XZE2 (steer tire), which starts with 22/32nds of original tread depth, has an original diameter of 41.3″ in size 11R22.5, while a new Michelin XDA5+ (drive tire), with an original tread depth of 30/32nds, has an original diameter of 41.7″ in the same size.
Michelin recommends: * keeping the difference in tire height between the two tires to 1/4 inch or less measured at the center of the tread when inflated to working pressure; and * keeping the difference in circumference between the two tires to 3/4 in. or less measured around the center of the tread when inflated to working pressure. If a difference is unavoidable, mount the smaller tire on the inside, Goodyear suggests. The outside tire wears faster than the inside tire. As it wears, its diameter will approach that of the inside tire. Additionally, any crown on the road will favor the placement of the smaller diameter tire on the inside.
Truckers Solution is offering HUGE tire discounts on Michelin and Goodyear tires! We are giving away a free set of Steer Tires (up to a $1000.00 value) at the Mid America Truck Show April 2, 2016. All fleets that sign up for our tire program in March will be entered into the drawing!