Summer is peak hauling season. Fleets must identify and address truck issues now before they interrupt operations, causing missed deadlines and delivery dates. Where does that process start? With tires.
A variety of factors can impact tire performance and result in unplanned downtime—from tread depth to inflation pressure. GCR Tires and Service recommended the following steps to maximize tire performance and safety this summer:
1. Select the right tire for the application
The first step to summer tire prep is choosing the right tire, considering the vehicle type, load range, environment and intended purpose. GCR recommends fleet managers work together with a trusted service provider to address the following and ensure that an appropriate tire is selected based on that fleet’s unique needs: the type of carrier the fleet utilizes; average miles traveled per year; and the number of trailers and trucks in the fleet.
2. Set and maintain proper inflation pressure
Improper tire pressure—under- or over-inflation—can cause uneven wear or casing damage over time. This damage can make a casing unfit for retreading, preventing a fleet from capitalizing on that casing’s full performance potential. GCR technicians recommend fleets check tire pressure at each wheel position, every day before starting a haul. Tires should be checked with a calibrated tire pressure gauge when cold (driven for less than a mile at a moderate speed or parked for three or more hours) to ensure measurements and adjustments are accurate.
3. Inspect tires for road-related damage
Improper tire pressure or misalignment can cause issues such as inner rib wear, heel-toe wear, flat spotting, cuts, cracks or bulges. These can all be easily identified and addressed by conducting a hands-on tire assessment before and during the haul. That said, it is important to also work with TIA-trained technicians, like those at GCR, to conduct a full tire assessment at each wheel position to identify issues early on before they result in downtime.
4. Abide by tires’ recommended maximum speed
Many trucks are running heavier loads for longer distances, and with the introduction of higher speed limits, they are doing so at higher speeds. This makes it critical for fleet managers to be proactive in their tire maintenance to keep trucks running safely. Before each haul, remember to remind commercial truck drivers to abide by their tires’ maximum recommended speed, even if it is slower than posted speed limits.
Proactive tire maintenance is key to keep fleets running efficiently and safely this summer season. Implement and follow the steps above to maximize performance and uptime heading into peak hauling season.
This article was contributed by Ron Greenleaf, regional sales manager for GCR Tires and Service.