Heavy Duty Trucks News
Drivers impact on commercial tire performance

Tire prices are continuing to escalate – and there is a shortage of natural rubber due to a combination of floods and droughts. Natural rubber is needed because it is a key ingredient in truck tires valued for its low heat generation properties. Adding to the escalating cost of tires is the rising price of

Redefining the highway truck energy equation

Every gallon of diesel fuel contains just so much energy (usually quantified as British Thermal Units, or simply BTUs). Truck engines burn the fuel to release energy, or more specifically convert it to another form, and push the truck along the highway. Historically, the approximation has been that 1/3 of the total energy is converted

Commercial tire retread options

Almost 90% of commercial trucking fleets retread their tires at least one time. Steer tires are typically retreaded with a drive tire design the first time. The second retread will most likely be retreaded back to the trailer. Drive tires are retreaded as another drive tire and then back to a trailer design. Trailer tires

Truck tire balancing clarification

As late as the 1970s, some bias ply truck tires came from the factory with balancing “pads” strategically placed inside the tire liner to at least partially correct the uneven distribution of mass around the tire. This helped reduce vibration as the truck rolled at increasing speeds on road surfaces. Of course, then suspension systems

CSA 2010 and its impact on tires

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) has officially rolled out its new Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) program. Commercial trucking fleets need to fully understand all of the rules and regulations of CSA that will affect your fleet’s tire program. Commercial fleets cannot afford to be penalized for the results of a poor tire maintenance

Managing changing tire margins

Ask almost anyone in business or management to define “margins” and they will say margins generally quantify financial success or lack thereof. Sometimes, it’s simply the difference between the cost and selling price of a product or service. Other times it’s the difference between all revenues minus all expenses. Operating margins are typically synonymous with

Proper truck tire sizing

There are lots of incentives in today’s transportation business to maximize efficiencies by carefully matching equipment—especially trucks—to the tasks at hand. Recent new truck sales reports from Wards show that purchases of Class 3 through 6 trucks through September are substantially higher than in earlier years, especially compared to the same time period in 2009.

Returning idled truck tires to service

Truck tires, unlike many automobile and light truck tires, are all about performance and life-cycle costs. In fact, if truck tires are used within their engineered parameters of load/inflation/speed and are properly maintained, near continuous use would not be out of the question. In fact, they are not designed to require recesses or idle periods.

When your tires leave, know why

The old adage “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” certainly shouldn’t apply to your tire program. In fact, the more you know, the greater the opportunities for reducing costs and improving efficiencies. Most good maintenance managers are aware of the obvious variables essential to the tire cost-per-mile equation. Initial cost, first tread mileage to

Grade your tire program

Not many years ago, the success of a fleet tire program was defined by the frequency and costs of crises or problems. These were culled out of periodic expense reports, or perhaps a tire-cost-per-mile figure. This type of management by exception simply won’t cut it in today’s cost competitive business environment. Several important points are

Tire wear troubleshooting tips

Tire wear issues, especially accelerated wear, can be frustrating and expensive. An expanding variety of vocation-specific trucks, engine and other drivetrain component trends, as well as unique service conditions, can result in a mismatch of tire performance and expectations. While the basic mechanisms of tire wear haven’t changed significantly since the introduction of tubeless radials,

Tires: assets or expense?

The life-cycle cost approach to tire management isn’t new. Manufacturers have been preaching this for years as a way to quantify the benefits of purchasing premium tires—with premium casings—as justification for the higher initial expense of top quality tires. Mostly, this scenario is built around retreading as a way to postpone the purchase of expensive