What you need to know about truck tire mileage testing

What you need to know about tire mileage testing

Tire manufacturers are continuously developing new products for steer, drive and trailer tires. Many of these new tire makes/models are designed to increase removal mileage (miles/32 in.). A combination of new and improved compounds along with design and construction enhancements can lead to increased tire removal mileages. The key is to determine if the specific tire model is improving treadwear and, ultimately, tire removal mileages for your fleet. There are also fleets that want to optimize a specific tire make/model mileage by changing factors such as inflation pressure and alignment settings.

There are several examples of possible tire evaluations:

  • New tire model;
  • Retread model;
  • Retread process (pre-cure vs. mold cure);
  • Tire size (lo profile or conventional);
  • Tire inflation pressure (105 vs. 90 PSI); and
  • Vehicle alignment (toe and camber settings).

The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations in RP230 recommends a minimum sample size of 30 tires of each individual test type at the end of the evaluation to make it statistically repeatable. It makes no sense to run an expensive tire evaluation over multiple years and not learn anything because of the many real world variables. Drivers alone can affect tire treadwear and removal mileages by as much as 35%.

Since tires can be damaged due to sidewall damage, impact breaks and punctures, among other factors, a sample size greater than 30 is necessary to ensure that 30 tires will remain at the end of the evaluation.

When choosing vehicles for the tire treadwear evaluation, it is important to choose similar vehicles that see the same route and carry representative typical loads. The best scenario to minimize tire testing variables is to use vehicles that are assigned to dedicated runs on a daily basis.

Many fleets will even take the extra step to pick tractors and trailers that were built sequentially for the tire evaluation. Another good idea is to confirm that the vehicle alignment is in proper specification prior to the start of the tire evaluation.

When it comes to tire treadwear, the time of year in which the testing is done will have an impact on mileage. Tires that are newly mounted in the heat of the summer will have faster wear rates versus the same tires installed during the winter. The key is to ensure that all the test tires are mounted and installed within a short period of time.

If a tire is punctured during the test and is repairable, the repaired tire should be placed on the same vehicle and wheel position. If the tire is not repairable, it is
considered a lost tire and will not be included in the final data analysis.

When you are evaluating a new retread compound or design for tire mileage, always retread on the same model casing. There are too many variables if multiple casing brands are used in the evaluation.

It is always highly recommended to uniquely identify each tire that is going to be run in the evaluation. Most fleets brand an identifying number into the tire sidewall. Record the tire ID number and link it to a specific vehicle and wheel position.

Once the tires are mounted and the test is up and running, tire data will need to be recorded on a regular basis. Depending on the specific service vocation, interim data recording should be every two or three months. Over time, tires may be removed due to damage or punctures. You can always use the most recent data in the final analysis as long as you have completed interim tire inspections.

Key parameters to record include mileage, tread depth across the major grooves, pressure and irregular wear. Taking photos of tires that exhibit irregular wear will also be a big help in your final analysis.

The legal limit for steer tires is 4/32 and 2/32 in. for drive, trailer and dolly tires. Every fleet has its own target removal tread depths. For testing purposes, if 6/32 in. is the normal pull point for steer tires in your fleet, you should closely monitor the tires and remove the tires from test when they reach 6/32 in.

In the final data analysis, you can easily calculate the average miles/32 in. for steer, drive and trailer tires. The final removal mileages may vary depending on the specific tread depth when the tires were removed from service. The greater the miles/32 in., the higher the tire removal miles. If a specific tire design developed irregular wear during the evaluation, chances are those tires were removed from service early and their miles/32 in. calculation will be low.

You May Also Like

International Truck integrates S13 engine with Allison automatic transmissions

Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series, 4000 Series fully automatic transmissions available for International RH, HX Series trucks, respectively.


Allison Transmission announced that International Truck integrated Allison fully automatic transmissions into S13-equipped trucks. The Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series (RHS) is now available to order in International RH trucks equipped with the S13 engine. Additionally, the Allison 4000 Series is also available to order with S13-equipped International HX trucks.

Beyond standard TPMS: The crucial role of customizable tire health alerts

Delving into the shortcomings of standard TPMS and why customizable tire health alerts are crucial for commercial vehicle fleets.

Driving for Alabama: A family affair

The stories of two truck drivers for ’80s country hitmakers Alabama.

Photos by Amazing Grace Photography
So you want to write for Fleet Equipment?

Of course you do. As the premiere online publication for the heavy-duty truck market, charting the latest in trucking equipment, technology, and service trends, Fleet Equipment has a knack for digging up the stories behind the stories (while having a lot of fun along the way). Now you can be a part of it! But

Write for Fleet Equipment
Babcox Media mourns the passing of Tim Fritz, longtime editor and friend

Babcox Media Editor Tim Fritz passed away on Feb. 23 from a heart attack. He was 53 years old. Related Articles – Debating the merits of ethanol – Why isn’t a truck’s appearance part of the PM process? – Change is coming to U.S. energy policies Tim joined Babcox Media in 1990 and spent 31


Other Posts

Volvo announces plans for hydrogen ICE trucks on-road testing

Customer tests for Volvo hydrogen combustion engine trucks will start in 2026, with orders starting by the end of the decade.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index declines 1.2%

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello cites continued market softness, potentially leading to reduced industry capacity.

CMA, Double Coin launch dealer portal

The platform is said to provide real-time information and navigation tools for CMA customers to access information and place orders.

Navistar releases decarbonization update in 2023 sustainability report

Navistar said the report also looks at its commitment to sustainability through environmental initiatives, human rights due diligence and more.