According to the top truck tire pros that we polled, the most overlooked truck tire maintenance practice is … actually overlooking the tire during the maintenance process. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
“A hands-on tire inspection is a commonly overlooked practice,” confirmed Matt Schnedler, product manager for truck and bus radial (TBR), U.S. and Canada at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
Ouch. Not a fun fact to face, but it’s easy to see how tires are taken for granted. Today’s tire manufacturers are producing tires that are boosting efficiency, strengthening durability and confidently carrying the load in any and every trucking application. To help your service technicians get back on top of tire maintenance practices, Lawrence Williamson, B2B regional technical partner and customer engineering support manager at Michelin North America Inc., pointed to six tips to property service your truck tires when they roll into the bay.
Truck tire service tip 1
Conduct a visual inspection of your equipment’s tires, looking for signs of irregular wear, deep cracks, cuts or other major problems in the tread or shoulder of the tire.
Truck tire service tip 2
If any symptoms of tire damage are discovered during inspection, have the trained service technician diagnose the severity of the problem and make the proper repairs. Never allow an untrained person to attempt repairs.
Truck tire service tip 3
Determine precise PSI for your tires based on the manufacturer’s requirements and vehicle application. The technician should consider your application and loads carried.
Truck tire service tip 4
Avoid lifting tires through the center with a crane hook, which can damage the critical bead area. Instead, lift the tire under the tread by using flat straps. Flat straps are recommended over steel slings or chains because they are less likely to cause cuts or abrasions.
Truck tire service tip 5
Deflate the inner and outer tires of a dual fitment before removing any rim fixture from the hub of the vehicle.
Truck tire service tip 6
Avoid mixing tires on your vehicle, such as normal tread depth with deep tread depth or a bias-ply tire with a radial. Using two different types of tires could damage the vehicle’s internal components because the tires do not work together to provide the same traction and handling performance.
These are the basics, but before a truck tire even rolls into a shop, you have to make sure that you’re setting and maintaining the correct tire pressure. How do you do that? Click here to head over to our truck tire inflation management story to find out. Or if your pressure plan is sound, you can skip over to our scrap tire analysis story by clicking here. Onward, fleet manager!