Proper truck tire selection, management leads to long service life

Proper truck tire selection, management leads to long service life

Tires generic

Having a proper tire management program is crucial for any size fleet, as it can make your maintenance operation more efficient and help reduce the total cost of tire ownership.

Tire management begins with selecting the correct tire for a specific application. Long haul and regional operations can overlap with each other at times, so it may be beneficial to experiment with both types of tires to optimize wear. You will also want to consider the effect of the tires on fuel economy, which may outweigh tread wear considerations. Tires that are SmartWay verified meet EPA limits for low rolling resistance and can also help reduce fuel consumption as compared to non-SmartWay tires, particularly in long haul operations.

At Cooper, we believe in order to get the most out of your tires, it is important to find a brand that will provide long miles to removal, as well as one that considers the casing quality and belt package. The casing quality will tell you a great deal about the tire, including how it will hold up on the road and the value the tire has for its second and third life in retreading. When choosing a new tire, part of the consideration should be a review of the tire manufacturer’s warranty and casing allowance. For instance, all Cooper truck and bus tires are engineered for retreadability and are backed with a warranty of two retreads within seven years.

Correcting tire wear

The TMC Radial Tire Conditions Analysis Guide provides information on action depending on the type of wear and root cause, including when to remove a tire from service and when it can be repaired. Cooper recommends rotating tires when they are 50% worn, or even earlier if they show signs of irregular wear. Changing the direction of rotation can even out heel/toe wear on the shoulders of drive tires and erratic wear on the shoulders of trailer tires. Steer tires are normally rotated side to side, which changes the direction of rotation and helps even out wear. At a 3/32- to 4/32-in. difference in tread depth between the drive axle tires, a cross-rotation would be recommended to even out the wear and increase tire life before removal.

Tire replacement


Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations say that the tread depth for any tire on the front wheels of a bus, truck or truck tractor must be at least 4/32nds of an inch when measured at any point on a major tread groove. All other tires on the vehicle must have a tread depth of at least 2/32nds of an inch when measured at any point on a major tread groove. If any measurements are at or below these depth requirements in any part of the tread, the tire should be removed from service immediately.

Some fleets will pull steer and drive position tires early to help maintain traction and rotate them back to the trailer to run out the remaining tread life. If the fleet’s application tends to experience penetrations from nails or other road debris, then it’s likely a better practice to pull the tires early and retread them to help preserve the casing integrity.

When replacing tires, proper bead seating when mounting tires is very important to optimal performance and tire life. An improperly seated bead creates uneven wear patterns and increases the chance for ride/vibration issues. You can ensure that the tire is properly seated by checking to see that the distance between the rim flange and the aligning ring is uniform around the complete circumference of the tire. With the bead seated against the rim, the distance from the seating ring to the rim should be measured at four different points that are 90 degrees apart around the rim. The distance between the ring and the rim should be the same at all four points.

Tires are a major investment for any size fleet and having a tire management and maintenance program will enable you to get the maximum from your investment. Check this space again over the next couple of months for more on what a tire management program can do for you.

You May Also Like

Nikola CEO on battery electric trucks, building trust, and the future of hydrogen fuel cells

“We’re real and we’re here.”


Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Nikola Trucks, watches his Class 8 Nikola Tre battery-electric truck, sporting nine battery packs for 733 kWh of energy to reach a range up to 330 miles, pull up to the front of the Orange County Convention Center, home to the TMC Annual Meeting last March. Suit coat discarded on the back of a folding chair, sleeves rolled up, he shakes the hand of a rider climbing out of the truck and holds the door for the next fleet manager in line. The battery-electric truck quietly rolls away to take another lap around Orlando.

Freightliner M2, SD Plus Series launch updates its medium-duty truck offering

Freightliner introduced the new Plus Series–enhanced versions of its M2 and SD models, including the M2 106 Plus, M2 112 Plus, 108SD Plus, and 114SD Plus. The enhanced models provide a major update to the interior and electrical systems of the M2 and SD models. The OEM noted that the Plus Series is designed to

Truck cruise control technology that looks at the road ahead

If you’ve ever visited the Northeast region of the country, you’ve most likely encountered intimidating terrain. The winding roads. The steep hills. The intricate routes that challenge any seasoned driver, and, most recently, advanced cruise control systems that aim to improve fuel efficiency and driver comfort.   Related Articles – Four ways A.I. can help cut

Four ways A.I. can help cut diesel fuel costs

The fluctuation of fuel prices has made it more challenging to operate day-to-day. Drivers get paid by the mile, and, when fuel costs go up, margins shrink, impacting how fleets profit and pay their employees. Intelligent technology can lessen the impact of high prices by improving overall fuel efficiency. Related Articles – New ways to

Peterbilt GM Jason Skoog charts today’s truck support, tomorrow’s truck solutions

Peterbilt made headlines recently when it became the first major North American OEM to open orders for an electric truck, the Peterbilt 220EV. In this exclusive interview, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Jason Skoog details the technology investments that are keeping fleets productive during this year’s trying pandemic and laying the groundwork for

Peterbilt General Manager PACCAR Technology Electric Truck

Other Posts

Overall new equipment business volume down slightly Y/Y

According to ELFA findings, total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 4.6% year-over-year.

Growth rate of parts aftermarket sales continues to gradually decelerate

CMVC’s Parts Aftermarket Sales Leading Indicator signals slowing growth in commercial vehicle parts sales.

Eight fleets selected to participate in NACFE’s electrification initiative

The transition to electric vehicles is about much more than just the trucks themselves. It is about charging, infrastructure and more.

Optimizing your electrical system spring maintenance schedule 

The seven-way connection is the most prone area to the onset of corrosion.