Yes, it’s another story about truck tire inflation (and yes, it’s that important)

Yes, it’s another story about truck tire inflation (and yes, it’s that important)

You’d think after the litany of tire inflation stories that Fleet Equipment has churned out over the decades, there would be nothing left to say about it. Yet, inflation-related issues continue to plague fleet maintenance budgets, be it through lost efficiency due to under- or over-inflation or in tire failures or early tire pulls, prematurely ending a tire’s lifecycle. It happens. A lot.

“Even though we try to drive the importance of proper tire inflation home in every training session that we do with fleets, inevitably when our field engineers or our sales teammates are in the field checking those air pressures, they’re under-inflated a large majority of the time,” confirmed Greg Kidd, application engineer for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “No matter how hard you drive that home, what happens in the field is still what happens in the field, and that’s typically under-inflated tires.”

So what’s the solution?

While there are plenty of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) and automatic tire inflation systems (ATIS, more ubiquitous on trailer tires than tractor tires), the fact of the matter is that tire inflation is best maintained by going back to basics.

“Recommended practices are out there for pre- and post-trip checks from the driver, and if that was happening on a regular basis, then a lot of the low pressure that you see out in the field would be caught,” Kidd said. “I can’t speak for what’s going on at these fleets, but it feels like part of the disconnect is the pre- and post-trip. Specifically the pre-trip because that would be when the tires would be cold and when we would be wanting the pressure checks to be conducted.”

Taking the time to make sure the basic recommended practices are followed is often the most difficult part in our on-demand, need-it-right-now world where freight and delivery demand is skyrocketing. Yet, safety and efficiency are pillars of most fleet operations. Ensuring that your drivers do their pre- and post-trip inspection due diligence starts with you, the fleet manager, setting the tone and making sure that they know it’s okay to take the time to do a proper inspection.

“As long as the trucks are moving, they’re making money; so we understand that it does take time to do that pre-trip inspection. I think from a fleet’s standpoint, they have to decide: Do you really want to take 20 minutes away from the driver’s drive time to do the pre-trip inspection?” Kidd said. “It’s not only tire inflation pressure. There are other checks as well. I think the time crunch comes down to why some of it may be being overlooked.”

For fleet managers who take a holistic view of tire management, Kidd provided several top-level bullet points for fleets to focus on to keep their truck tires rolling productively:

  1. Do not exceed your tire’s maximum recommended speed, which might be lower than posted speed limits.
  2. Select the right tire for the job, considering the proper tire size, load carrying capacity, speed capabilities and service type.
  3. Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressures.
  4. Inspect your tires frequently for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges and penetrations.
  5. Monitor tire pressures and temperatures using TPMS systems if equipped.

If you’re looking for even more tire pressure resources, we have you covered. Here are just a few samplings from the aforementioned decades of tire inflation stories.

Your go-to guide for checking truck tire pressure

Top-level tire pressure tips

Looking for tire inflation management solutions? Start here.

You May Also Like

Goodyear says tires-as-a-service may help fleets save money

Goodyear said the subscription service can help fleets improve TCO, increase uptime, reduce breakdowns, decrease fuel consumption and more.


Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said its new tires-as-a-service (TaaS) offering combines the company’s tires, predictive insights and footprint into one subscription-based solution. Building on the company’s Total Mobility program, Goodyear said that it will manage end-to-end tire service for its customers.

Available for commercial and last-mile delivery fleets in the U.S. and Europe, Goodyear adds its TaaS offering can help save time and improve total cost of ownership through outsourced tire management from this subscription-based solution. According to the company, this is designed to increase uptime, reduce vehicle breakdown events, decrease fuel consumption and more.

Davco Technology appoints Tim West as new president

Before joining Davco, West most recently served as VP of seating and structures, Vehicle Solutions Division at Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc.

PRT launches new strut assemblies for ProMaster, Silverado, and more

These new items cover more than 15 million vehicles and include models such as the 2023 Ram ProMaster 1500, 2023 Chevrolet Silverado, and more.

East opens Aftermarket Parts Facility in Kent, OH

In addition to East trailer parts, the facility will carry common parts for all makes and models, such as airbags, lights, wheel ends and more.

Lucas Oil facilities achieve ISO 9001:2015 recertification

The Quality Management Systems certification included both Lucas Oil production facilities in Corydon, IN.

Other Posts
Navigating fluid options to raise efficiency and reduce downtime

ICE technology is changing, and Valvoline and Cummins say oil plays an important role in your fleet’s efficiency and uptime.

U-POL Raptor Roll Bar and Chassis Coating

U-POL’s Raptor Roll Bar and Chassis Coating is ideal for use on roll bars and chassis or any vehicle surface that needs additional protection from impact, abrasion, corrosion and water damage.

Nexiq integrates Mitchell 1’s Repair-Connect into eTechnician

Users can access diagnostic information, along with testing and repair procedures for commercial truck fault codes, under one subscription.

U-POL Raptor Flame-Proof Paint

U-POL’s Raptor Flame-Proof Paint is ideal for use on exhaust manifolds, headers, exhaust systems and other areas that require protection from very high heat.