Truck tires: From mounting and balancing to alignment and tread depth

Truck tires: From mounting and balancing to alignment and tread depth

Effective tire maintenance with the right equipment ensures fleet operations remain productive and profitable.

Walking through a fleet shop in eastern Michigan, a fleet service manager once told me that if he could just manage his tires–and nothing else, just tires–as efficiently and productively as possible, that shop operations would always be in the black and life would be good. Of course, the road, filled with potholes and debris, has other plans. A fleet needs to arm itself with as much tire maintenance artillery as possible.

The TMC show in New Orleans was the perfect place to proverbially and literally kick the tires on tire maintenance equipment and solutions. Hunter Engineering, for example, hosted its full range of heavy-duty tire-minded equipment. The HawkEye XL alignment system was front and center, touting three-dimensional targets that are scanned by cameras that capture measurements in a single rolling compensation and displaying live alignment readings for up to three axles at once. According to Hunter, the XL’s extended range allows it to align 53-ft. trailers, and the moveable cabinet and camera beam help technicians perform alignments on the floor or on a lift, in any bay.

Alan Hagerty, product manager, Hunter Engineering, led us around the Hunter booth to walk us through the alignment system, as well as the Quick Check Drive and Quick Tread Edge–a drive-over tire-check system that supports multi-trailer configurations, dual axles and super single tires. The heavy-duty inspection system can cycle trucks through continuously, and once a truck has passed through, alignment and tire tread results can be automatically displayed through Flightboard, is a digital display board that shows results. Additionally, shops without digital display capabilities can present inspection information from any PC or tablet.

With this technology, the vehicle will drive through it and the system will automatically check the alignment angles. We’ll also take pictures of the vehicles that drive through so that we record the condition all the way around the vehicle,” Hagerty explained. “With the in-ground system, it’ll measure the tire tread depth with lasers as it drives over it, for all the axle positions. This machine is rated for class eight. You can have the truck and the trailer drive through it, and you’ll have all those measurements.”

And that’s not to mention the wheel balancer and wheel mounting equipment that Hunter also showed off in its booth. Watch the video for all of the tire maintenance insight.


No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world. Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

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