Better management and training will help get the most out of your tires.
For Michelin's "Top 10" list of tire maintenance practices, visit www.fleetmag.com
Getting the Most Out of Your Tires
By Doug Jones
Customer Engineering Support Manager
Michelin Americas Truck Tires
Michelin recommends a "Top 10" list of tire maintenance practices:
1.Check tires for correct air pressures. Every shop should have a master air gauge and every driver should have an accurate pressure gauge and be instructed to check the tires on their truck every day.
2.Drivers should conduct a visual inspection of their vehicle's tires prior to operating the vehicle. The drivers should look for signs of irregular wear in the tread or shoulder areas of their tires and examine the tires for bubbles or bumps which may be caused by air infiltration or foreign objects.
3.Check the vehicle's owner's manual or the vehicle load and tire information placard to determine precise air pressures for the loads that the vehicle is designed to carry.
4.Check tires for correct air pressures. A tire that is 20 percent below the optimal air pressure is considered a flat tire. A tire that is run under these conditions will experience casing fatigue that could lead to a catastrophic failure or a zipper rupture. If the tire has been run 20 percent underinflated, it should be removed from the vehicle and scrapped.
5.Never weld or apply heat to the wheel when the tire is mounted on it. This can cause serious damage to the tire and can cause the tire to explode, causing personal injury.
6.Store tires properly when they are not in use. Place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid premature aging.
7.Check tires for correct air pressures. A tire that is run 10 percent underinflated will lose 10 percent in tread wear and will come out of service quicker.
8.Beware mixing tires on your vehicle, especially across an axle. Try to match tires with the same tread depths, same tread patterns and same height (or diameter).
9.Keep your tires clean! Wash them with warm soap and water. This will help prevent premature aging and deterioration of the rubber.
10.Check tires for correct air pressures. Depending on how much your tires cost, you may be losing between $15 and $30 a tire due to underinflation (10 percent or more underinflated).
Tire pressure maintenance is highly important and should be the focal point of any tire maintenance program.