One of the most critical components of a vehicle used for commercial transportation is its tires. A tire’s surface where the “rubber meets the road” is susceptible to many physical forces. An Owner Operator relies on tires’ effective performance when weather conditions such as rain or snow can create challenging conditions on the road. Therefore, regularly scheduled semi-truck tires replacement is an imperative effort directly related to the safe performance of your heavy transport vehicle.
Semi-truck tires replacement should be performed before they get to the DOT pull point (2.30″ for drive tires and trailer tires and 4.30″ for steer axle tires) as a general preventive measure unless other challenges manifest and require this to be completed before that mark. Road conditions are a significant reason for semi-truck tires replacement since your vehicle is likely to ride over poorly paved road surfaces or pick up a nail or other items that can puncture the tire. Hitting a curb can also cause a variety of issues that may require semi-truck tires replacement—regardless of how insignificant you may think the event was.
A likely loss of tire pressure due to a nail may be identified at the time of a visual inspection before full inspection or scheduled semi-truck tires replacement. An Owner Operators must be conscious of the need to be on top of their game and always do a walk around inspection—much like the Captain of a commercial airliner does before a flight. A professional should always be aware of the challenges by becoming involved in preventive maintenance and questioning whether he or she thinks it is safe to drive a semi-truck before embarking on a route.
While Owner Operators may want to maximize the life of tires, the fact is they should be thinking about their own lives and those of others on the road. Failing to perform periodic semi-truck tires replacement can result in an increased risk of a blowout, which can, in turn, cause the driver to lose control over the vehicle and cause a major accident. Another hazard is that of a flat tire in the middle of a route, which may translate into a loss of revenue, and this can hurt the Owner Operator’s wallet—particularly when having to incur an unexpected expense.
Regular checkups of tire pressure can increase the intervals between scheduled semi-truck tires replacement. We can all agree that there is no better way to maximize the life of a tire than that of becoming aware of its conditions as often as possible. Therefore, consult with Status Truck and Trailer Repair or your tires’ original manufacturer for additional information or best practices to help keep you on top of your semi-truck tires replacement.
As a final piece of advice, always replace a set of tires—rather than one at a time. The thread wear on a commercial vehicle tire is highly susceptible to the balancing act of an entire multi-axle tires system found on a semi-truck. Performing a complete semi-truck tires replacement for an axle—at the same time—ensures you will have proper contact with the road at all speeds and weather conditions. Replacing only one tire can make your vehicle unstable when turning at a higher speed or during wet road conditions.