How to Avoid Premature Tire Wear and Damage
Commercial tires are a hefty investment, so it’s important to be mindful of bad maintenance habits that can reduce their longevity. Here are some of the most common causes of premature tire wear and how to avoid them.
Poor Tire Inflation
We’ll say this until the cows come home: check your tire inflation regularly! Underinflation is the leading cause of road failure because a poorly inflated tire produces more heat, which shortens service life and increases the likelihood of a dangerous blowout. It’s also terrible for your fuel economy.
Luckily, it’s easily remedied. Check your tire inflation weekly, at the very least. It’s not a bad idea to check your tire pressure in post-trip inspections, either. Installing tire pressure monitoring systems will also proactively alert you to low pressure.
Pairing mismatched dual tires increases the likelihood of premature wear. That includes using an old tire with a new one or tires from different manufacturers. Even the slightest difference in tread depth increases the load on the larger tire, which may cause the smaller tire to drag during operation.
Look at the tire’s tread. Is there a noticeable difference in the depth? That’s a likely sign of mismatched tires. Verify the diameters of your dual tires to ensure they’re the same size. And if you experience a failure, replace both dual tires if one is damaged.
When was the last time you had an alignment? If you’re overdue, you’re likely causing excess wear on your tires. Accidents, bumping into curbs and driving on uneven roads can easily cause misalignment, so it’s important to stay up to date on your maintenance schedule.
Look at your steer tires first. They’ll likely show the most irregular wear if your tires are misaligned. You may also notice premature aging on new tires or uneven wear on the tire’s shoulder.
Exceeding the manufacturer’s ratings on your tires is a surefire way to accelerate wear and tear. You should always weigh your vehicle once it’s loaded, including cargo, tow load and passengers. Weigh axles individually to ensure the weight of your vehicles is distributed evenly.
Tire Bead Seating
If a tire isn’t seated on the bead correctly, it can’t lie flat against the wheel as the tire rolls. That affects the tire’s posture as it rotates forward and backward. Watch for signs of uneven wear after your tires have been remounted, as that may be a sign of improper installation.Bauer Built Blog