What to Include in Your Semi-Truck Tire Maintenance Toolkit

You don’t need to be a master mechanic to handle roadside emergencies. However, you should select an emergency tire repair service and keep these items in your semi-truck tire maintenance toolkit.

Basic Tools for Commercial Drivers

Lug wrench: Lug nuts can loosen during rough driving. Keeping a lug wrench in your toolkit allows you to tighten them as needed.

Tire pressure gauge: Underinflation is a common cause of flat tires, so check your tire pressure during your pre-trip inspection.

Jumper cables: Diesel engines usually require six-gauge jumper cables, but you may need eight-gauge cables if your semi has two batteries.

Tire jack: If you find yourself with an unexpected flat tire, you’ll need a tire jack to lift your cab or trailer off the ground to change it. Tire jacks also create a balance if you’re on an uneven or unsteady surface.

Commercial Tire Repair Kit

It’s important to remember that tire plugs and patches are only intended to provide temporary repairs until you can get to a service station.

With a tire patch, you’ll need to clear away any debris and apply the patch using vulcanizing cement on the inside of the tire. They usually provide a more secure repair but require you to remove the tire from the wheel and rim.

A tire plug repair kit includes a reaming tool to enlarge a puncture for the plug strip. The insertion tool has an eye at one end to fish the plug halfway through before pushing it through the hole. Leave a half-inch of the material outside the tire and quickly remove the insertion tool. Cut away the excess plug strip left on the outside.

Portable Air Compressor

Keeping your tires properly inflated improves safety and fuel efficiency on the road. There are a variety of portable air compressors to suit different budgets. Cheaper models are smaller and usually made with plastic components, while more expensive options are constructed with metal and tend to last longer.

Specialty Tools for Semi Tires

Bead breaker: This tool separates a tire from the rim, so you can inspect the interior and remove debris. Manual bead breakers are sturdy, lightweight bars that are easy to use, though they require more physical effort. Hydraulic bead breakers come in various styles and are suitable for different types of commercial tires.

Tire iron: Often confused with lug wrenches, a tire iron removes a tire from the wheel.

Tire Maintenance Safety Tips

  • Get your commercial vehicle completely off the road but ensure it’s visible to other drivers.
  • Turn on your hazard lights and exit the cab on the passenger side if possible.
  • Wear a safety vest and place at least three reflective triangles.
  • Be aware of oncoming traffic and stay away from the road.
  • Alert your employer once you’ve completed a visual inspection of your vehicle, then call for emergency assistance.

Bauer Built offers 24/7 emergency roadside services to repair tires so you can get back on the road. If you’re within 30 miles of one of our locations, we’ll get you up and running in less than two hours.

Call 800.268.5114 for emergency service.

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