Prevent damage to truck tyres: Drive smarter and reduce tyre-related costs
Trucks are made to be used, in just about all conditions. Truck tyres are available in many types and sizes, which are specific to a particular type of use. In many cases, damage to tyres can be prevented by following a few simple guidelines. One of the most important guidelines involves performing regular visual checks: check the profile, the sides and the rim for abnormal wear and tear or damage.
Tyre pressure and load
However, having appropriate tyre pressure is certainly of equal importance. If pressure is 1.5 bar lower than the recommended level, this can result in a 10% decrease in performance. This could even harm the re-use possibilities of carcases because the shoulders and heels of the tyre are subjected to excessive loads. And insufficient tyre pressure also results in higher fuel consumption.
Make sure the manufacturer's cargo and loading instructions are adhered to. And always select the right tyre/wheel combination. An inappropriate combination will result in excessive forces, and thus extra wear and tear.
For instance, a lot of damage is caused on construction sites when driving over coarse rubble or driving plates. Incisions can be avoided by concentrating when driving, and by avoiding the sharp edges of these plates. Sharp turns and bends always result in friction. This can be prevented by turning with a degree of caution. And when on highways and motorways, frequent use of the engine brake can cause wear and tear in the sawtooth at low loads. This can easily be felt with the hand. Braking marks – smooth, single areas of wear – cannot always be avoided, but vigilant driving can prevent the need to brake suddenly or excessively. This can also be reduced by correctly configuring the brakes. Braking marks result in continuous vibration, which can in-turn lead to other forms of damage.
In urban traffic, pavements and roundabouts are responsible for a lot of tyre damage. But this can be reduced by careful driving. In twin-mounted wheels, contact between the two tyres can also result in damage. So make sure the tyres do not touch each other. To make wear and tear more even, the inner and outer (twin-mounted) tyres can be swapped and turned after a certain period in time.
Damage to the tread - certainly when used on rough under-surfaces - can be quickly identified via visual inspection. Check if the right tyre has been mounted for the intended purpose.
The better the profile; the better the grip - which leads to better performance and safety. Tyres are the only contact surface between vehicles and the road - so look after them.