For safe vehicle operation, well-maintained tires are crucial. At Len Dubois Trucking, your tractor and trailer tires are inspected by the maintenance department as part of the pre-trip inspection before you leave for your run. However while you are on the road a number of things can happen to weaken the integrity of the tires. Checking the tires is a required part of your daily pre-trip inspection.
During Roadcheck 2014, 13.8% of the vehicles placed out of service were done so because of issues with the tires.
What DOT Inspectors are Checking and What You Should be Checking as Part of the Pre-trip
- Proper inflation, cuts and bulges, re-grooved tires on steering axle, tread wear and major tread groove depth.
- Inspect sidewalls for defects, improper repairs, exposed fabric or cord, contact with any part of the vehicle and tire markings excluding it from use on a steering axle.
- Inspect wheels and rims for cracks, unseated locking rings and broken or missing lugs, studs or clamps.
- Check for rims that are cracked or bent, have loose or damaged lug nuts and elongated stud holes, have cracks across spokes or in the web area and evidence of slippage in the clamp areas.
- Check the hubs for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs, misalignment and positioning and damaged, worn or missing parts.
Preventative Tire Maintenance
Tires can be a costly consumable if you don’t take care of them. Regular checks and proper maintenance will help you keep your tires longer, prevent blowouts and even increase your fuel economy.
Tires that are under-inflated will run hotter, increasing the risk of a blowout, which is a potentially very dangerous situation for you and the motorists around you. On the flip side of the coin, tires that are overinflated or unbalanced will wear faster causing you to have to replace them more frequently.
Ensuring that the tires are maintained as they should be will help prevent a blowout or a fine and help with fuel economy. If you have any questions about tire maintenance you should speak with your maintenance department.