As the temperature outside goes up, so does the importance of tire maintenance. But no matter what time of year it is, both safety and savings always ride on your tires.
The key to staying on the road this summer is to stay on top of routine tire inspections. Regularly checking your tires for proper inflation, tread depth and irregular wear or damage can help prevent unexpected blowouts and improve the safety and lifespan of your tires.
Heat is a Tire's Worst Enemy
The hotter a tire gets, the more likely a failure is to occur. Extreme heat not only causes tire rubber to deteriorate quicker, it also increases the air pressure in tires. This combination on a hot summer highway can be deadly, as it causes the tire sidewalls to expand and contract, breaking down the steel belts, increasing your chance of a blowout and, ultimately, decreasing the lifespan of the tire.
If your truck isn’t equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, investing in a quality tire gauge and using it on a regular basis will save you money in the long run. Frequently check your tires while they’re cold to make sure the air pressure is within the manufacturer’s recommended PSI.
Improper tire inflation can also result in uneven tread wear, due to how it displaces the footprint of the tire from the pavement. Proper tread depth provides traction between a tire and the road beneath it, and too little tire tread can create unsafe driving conditions, especially during summer when sudden rain is common.
Inspect your tires regularly to make sure their tread depths are within DOT standards. The DOT standard for remaining tread depth in a major tread groove is 4/32” for steer tires and 2/32” for trailer tires.
Invest Now to Prepare for Future Breakdowns
Consistent tire checks are the key to increasing your vehicle’s safety and your uptime this summer, not to mention they can help detect other issues and maintenance that may be necessary. Irregular tread wear, for example, could indicate your tire alignment is off, which can affect the performance, safety and lifespan of the tires. Have your alignment checked by a professional technician annually for steer and drive tires, and periodically check the tires yourself for signs of irregular tread wear or cuts and other damage.
Catching and correcting issues early on is the key to long tire life. For extra tire assistance, stop into a TA Truck Service near you or call 1-800-824-SHOP. TA Truck Service technicians can service all major tire brands and get you back on the road quickly and safely this summer.