PACIFIC GROVE, Cal. — The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) has released some tips on how to maximize the life of your tires.
Harvey Brodsky, managing director of TRIB says the most important consideration is maintaining proper inflation pressures for the tire size and load.
"It is not the tire, but the air the inside the tire that carries the weight of a vehicle, absorbs shock and keeps the tire in its proper shape so it can perform as designed," Brodsky explains. "Besides affecting rolling resistance and thus fuel economy, inflation pressures also influences handling, traction, braking and load carrying capability."
Here are some tips from TRIB:
1. Check tire pressure regularly, at least once a week; always with a properly calibrated tire gauge and when a tire is "cold" – before a vehicle has been driven, or driven less than one mile. Trying to determine if tires need air by thumping them is as effective as trying to determine if the vehicle’s engine needs oil by thumping on the hood.
2. Use value caps on all valve stems and kept them tight. Metal value caps are best, as they contain a rubber gasket to provide an airtight seal.
3. Be certain tires in dual wheel assemblies are matched: same tire size and air pressure, similar tread patterns and tread designs, and tolerances of not more than one-quarter of an inch in diameter and three-quarters of an inch in circumference. Inflation mismatches can cause tire diameters to differ enough that the "larger" tire will drag the "smaller" tire.
4. Maintain total vehicle alignment. The front end, other axles, and steering and suspension related components all need to be operating in their proper positioning to prevent tire-to-road drag and scrub and undesirable lateral forces.
5. During the pre-trip walkaround safety inspection which should be done at the start of every trip – look for wheel problems and tire injuries. Rubbing a bare hand along the tread and sidewalls can reveal damage such as flat spots, bulges, cuts, shoulder wear, sidewall problems and missing chucks of tread, all of which can result in on-the-road tire failure.
6. Tires – whether new or retreaded – should be application-specific; consult with a truck tire specialist before making tire purchases. Brodsky adds that retreaded tires can – and do – perform as well as tires that have never been retreaded, and they do it at a tremendous savings over the high cost of new tires. Retreads also offer more application-specific designs than most new tires. Truckers can actually cut their tire costs in half by using retreads, according to Brodsky.
For additional information, contact TRIB from anywhere in North America: 888-473-8732 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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