AKRON, Ohio — Summer requires truck owners and operators be especially savvy about truck tire maintenance or it can be a costly time warns Goodyear Commercial Systems.
Avoiding potential hazards while on the road, particularly those that are heat-related, can be made simple by following a few guidelines from the experts.
“Maintaining proper tire inflation pressure is the number one issue facing drivers today,” points out Al Cohn, manager, training & technology for Goodyear’s Commercial Systems business. “This is true year round, but particularly in summer.”
The tire guru explains it’s important to realize that increases in the outside temperature can make underinflation an even greater problem. According to Cohn, not many people realize when air temperatures go over 60 degrees F, tires gain two psi for each 10 degrees F increase. Tires already gain 10-15 psi under normal operations in any temperature, and it takes three to four hours for the levels to return to normal.
“So the lesson is to check your tires while they are cool, and never release inflation overage from hot tires as they will end up becoming underinflated,” he explains.
“Poor inflation paired with the excess heat from the summer sun can cause tire components to come apart … Heat that’s generated on the inside of a tire is its own worst enemy, and when internal rubber temperatures reach in excess of 200 F, it can cause problems.”
While improved retreading processes have helped reduce tire separation, Cohn says low inflation can contribute to reduced tire miles, loss of retreadability, bad fuel economy and an increased number of punctures.
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