12Most Common Fleet Tire Violations

12 Dec 2016

You may believe that the vehicles in your fleet are most likely to be put out of service for an unexpected complication found by inspectors from the Department of Transportation (DOT). However, according to Overdrive, ten percent of violations that put vehicles out of service result from tire issues.

With the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program inflicting penalties on the safety rankings of carriers for all violations, it’s imperative to stay on top of tire safety and maintenance for your fleet.

Statistics from Overdrive illustrate that of the 25 most commonly recorded violations discovered by inspectors, the majority are high-weight infractions and carry eight of a possible ten points. Although an underinflation penalty costs three CSA points, the following incur eight points:

  • Running a tire with exposed fabric
  • Audible leak
  • Running a tire, either drive or trailer, with a tread under 2/32 of an inch

It’s important to note that due to time weighting, every violation is multiplied by three in terms of safety scoring for six months after the event. If you have frequent citations of this type, in addition to failing to repair the issues, your vehicle maintenance ranking will drop immediately. This will consequently result in issues with your leasing carrier, increased scrutiny during weigh station inspections, and a reduction in business.

For the above reasons, it’s imperative to carry out pre-trip inspections. Good practice for these involves the following:

Tire Inflation Maintenance

Underinflation of tires causes much of the damage that’s looked for in an inspection. Heat and flexing are real issues when a tire is underinflated, and metal cords can overheat and come through the sidewall, thus creating the grounds for a citation.

Through proper inflation, you can prevent damage and wear to your tires.

Tire Inspection Checklist

Best practice for checking your fleet tires involves:

  • Checking the tires over for damage, such as tread separation, and protruding fabric or cords.
  • Looking for any bulges, that could mean that cords are broken.
  • Measuring the tread with a depth gauge, and being on the lookout for irregular wear.
  • Checking the mounting of your tires.
  • Ensuring that if your truck is loaded close to its weight limit that the tires are of the correct weight ratings for the load.
  • Checking for tearing of the tread.
  • Removing any foreign objects caught between sections of the tread.

Maintain your Vehicle

Ensure you regularly align your fleet tires. Doing so will enable your tires to last longer, and will save on costs in the long-term.

Serious Tire Violations

The most serious tire violations according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are:

  • Exposed fabric
  • Sidewall and/ or tread separation
  • Flat tire or audible air leak
  • A tear in the sidewall that exposes belt or ply
  • Tread depth of less than 4/32-inch for steer tires, and 2/32-inch for drive and trailer tires

If you own or operate a commercial vehicle that comes under the FMCSA’s maintenance inspection qualifications, it will be audited for various safety factors, and your drivers must always have the vehicle maintenance file, as well as inspection reports on hand during said audits.

To better get on top of your vehicle maintenance schedules, GPS fleet management tracking software can be used to set up alerts to ensure you keep better track.

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