Commercial Fleet Tire Safety Tips

19 Dec 2016

Concerns about the safety of commercial tires have resulted in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issuing notifications to the transport industry to increase awareness of tire safety issues.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Office of Defects Investigations (ODI), increased tire failures on commercial trucks are as a result of issues such as increased uptime/equipment utilization, increased front axle loads, and going above tire speed ratings.

For these reasons, FMCSA, along with the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), have developed a visor card that outlines various recommendations for commercial tire safety. Commercial vehicle operators, and drivers are urged to take heed of the acronym “TIRES”, that stands for Tire inspection, Inflation pressure, Extreme loading, and Speed:

Tire Inspection

Examine tires on a daily basis, looking out for:

  • Cuts
  • Cracking
  • Bulges
  • Irregular treadwear
  • Inadequate tread depth
  • Foreign objects
  • Other damage

If any of the above is found, it should immediately be brought to the attention of a mechanic.

Inflation Pressure

  • Always gauge tires cold before driving.
  • Always adjust tires as necessary as improper inflation affects both fuel efficiency, and tire wear. The correct inflation pressure for your specific vehicle can be found in the service manual, on the tire placard, or on the certification label.

Rims

  • Use only approved rim/tire combinations of the appropriate diameter and width.
  • Be aware that mismatches rim and tire components have the potential to explode, resulting in serious injury or death.

Extreme Loading

  • Be aware that underinflation or overloading is the cause of uncontrolled heat build-up, leading to internal structural damage, that can result in tire failure.

Speed

  • Never exceed the speed rating of your tires, as this leads to both damage, and premature failure.

To keep track of truck maintenance schedules, no matter the size of the fleet, GPS fleet tracking and GPS fleet management software is a solid choice.

Maintenance alerts can be set to to inform fleet managers when vehicles are due for specific maintenance. This will prevent non-starts, and breakdowns, and alerts can be based on various factors, for example:

  • Mileage
  • Engine-on time

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