Commercial tires are an essential component of any vehicle that is used for business purposes. Whether you own a fleet of trucks, delivery vans, or other commercial vehicles, proper maintenance of your tires is crucial to keep your business running smoothly. Here are nine commercial tire maintenance tricks that will help you extend the lifespan of your tires, ensure they perform optimally, and save you money in the long run.
- Maintain Proper Tire Inflation
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your commercial tires is to ensure they are inflated to the recommended pressure. Driving on underinflated tires can lead to excessive heat buildup, increased rolling resistance, and decreased fuel economy. Conversely, overinflated tires can cause uneven wear and a harsh ride.
To determine the recommended tire pressure, consult your vehicle owner’s manual, tire sidewall, or the placard located inside the driver’s door. Invest in a good-quality tire pressure gauge and check your tire pressure at least once a month. If the pressure is too low, add air until it reaches the recommended level. If it’s too high, release some air until it’s within the acceptable range.
- Regular Tire Rotation is Crucial
Regular tire rotation is an essential aspect of commercial tire maintenance. It helps ensure that all four tires wear evenly, extending the life of the tires and improving vehicle handling. As a rule of thumb, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
Rotating your tires involves swapping the front and rear tires from one side of the vehicle to the other. For instance, the left front tire is moved to the right rear position, while the right rear tire is moved to the left front position. This ensures that each tire wears evenly and distributes the load evenly across all four tires.
- Clean Tires to Prolong Lifespan
Maintaining a clean tire surface can help prevent premature wear and damage to your commercial tires. Regularly wash your tires with mild detergent and water to remove dirt, grime, and other debris that can accumulate on the tire surface.
To clean your tires, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge and avoid using abrasive cleaners or steel wool, which can damage the tire surface. Rinse the tires thoroughly with water and dry them with a clean, lint-free cloth.
- Inspect for Damage and Wear
Inspect your commercial tires regularly for bumps, bulges, and other damage that could indicate a potential tire failure. These issues can occur due to road hazards, excessive load, or other factors, and can lead to a blowout if not addressed promptly.
Look for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or cuts in the tire sidewall or tread. If you notice any damage, have the tire inspected by a professional to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
- Correct Wheel Alignment for Optimal Performance
Incorrect wheel alignment can cause your commercial tires to wear unevenly, reducing their lifespan and negatively impacting vehicle handling. Check your wheel alignment regularly and have it adjusted as needed to ensure that all four tires wear evenly.
Signs of incorrect wheel alignment include the vehicle pulling to one side, uneven tire wear, or a crooked steering wheel. If you notice any of these signs, have your wheel alignment checked by a qualified technician.
- Invest in a Tire Inflator and Compressor
Investing in a tire inflator and compressor can save you time and money in the long run. It allows you to inflate your tires to the correct pressure at any time, without having to visit a gas station or tire shop.
A tire inflator and compressor also allow you to quickly inflate a spare tire in case of a flat or other emergency situation. When shopping for a tire inflator and compressor, look for one that is portable, easy to use, and can inflate tires quickly and accurately.
- Know When to Replace Worn Tires
Commercial tires have a limited service life, and it’s essential to replace them when they reach the end of their lifespan. The service life of a tire can vary depending on several factors, including the type of tire, driving conditions, and vehicle load.
To determine if it’s time to replace your commercial tires, check the tire tread depth regularly. Most tires have wear indicators that become visible as the tread wears down to a certain point. When the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace the tire.
- Keep Spare Tires on Hand for Emergencies
In addition to regular tire maintenance, it’s also essential to be prepared for emergencies. Keeping spare tires on hand can help ensure that you’re prepared for unexpected flat tires or other tire issues.
Make sure you have a spare tire that is in good condition and properly inflated, along with a tire jack and lug wrench to change the tire. You should also consider keeping a can of tire sealant or a tire repair kit in your vehicle, which can help temporarily repair a punctured tire and get you to a service station.
- Schedule Regular Tire Maintenance for Longevity
Finally, scheduling regular maintenance with a qualified tire service professional is crucial to keep your commercial tires in top condition. A professional can inspect your tires for damage, rotate them, and perform other necessary maintenance tasks to keep them performing optimally.
When scheduling maintenance, consider the age of your tires, the driving conditions, and the vehicle load. A tire professional can provide recommendations on how often to schedule maintenance and what tasks should be performed to ensure your tires are in good condition.
Proper maintenance of your commercial tires is essential to keep your business running smoothly and save you money in the long run. By following these nine commercial tire maintenance tricks, you can extend the lifespan of your tires, improve vehicle handling, and ensure that you’re prepared for any emergencies that may arise. Remember to keep your tires properly inflated, rotate them regularly, and check for damage or wear regularly to keep them in top condition