The allure of the open road has made trucking a viable and exciting career for many people, but it does come with some challenges that you may not expect. Staying on top of your vehicle's maintenance can seem overwhelming at times, but breaking each system down into a few easy tasks can make it go much smoother.
Below, you'll find a guide to some steps you should take to maintain the tires on your semi truck. Following these suggestions should help you minimize downtime as well as avoid the risk of a dangerous blowout, allowing you to deliver loads safely and on time.
Check Your Valve Caps
One of the weakest spots on a tire isn't a part of the tire at all, but rather the valve cap which holds air in the stem. Over time, your valve caps may become lost or damaged through normal wear, allowing your a slow escape of air that has the potential to lead to unbalanced loads and other tire risks.
Before each journey, make sure to carefully inspect the valve cap on each of your tires and replace any that appear to be damaged or missing. Carrying a spare container of valve caps in your cab is an important maintenance tip that you should be sure to follow before hitting the road.
Wash Your Wheels
Not all road damage comes from debris and poorly maintained surfaces. After a long trip, especially in the winter, your tires and wheels are likely to be caked with dirt, salt, and all manner of other contaminants that can risk some serious corrosion issues.
The reason road departments use salt to clear ice is that it has strong corrosive properties that, unfortunately, may also go to work on rubber and metal. Be sure to thoroughly clean your wheels and tires at stops following journeys over treated roads, and you can avoid long term, dangerous buildup.
Maintain Solid Driving Habits
Ultimately, a large percentage of tire damage is caused by user error. Driving your truck at high wheel temperatures, over rugged terrain, or at excessive speeds can all put stress on your tires and make them more likely to fail. If you want to maximize the longevity of your semi truck tires, you need to be sure to drive professionally but conservatively. Arriving safe is always preferable to arriving quickly, and your tires will be among those who thank you for that consideration.
If your tires do suffer damage, you can work with a semi truck tire service to fix it.