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It is well documented that the No. 1 cause of roadside service calls is tires. No wonder, there are 18 tires on a typical line-haul service vehicle, more tires than any other vehicle component. You can have the best vehicle maintenance program on the planet, but once that truck leaves the terminal, a number of tire issues can occur that can lead to a roadside service call.
Tread area punctures are the top cause of air loss. A tire failure depends on the size of the puncturing object, in combination with the specific penetration location. If that nail penetrates through one of the tread grooves, chances are higher the nail will break through the tire casing, causing air loss. Tires do not normally have a sudden air loss when a vehicle picks up a puncturing object; they lose air slowly. It may take a few days to lose enough air pressure where the tire sidewalls begin excessive flexing, which generates additional heat build-up.
The tire footprint becomes longer as the tire pressure is reduced, meaning more rubber on the road—which also leads to increased heat. Heat is a tire’s worst nightmare. When a tire continues to generate excessive heat, the rubber actually begins to chemically break down, which will lead to a tire failure. The fact that someone just checked all 18 tires at the morning vehicle walk-around has no bearing on picking a up a nail five minutes down the road.
Sidewall damage/snags are another cause of tire failure. Right side or curb side trailer tires are especially prone to sidewall issues. Vehicles that turn frequently in city driving have the highest incidence of tire sidewall damage. Driver education can play a major role in reducing trailer tire sidewall damage. Drivers who have been on the road for many years will have fewer trailer tire sidewall damage issues than a new driver.
When a vehicle is pulled over for a roadside inspection, tires are high up on the inspector’s checklist. Inspectors are looking for tires with tread depth below the minimum 4/32-in. for steers and 2/32-in. for drives, trailers and dollies. They also are looking for exposed belts and/or fabric along with flat tires. By definition, a tire is flat when the measured air pressure is 50% or less of the maximum tire pressure molded onto the tire sidewall.
If any of these tire conditions are present, the vehicle is flagged as being “out-of-service.” A roadside service call is the only solution for getting the truck up and running again.
There is no excuse for a fleet to have an inspector flag its vehicle as being out-of-service because of a tire-related issue. These types of tire conditions should have been caught during the daily vehicle walk-around. Drivers must be trained to visually inspect tires, take tread depths and even measure tire pressure. It sounds like it is routine, but it’s not. Working with your tire professional on a tires 101 training class will go a long way to reduce roadside service calls.
Visual tire inspections should include running a hand over the tread and sidewall to look for signs of irregular wear and punctures. If a tire is getting close to the legal tread depth, a tread depth gauge measurement is strongly suggested. Make sure to check that the tread depth gauge measures 0 on a flat. Don’t take a measurement at a treadwear indicator location or on top of one of those stone ejectors located at the bottom of many grooves. If you do, you could be off 2/32-in. or 3/32-in.
Measuring tire pressure using a calibrated pressure gauge is very critical. Air carries the load, and tires with low air pressure will lead to excessive heat and premature tire removals. Tire gauges are simple devices, but will quickly lose accuracy. Even a new stick gauge is only accurate to +/-3 PSI brand new, out of the box.
A serious tire program, which includes comprehensive driver training regarding tires, will go a long way in reducing-tire related roadside service calls.
Learn more at: http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/reducing-tire-related-roadside-service-calls/
Find Truck Tires here.
The short film, which lasts around two minutes, invites the viewer to see the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand in a new dimension.
A&T Road Service added Truck 32 in 2014. It was a brand new 2014 Kenworth with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.
It is outfitted with tools and parts to make minor mechanical repairs, air line repair, fuel line repairs, add fuel, and can take care of any DEF needs. It is also equipped with extra high intensity lights for more effective and efficient night work, since A&T Road Service is available 24 hours a day.
North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205, You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com
Good IIHS headlight ratings linked to lower crash rates
The headlight ratings program developed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reducing dangerous nighttime crashes in the real world, a recent study shows.
Nighttime crash rates per mile are nearly 20 percent lower for vehicles with headlights that earn a good rating in the IIHS evaluation, compared with those with poor-rated headlights, the study found. For vehicles with acceptable or marginal headlights, crash rates are 15 percent and 10 percent lower than for those with poor ratings.
There are many reasons why you should take good care of your car. Not only is your vehicle a very expensive investment that you want to last for as long as possible, but your safety can also be at risk if your car is not performing at its best. One of the most overlooked factory scheduled car maintenance requirements for ALL vehicles is tire care.
Tires should be in good condition at all times. And as soon as they begin to show signs of wear and tear, it is time to have them replaced. In between tire replacement, your tires require regular rotations and balancing, as well as daily air pressure monitoring.
If you fail to take good care of your tires, they can begin to lose their ability to do their job, which can put your safety at risk. Tire pressure is a common problem that can influence your overall tire performance and safety. Be sure to routinely inspect your tires for proper inflation; you don't want them to be over or under-inflated.
The Dangers of Under-Inflated Tires
Bulges can form in the tire walls, which can weaken areas of the tires, and put them at a higher risk of blowing out on the road.
Under-inflated tires will cause reduced fuel efficiency, which affects a driver's budget and vehicle reliability.
Under-inflated tires will impede vehicular mobility, which can be dangerous in the defensive driving scenario and inclement weather, and while navigating small spaces.
The Dangers of Over-Inflated Tires
Over-inflated tires can cause an increase air temperature within them, which can lead to sudden blowouts while driving. They can also lead to an imbalance of contact on the road among all four tires, which can hinder vehicular mobility and handling.
According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
A tire that is 25% above the recommended air pressure is 2 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
A tire that is 25% below the recommended tire pressure is 3 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
There are virtually 11,000 tire-related motor vehicle accidents every year.
Nearly 75% of roadside flats are a result of improper tire pressure.
If you get a flat as a result of over or under-inflation, you can try to repair it yourself if you have a spare tire or an emergency roadside kit. If you are not capable of repairing or changing your flat, you can contact a local towing company for 24-hour roadside assistance service.
They can respond to your location within a short amount of time, repair your tire, or tow you to the location of your choice. Whether it is 3 o'clock in the morning or 5:30 rush hour, they have the resources to get you back on the road in no time at all.
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