I am not a Hoarder

I am studying Tread Wear

It is very difficult for me to throw away my old running shoes. Legend has it that I have to instruct my wife which shoes to throw away. I can not be present when the old shoes are tossed. Never has a shoe been tossed too soon. They usually have holes in the tops near the little toes on both shoes. The wear patterns are also eerily similar. They are worn the most on the outside of the heels. This tells me that the balls of my feet are wide. It also tells me that I tend to land on the outside heel. Further tread wear study reveals how I push off and that I tend to over pronate. Proper study of the tread wear helps me but the best shoes for me.

Your tire tread wear tells a story as well. Tire technology has improved since I started driving. While blown tires are not entirely a thing of the past, chances have been significantly reduced. Tires don't blow so much as they come apart. Heat is what can make them come apart. This is almost always caused by under inflation. When a tire becomes under inflated, it becomes hotter. When it becomes too hot it comes apart. When you are sitting by the side of the road, you are not worried about the difference between a tire blowing and a tire coming apart. It is costing you money.

Use a tire depth gauge as well as a tire pressure gauge. My new truck comes with a tire pressure monitoring system. This can prevent the sudden loss of a tire on the road. That sudden loss has an immediate economic impact. Between the time lost and the cost to replace the tire you feel it right away.

Studying how your tires wear also saves you money. Uneven tire wear can indicate many things. While it does not have the sudden impact of a sudden on the road tire loss, it is costing you money. Uneven tire wear can be signs of over or under inflation. Proper inflation keeps the optimal amount of tread on the road – and thus makes the truck handle better in an emergency situation.

Uneven tire wear could also be a sign of improper alignment. Your wheels could be out of balance. There could be joint or axle issues. All of these things mean that your truck is fighting against itself. A truck fighting against itself is working harder than a truck that is running in harmony with itself. Your tires will wear out quicker. You will lose fuel mileage. Parts will wear out faster and your engine will have to work harder. None of these are good things.

People may laugh, but I like to run my bare hands over the tires. This not just a loving gesture. You can feel an issue, before you can see one. It is another way to determine uneven tread wear. Take care of your tires and they will take care of you.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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