Beat the Heat by Preventing Tire Blowouts

+500 MILES

Record high temperatures this summer have caused excessive tire blowoutsand many fleets and owner-operators saw their tire repairs increase up to 8 percent. With tires being one of the highest costs for owner-operators, an 8 percent increase may not seem like much, but this can really affect your bottom line.

Tires and excessive heat are a bad combo for every driver from NASCAR to Owner/Operators. NASCAR drivers use Nitrogen instead of compressed air in their tires for increased pressure stabilization on excessive runs. Unfortunately, the transportation industry has not caught up with this technology, and Nitrogen is not easily accessible to truck drivers as of today.  Even though Nitrogen is not conveniently available to the transportation industry, there are some pre-emptive measures you can take to protect your tires from the heat, which means protecting your bottom line.

Proper inflation pressure significantly helps to reduce tire blowouts. It’s not typically the wear that causes a tire to blow, but over or under inflation.  You should frequently conduct tire inspections, as often as twice a day in the summer. Do not neglect tire inspections in the winter, though, because an underinflated tire in the winter will likely blowout when the summer heat hits.
 
A Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring Systems (TPMS) alerts you when one of your tires has low pressure, giving you the opportunity to adjust the pressure before it blows. Prime, Inc. created a TPMS specially designed to meet the professional truck drivers needs - the TST 507SCE TPMS.  The TST 507SCE TPMS system runs on industrial-grade, sealed tire sensors with brass threading and military-grade 5-7 year lithium-cadmium batteries.  This system costs anywhere from $299 - $1099 depending on how many tires your truck rides on.  The TPMS system can also be purchased with an optional flow through censor that allows you to check and monitor the tire pressure easily.  I recommend that every driver purchase a TPMS, especially if you are running on recap tires. It is worth the investment and the monitor will pay for itself within a year due to your decrease in tire blowouts.
 
Another clear advantage from purchasing a TPMS is that consistently having the correct pressure in your tires will also increase your fuel efficiency. The Pros at Prime claim the TST 507SCE TPMS will save you an average of over $2800 a year in fuel!

Beat the heat the rest of the summer by monitoring your tire inflation pressure. Perform a tire inspection twice a day and invest in a TPMS to ensure your tires are properly inflated.  These few pre-emptive measures will protect your tires and protect your bottom line. 
 
Come back to Truck Smart for more tire pressure tips and tricks coming soon!

*  The TST 507SCE TPMS is available from Truck System Technologies, Inc. and sold direct from DTNA.
+500 MILES
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By
Bill McClusky

I have been in the trucking and construction equipment service industry for 23 years as a service technician, component rebuild specialist (engine, transmission, and axle), service department manager, instructor and consultant. I was a class 8 truck driver for 3 years pulling wet and dry tanks. I have been with American Truck Business Services for 4 years serving as a Business Consultant, Maintenance Consultant, and Instructor.

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COMMENTS +300 miles

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Kim Behne
Play all the angles to be profitable!
10/13/2012 9:27:12 AM

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Frank Wehmeyer
Hello everyone. I enjoy reading all the tips listed. I always found my trusty old tire gauge to be simple, inexpensive and reliable. Most tpms systems work. A driver just needs to pick one and use it. I believe that random tire blowouts are rare. Most tire problems i believe come from the slow leaks that are undetected. Also just pushing a tires life too far. Tires don't wear out overnight. Everyone should have a replacement plan in their budget. That way you can be proactive in replacing worn tires and not wait for a blowout from a worn tire.
9/21/2012 2:58:42 PM

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Chris Thomas
I think how what level your tires should be at concerning psi has a little to do with the type of trucking you have too, are you going to be on the highway all the time, going into drop yards and warehouses, or a little off-road once in awhile. Also, how are you loaded? Flatbed and van drivers usually have it pretty easy, with slow gradual changes to the weight placed on tires. Tanks, dumps, and hoppers on the other hand can be loaded with 25 tons in a minute or less sometimes.
9/20/2012 9:36:25 PM

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Bill McClusky
Sorry Robert, I was answering your questions. Don't where the Mike came from. My apologies.
9/12/2012 8:58:52 PM

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Bill McClusky
Mike, regarding your second question. Any of the tire pressure equalization products are great tools to help drivers get long life from their tires. (much better than the old bump them with a hammer method) I highly recommend.
9/12/2012 7:35:59 PM

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Bill McClusky
Hi Mike. Great questions, thanks for posting. There is no single magic number when it comes to tire pressure that will apply for all load and service conditions. The inflation pressure information on the tire side wall is the max inflation for a given load. Carriers know the average load weight hauled and use this information along with historical tire longevity numbers to determine an approximate tire pressure to use. Most tire manufacturers provide load and inflation tables for each model of tire they manufacture.Going by these tables would require you to scale every load and adjust the pressure accordingly. (pretty labor intensive). I used a different method. I purchased a tire depth gauge and periodically checked each tire in 3 places across the tread and adjusted the pressure accordingly. This keeps the full tread footprint on the ground providing long life and good traction.
9/12/2012 7:30:32 PM

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Robert Baker
Two questions. 1.) Company I work for states that best to pressure your tire at 100 psi across the board. Why would they do that if factory specs on tire and on truck call for 110 psi.
2.) I would be interested in your opinion of the Crossfire© air balancers or similar items.
9/11/2012 10:53:55 PM

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David Abbott
All information for safety and to save money is welcomed. Thanks Bill
9/9/2012 4:44:22 PM

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Rick Ash
When checking tires, don't just "thump them" with a hammer or tire thumper. That will not give you any indication of the actual tire pressure. When you're paying $400-$500 per tire for good tires, a good tire pressure gauge is a good investment.
8/31/2012 1:44:02 PM

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Bill McClusky
To silver silverthorne: Truck System Technologies offers several types of sensors both internal and external. The internal type requires that the tire be broken down to install and has a battery life of 5 to 7 years. Being located inside the tire will shield the sensor from road debris, ice, snow, rocks , etc. The downside is you have to break down the tire to service or replace the sensor. The battery is not replaceable so the sensor has to be replaced when the battery dies. There are two types of external sensors. They use a special installation wrench to deter theft and are easily accessible. The battery is replaceable and uses a watch battery style of battery. My preference would be the external flow through sensors. Easily accessible and you do not have to remove the sensor to adjust tire pressure. To date I have not heard of any problems with this system.
8/28/2012 9:06:33 AM

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silver silverthorne
with the new types of tpms,compared to just standerd driver test,how does breakage or air leaks percentage wise,or is it driver repaireable on the road
8/27/2012 4:50:27 PM

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shamon hall
Tires are really vital to any vehicle they are like the feet if they arent taking care of they will fail you. Great tips!!
8/26/2012 4:45:28 PM

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Steve Jones
Bill, thanks for the helpful information. In today's economy, Im all for anything to increase bottom line.
8/23/2012 7:02:29 AM

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Craig McCue
Thanks Bill,

I have been looking at different systems and it is nice to have a non-salesmans opinion. Each ad you read is of course the best on the market and sometimes it is difficult to wade through all the bs.

Keep the great information coming.

Craig
8/22/2012 5:37:02 PM

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Henry Albert
Great tips. Under inflated tires tires really give retread tires a bad name. If you run a new tire or a recap low on air its going to low on air it will fail. The only difference when it happens to a retread versus a new tire is the retread will get unjustly blamed for the failure.
8/22/2012 4:54:49 PM

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Mike Hosted
Better fuel mileage, longer tire life, and fewer blowouts. Tire pressure is so important and an easy step that most people skip.
8/22/2012 11:52:24 AM

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George Matta
Bill, I really appreciate your insight on this all-important topic that many drivers may not have known about. Keep the articles and tips coming!
8/22/2012 9:48:48 AM

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Linda Caffee
Another benefit to keeping tires properly inflated is an increase in fuel mileage
8/22/2012 8:51:33 AM

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