A deep tread does not guarantee long tread life
This week, I stopped by a tire shop to have some maintenance done on my trailer. While waiting, I watched as drivers came in the shop to purchase tires for their equipment. I couldn’t help but notice that some of the tires they selected were not right for their application. The most common error was choosing a tire that was designed for high scrub urban use in a long haul highway application.
When speaking with drivers, they’re selection was based only on price and the tire having 22 (32nds) of tread depth. The thought behind choosing the high scrub tire is that it offers 4 (32nds) more tread depth than a typical highway type tire which only has 16 to 18 (32nds) of tread. Drivers may reason with themselves that the extra 4 (32nds) of tread would lead to longer tire life. This is a case where more is not always better.
A high scrub urban steer tire is designed to operate in an urban setting where there is constant turning and maneuvering causing a high degree of scrub wear to the tread surface. This is also the reason why these tires are designed without a defense groove at the outer edge of the tread. When used as designed, the tread is constantly scrubbed clean. If used in long haul highway service, the extra tread depth causes more flexing and irregular wear.
Let’s look at a long haul highway tire design. These tires will typically have a tread depth of 16 to 18 (32nds). The shallow tread depth is designed to combat irregular tread wear. Another feature of a long haul highway type tire is a defense groove at the outer edge of the tread that reduces irregular river wear. There is also a lower rolling resistance associated with a highway type tread design.
Over the years, tires have become increasingly application sensitive and therefore it pays off to do your
homework before selecting/buying truck tires. You can find many resources available at each of the tire manufacturer websites. These sites can help to answer any questions you may have and can assist in doing the necessary research prior to making your purchasing decision. One website that I’ve found particularly helpful is Michelin
Commercial Truck Tire . Their site offers everything from rolling resistance to application information in great detail.
Tires are a major business expense and therefore doing the extra research will help you in selecting the proper tires for your business operation. Also, choosing the right tires can assist in lowering your cost of operation per mile.