Tires are one of the top four business expenses for owner-operators. To succeed in the business of trucking, it is crucial to cut expenses down to a minimum, which means prolonging the life of your tires. Tried and true methods of getting good mileage out of your steer tires have always been: proper inflation, one three-axle alignment a year, constant inspections of your truck for worn steering components, and correct tire balance.

As a previous Fleet Service Manager, a common issue discussed with my boss was trying to account for high tire costs. I ensured I had done all the preventative maintenance steps:
  • My tires were properly aligned
  • Tire pressures were checked at each fueling
  • Toe-in was checked at regular intervals
Still, costs were high and I could not pinpoint where the problem was. My tires had wear patterns that did not make sense. Spots on the tires were worn as much as 4/32 and the rest of the tires were in great condition.  I talked with the tire manufacturing company and they claimed to have no issues with the tires, so consequently I would just run the tire out as much as I could. I would usually run the tire until the driver complaints about vibrations were so bad that my boss requested I remove the tire. I would also run tires out on a trailer, then have them recapped.

One day I observed one of our techs putting a tire on the steer axle of a truck. He rolled the tire up to the truck, put the tire on the studs, grabbed the lug nuts and torqued them down, and considered the job done. I went up to him before he could let the truck down and asked him to take all but three lug nuts off. That is when I saw the problem. The wheel was not centered to the stud and hub, which caused the uneven wear of the tire.

My long time friend Rob Webster, co-owner of Tru-Balance wheel centering products, came to this same conclusion as a Fleet Service Manager. Check out the video below to see what steps you can take to prolong your tire life and how using Tru-Balance will keep your wheels centered. 

 

Read These Next...

TRUCK Smart

Hazard Lights Ahead

May 30, 2019

TRUCK Smart

Rolling Investment

May 28, 2019

TRUCK Smart

To the Left, Please

May 23, 2019

Comment ()


I have been using centering lug nuts. Get them at the terminal for $5 ea. Will look into tru balance.

February 27, 2013 16:56:52 PM

anything to keep us drivers rolling is a good thing

February 20, 2013 20:27:55 PM

thank you will continue to check out tru balance

February 05, 2013 7:02:11 AM

Very informative and enlightening. Something every shop mechanic should know and be sensitive to. Thank you.

February 01, 2013 9:37:33 AM

We have been using TruBalance for about six years along with dynamic wheel balancing devices, and a air pressure monitoring system. To top that off we buy top of the line low rolling resistance tires. In order to maintain our investment in our tires we do not mind spending the money on accessories to get the miles out of them. We were able to 365,000 our of last wide base singles that were on our drive axle. Most drivers are amazed at our tire wear, but we know the secret of tire wear. Use the TruBalance first and go from there. Great Article

January 31, 2013 10:58:39 AM

Great video. Very informative.

January 31, 2013 8:26:57 AM

Great information Floyd. Thank you for putting this article together.

January 30, 2013 14:07:30 PM

Glad I watched the video -- looks like Team Run Smart Members get a nice discount from TruBalance.

January 30, 2013 12:43:25 PM

Thanks for the article very informitive.

January 30, 2013 12:34:46 PM

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to get the latest trucking tips and tricks!

ADD ME

Ask a question

ASK A QUESTION

Post a question to our forum and a Pro will answer as well as our community members!

GO TO THE TRUCK Smart FORUM

Keep Reading TRUCK Smart Articles

TRUCK Smart

Hazard Lights Ahead

May 30, 2019

TRUCK Smart

Rolling Investment

May 28, 2019

TRUCK Smart

To the Left, Please

May 23, 2019

TRUCK Smart

A Safe Exit

May 02, 2019

TRUCK Smart

Knowing Your Vehicle

May 02, 2019

About Floyd Zadra

Floyd has been in the truck maintenance management and repair business since 1972. He came to ATBS in November 2004 with a variety of experience, most of which was at Ryder Truck Rental where he was a Fleet Maintenance Manager. Additional experience includes Service Manager for Ruan Transportation and Fleet Maintenance Manager for a local fleet in Denver, Colorado. Floyd also worked with Freightliner Warranty for a local dealership for two years. He was previously a Board member of The Colorado Maintenance Council and held various officer positions for several years. Currently, Floyd works with the enrollment department at ATBS. In his free time, Floyd likes attending car shows, showing his truck, and his favorite color is chrome.

View Full Bio and All Posts by Floyd Zadra