Tire safety and maintenance are very important and necessary in operating a used dump truck. There are a lot of different factors that could affect the lifespan and safety of any tire. Heavy vehicles must use extra precautions on the road. Safety is always the number one concern and business operations are another major concern. Here are some unspoken guidelines that will help any used dump truck owner or operator comply with necessary tire safety on their vehicles.
Quality and New Tires
New tires do not always mean better quality. Most people remember the Firestone Company problems with SUV tires during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. New “supposedly” quality tires were failing and causing life-threatening accidents. Always take some time to do research on the specific tires that are under consideration for purchase and always select new dependable tires. Do not consider used tires for any type of business. Used tires on a used dump truck will cost more in the long run and can put precious lives in jeopardy.
Longevity and Tire Pressure
One of the biggest contributing factors to tire failure is under-inflation. The tires must be inflated to proper levels that are determined by the type of tire and the vehicle. For example, tires designed for cars would not be acceptable for trucks or most commercial vehicles. The tires would create extra friction and heat up, decreasing the longevity of the tire and could fail prematurely. Ensure that the tire that has been selected for business or personal use is designed for that vehicle and its purpose.
Any used dump truck would use large durable tires, while any personal passenger vehicle would use smaller and less rugged tires. Tires for commercial use must consider what type of surface it will be primarily travel upon, such as gravel, dirt, concrete, asphalt or no road at all. Under-inflation causes more friction and decreases the life of the tire, but over-inflation of tires can also cause tires to fail.
Maintaining proper air inflation extends the life of the tire; over-inflation causes the steel casing cords to expand and weaken. Tires expand and contract with heat or lack of heat. The expansion and contraction with improper inflation is detrimental to the life of the tire. Always consider where the tires will be used. If it is in an area that is warm and cool at times, tires will contract with lower temperatures and expand with high temperatures. If a tire is over-inflated while the natural environment is cool, the tire will expand with use or when temperatures rise, which increases the possibility of a blow out.
Longevity and Vehicle Maintenance
Alignment and suspension maintenance is imperative in increasing the life of tires on a used dump truck. When suspension and/or alignment are not properly maintained, the tires are not in contact with the surface equally and will wear down the tire unevenly. Uneven deterioration will cause the tire to fail unexpectedly before its normal life expectancy. Imagine a 2×4 board that was cut a half inch from its thickness. The weakest point would one and a half inches. If the board was cut diagonally across its thickness, the weakest point has been increased, which means it would be easier to break. Proper alignment and suspension maintenance will increase the chances that the tire is touching the surface evenly.
Longevity and Driving Style
Excess acceleration and turning on a tight radius while driving a used dump truck will put added uneven stress on the tire. Again, uneven stress and friction decreases the life of the tire and increases the chance of failure. Making wider turns increases the shift of weight to transfer properly onto the tire decreasing uneven pressure and friction.
Premature Deterioration and Tire Failure
The best method of avoiding tire failures on any used dump truck is taking preventative measures and making proper inspections. An inspection and prevention tire failure program that is specified for the conditions and environment of the tire and vehicle will decrease the chances of tire failure. Tire selection, vehicle and tire maintenance, and driving style must be considered when creating a program because they are factors that can increase or decrease the life expectancy of a tire. An attempt to create a universal program without considering local conditions and environments where the tires function would be futile.
Proper vehicle and tire monitoring decreases the cost of operating a used dump truck or any other vehicle, which in turn increases profits and puts more money into your hands. Sounds like a pretty good goal for all of us!