Winter Tire Maintenance

As winter approaches it is important to take the proper precautions to avoid an expensive and dangerous tire blowout. Aperia Technologies reported that half of all roadside emergency calls are for tires. There are several factors that can cause damage to tire in the winter months.

Judith Monte of Aperia Technologies said, “For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature falls, tire pressure is also falling between two and three psi”. Keeping tires inflated properly is one of the most basic pieces of maintenance, but it can prove to be a little troublesome. Aperia reported that nearly one in five don’t properly check their tire inflation and half aren’t sure of the correct tire pressure. While some rely on inaccurate manual means to check their tire pressure, the only true way to check is with a proper gauge. An inexpensive tire gauge paired with proper training on how to use them would solve many problems. Many of the newer trailers, about 70%, come with automatic tire inflation systems. These are obviously much more expensive than the standard tire gauge, but they keep the tire constantly inflated to the correct psi.

It is also important to pay attention to the thread depth of the tire. Many rely on using a quarter or a nickel to check if the tires need to be changed, but again, a gauge is the most effective method and the only true way to accurately gauge them. When a truck has a blowout and gets a roadside replacement, it is important to check all the tires to make sure they all have the same depth to avoid uneven wear. If the tire depth is uneven, it will cause one tire to carry more of the load leading to quicker wear, higher heat and possibly structural failure.

Best practice for all drivers should be to conduct a pre and post drive inspection of the tires. Check the tire pressure and the thread depth before and after each trip.

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