The Top Tips and Tricks for Tire Maintenance
Authored by: Andrew Montanino
Although tires may seem simple and are often overlooked, they are actually one of the most crucial components in regard to your ride’s safety, efficiency, and comfort.
At City Rent A Truck, we understand the ONLY part of your vehicle that’s actually touching the road is a small piece of each tire known as a contact patch. We ask a whole lot of those little strips of rubber, they need to move us at high speeds for prolonged periods and then stop us in short distances. They also need to provide comfort and stability for drivers, passengers, and their cargo. All of this while staying as fuel-efficient, quiet, and durable as possible. They are constantly subjected to massive weights, temperature changes, various weather/road conditions, and tremendous g-force.
This is why having a properly implemented tire maintenance program for your fleet is so crucial to your business. Knowing how to keep them in good condition will:
- Improve ride quality – keeping drivers comfortable and enabling them to work harder for longer
- Maximize fuel economy – reducing overall fuel costs for your fleet
- Maximize treadwear – keeping tires quieter at high speeds and safe in adverse weather conditions
- Extend the overall life of tires – trim vehicle downtime and reduce costs of replacement for your fleet
Implementing this program can be broken into 2 parts. A daily, pre-drive inspection, and service performed at a shop that should be combined with regularly scheduled maintenance.
- Examine tread depth – Ideally, use an approved tread wear gauge. This will tell you if the tread is worn beyond what is safe or legal. If you do not have one, you can do this by looking at the wear bars to make sure they are not protruding beyond the tread blocks. If so, it’s time for replacement. Another trick is to use the “penny test.” Insert a penny upside down into a tread groove. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible this indicates the tread is worn.
- Visual inspection – Look over the whole tire to note any abnormalities in treadwear, (feathering, flat spots or uneven wear can indicate an issue) inspect sidewall condition for bulges or excessive cracking, and scrutinize for punctures as well.
- Check air pressure – Do this while tires are still cold using a certified pressure gauge. The correct pressures for your tires can be found on the placard inside of the driver’s doorsill. (Do not go off the info listed on the tire sidewall.) Also note that many vehicles require different pressures for front and rear tires.
AT TIME OF SERVICE:
- Be sure that when you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance that the tires are rotated. A good rule of thumb is to have this completed along with every oil change.
When you choose a truck or van rental partner you want to make sure they treat their tires with the same esteem that you do. After all, you are putting the safety of your drivers in their hands. At City Rent A Truck we pride ourselves on our attentiveness to the routine maintenance of our entire fleet. Our trucks and vans were built to get the job done. We can ensure they are more than capable of this through routine care, from the ground up… Literally.
If you have any questions about tire or general vehicle maintenance that this blog didn’t answer, be sure to contact a rental rep at any of our locations.