Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that comes in contact with the road. They're your first line of defense against inclement weather, and they can significantly impact driver safety, vehicle handling, and fuel economy.
Regular tire maintenance is an important part of your ongoing preventive maintenance schedule. Routine inspections can help you identify small problems like uneven tread wear before they become major issues, which will save your business money in the long term by increasing the lifespan of your tires and reducing the likelihood of other, more expensive repairs. Monthly inspections are recommended, but if you drive over a pothole, live in a cold climate, or drive long distances, you may wish to inspect your tires more frequently.
For the best performance, your tires should:
Poorly maintained tires can lead to premature wear and tear, flats, and even blowouts. With a Linxup GPS tracking system, you can ensure that your tires are inspected regularly by creating automated maintenance reminders. Reminders can be configured based on distance driven or time passed, depending on what best suits your fleet.
Learn more about managing your active maintenance reminders – watch this video:
There are two components to inspecting your tires:
Visual tire inspections should be performed monthly. When you're inspecting your tires, keep your eyes open for the following:
1. Tread wear on one edge of the tire. This typically indicates misalignment.
2. Erratic tread wear, also known as “cupping”. This can signal unbalanced wheels, or that your shock absorbers or other components need replacement.
3. Raised portions of tread or on the sidewall. This means the tire is breaking down internally and requires replacement.
4. Anything stuck in your tires, such as nails, screws, stones, and bolts.
The penny test is a common and simple way to check your tread. Take a penny and slide Lincoln's head, hair first, into the tread.
If the top of his head is visible, your tires have enough tread. If you can see his full head, it's time to consult a mechanic and change your tires. Check the outer and inner edges, as well as the center of your tires.
While you're driving, pay attentiong to:
There are a few things you can do in addition to performing monthly tire inspections to help prolong the life of your tires, reduce fuel consumption, and increase your driver safety.
Checking tire inflation is a key component of performing a visual inspection, but don't rely entirely on what you see. Always check your tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge; a tire can lose 50% of its PSI without appearing like it has lost any pressure at all. Be sure to check your spare tire as well.
Your front and rear tires carry different loads, and as such will wear differently. Rotating your tires every 7,000-10,000 miles can help prevent uneven wear and tear, as well as prolong the life of your suspension by reducing unnecessary vibration.
Balancing your tires limits vibration and helps eliminate uneven wear and tear.
Alignment problems can lead to uneven wear and tear, poor fuel economy, and handling issues. Your business's vehicles should drive straight down the road without drifting or pulling to one side. If you notice drifting and pulling, get your vehicle checked—these symptoms can indicate other issues.
With a Linxup GPS tracking system, you can make sure that you and your drivers never miss a routine tire inspection again. Simply input maintenance histories for each vehicle in your fleet and create automatic email and text message reminders when scheduled maintenance is due.
Learn more about creating automated maintenance reminders with Linxup.