With a continued focus on increased productivity, fleets and owner operators are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and increase up-time and need to know tyre pressure can affect your bottom line. As tyres are one of the major expenses in the transport industry, getting the most out of your tyres is essential.
Tyres represent one of the most important maintenance items of a trailer and a significant cause of trailer down time. It is estimated that up to 85 per cent of blowouts could be prevented if tyres were correctly inflated. While the number one problem with trailer tyres is under inflation, over inflation and mis-matched duals also account for their share of trouble.
Under inflation can result in reduced tyre life expectancy due to sidewall deflection, generating excess heat and weakening the internal tyre structure. Under inflation increases the tyre contact area, increasing rolling resistance and resulting in increased fuel consumption.
Over inflated tyres are harder than correctly inflated tyres making them susceptible to tread surface cutting, punctures and impact breaks. Over inflation changes the tyre’s contact area, which can affect tyre traction and lead to irregular wear patterns such as edge wear.
Mismatched tyres. Tyres in a dual configuration are intended to share the load equally between tyres that have the same size, diameter and tread pattern. However, with a pressure difference of 35kPa (5psi) or more, tyres can prematurely wear causing differences in tyre circumference resulting in tyre drag, irregular wear, and reduce bearing life. Tyre circumference on matched duals should not deviate more than 19mm.
Tyre inflation pressure should be checked on a regular basis. Most tyre companies recommend that tyres are checked with a calibrated pressure gauge once a week in addition to the pre and post trip checks by drivers. It is essential that drivers, repairers and tyre fitters know the manufacturer’s stipulated minimum cold inflation pressure of their vehicles.
Maintaining proper tyre pressures can extend tyre life substantially, reduce maintenance and save thousands of dollars annually. By gaining a better understanding of under-inflation, over inflation and mismatched duals, fleets and owner operators can make informed decisions when it comes to specifying trailer tyre pressure maintenance equipment. Pressure monitoring provides positive economic return on investment, and safety outcomes that are invaluable.
Monitor tyre pressure and eliminate the issue before it becomes a hazard. Tyres can provide great service and improve economic outcomes but only when they are correctly inflated.