When it comes to commercial trucking fleets, tires are consistently one of their top maintenance costs in the business.
Consequently, managers continue to work on ways to reduce this expense.
How Long Do Commercial Truck Tires Last?
Experts seem to agree that commercial tires for trucks will last about three to six years. Therefore, if you have tires purchased more than six years ago, begin looking for replacement tires for the entirety of your fleet. Tires for commercial trucks have to be changed when the tread depth reaches 3/32 of an inch.
One viable way that managers can minimize the costs of unexpected tire repair and replacement is to comprehensively understand the lifespan of their truck tires in conjunction with planning their budgets accordingly.
Keep reading to learn all the details.
What Affects the Life of a Tire?
Understanding these factors will help you select and maintain your commercial tires.
Wear and Tear
Your truck tires can get worn quicker or slower depending on how much weight you typically carry.
As a commercial trucker, you will consistently carry heavier loads for longer stretches, so your tires will wear faster than a truck that carries lighter loads.
This is something to take into consideration when you purchase tires.
There are ongoing debates as to whether it’s critical to follow the date stamped into the tire.
Some drivers feel that the wear will determine when it’s time to get new ones, while others have to go through DOT inspections, and they will typically go by the date listed on the sidewall.
The most important way to know how long you have with your tires is to get them inspected regularly so that you can stay on top of potential problems and get the most out of the tires.
One of the essential factors when determining how long your tires will last is how you drive. Aggressive driving causes miles of the good tread to get worn down.
Your tire’s longevity depends on smooth deceleration and acceleration and not slamming on the brakes when you come to a stop.
These tactics prevent premature wear and tear and the need to purchase new tires sooner than usual.
Ensure that you’re choosing tires that are tailor-made for your truck and that are already built for endurance.
Radial tires generally have a longer lifespan than you’ll find with retreads when carrying heavier loads.
However, if you purchased retreads and you took care of them correctly, getting them regularly inspected, they could easily outlast the more reputable tire brands that do not get regular maintenance.
Another component to consider is if your tires have the same weight balance. Your tires should have the same circumference and diameter.
When you have tires that are not similar, the tire that has a smaller circumference sustains more tread damage than the other tire. The tire with a bigger diameter usually experiences more sidewall damage.
When the two tires do not have the same tread depth, it causes wear and tear.
The tire with a higher depth will start to wear down more quickly as it succumbs to the weight load.
You should always check the tread on your tires because if they are bald, meaning they have no tread, your tires will not be able to operate on the road safely.
Low or no tread makes your truck more susceptible to hydroplaning since the point of the tread is to disperse water from beneath the tire successfully and to maintain traction.
Without tread, you can lose control of the truck at any moment in unfavorable weather conditions.
Be mindful of your tires’ speed rating. Finding a tire with a lower speed rating than L is tough.
This means that the tire had a maximum speed of 75 mph.
Moreover, speed ratings go up to Y, and this corresponds with vehicles that can reach up to a top speed of 186 mph or more.
When considering the differences between light truck tires and commercial tires, the most important thing to remember is that you cannot use light truck tires (LT tires) on larger commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks.
This is also true for P-Metric tires—tires marked with a “P,” meaning they are used for passenger vehicles.
Interestingly, commercial truck tires do not have a specific distinction; this is why you must understand how commercial truck tires get tested before you purchase them for your vehicle.
Commercial Truck Tire Maintenance
Safety for yourself and other drivers on the road is a crucial component for caring for the tires on your truck.
Diligently engaging in regular maintenance goes a long way toward keeping the tires in good shape.
Purchase Commercial Tires That Are High-Quality
Ensure that the tires you buy are built to last. They should have this information readily available when you make the purchase.
Have they undergone extensive testing to support their reliability? While it is more convenient to purchase cheap tires at first, over time, you’ll likely pay more than if you had just invested in quality tires from the beginning.
Top-notch tires require less maintenance, and they last longer.
Monitor Tire Inflation
If your tires are not correctly inflated, it can cause irregular wear, increased wear blowouts while driving, and other safety hazards.
Either way, it can cause your tires to go out sooner than expected.
Meaning more money you’ll have to pay for a new set.
If you don’t keep your tires inflated properly, the tire shoulders get damaged more quickly. It’ll ultimately cause structural failure to the weakened sidewalls.
When tread separation and ruptures separate, your tires are no good.
Likewise, overinflated tires will wear in the middle more rapidly, which directly leads to a blowout.
Get your tires regularly inspected to prevent either of these situations from occurring.
Even if you adjust your tires to the correct PSI, they can still lose pressure slowly and rapidly when the temperatures drop.
Rotate Tires Regularly
Wear and tear on your tires will occur in different places depending on if they’re in the front or the rear.
Front tires get worn on the shoulders quicker, while the rear tires have more wear in the middle.
The rear tires support the weight more, and therefore, they will lose tread the fastest.
If you regularly rotate your tires, the wear is more equal between the front and the back tires. This keeps them all in a similar condition for longer.
It’s best if you can get your tires rotated when you’re getting another necessary service like an oil change.
If not, however, the rule of thumb is to switch the tires every 6,000-8,000 miles, even if you aren’t taking it to the shop for something else.
The truck will ride better, and the tires will last longer.
Commercial truck tires can last up to six years, but it’s essential to keep an eye on them to see if they need an early replacement.
You must always visually inspect your tires before hitting the road. Check them out for cuts, bulges, and irregularities in the tread.
Abnormalities are issues such as uneven wear from tire to tire, which may let you know up-front that your tires are not inflated correctly.
If you’re always looking over your tires, it’s quickly apparent when something is out of order.
Tackle any problems before they get too serious, and remember that no tires last forever.