More from: Truck Tires

Winter Driving 101: Do You Know How to Chain Your Tires?

It only takes a few inches of wet snow and a slight incline to stop a truck in its tracks. Once stopped, a big rig weighing 10,000 pounds or more suddenly becomes a serious problem. That’s why tire chains are required in some locales where snow and ice are routine problems every winter. So when posed with the question: Do you know how to chain your tires? It is surprising to learn how many truckers do not learn this procedure.

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The East Oregonian ran a story on February 8 (2016) profiling two men who work as certified tire chain installers along a 30-mile stretch of I-84 in the northern part of Oregon. These certified installers are among a group of five certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation to help truckers install tire chains when necessary. This particular crew is called into action, whenever the DOT declares chains are required on their stretch of highway.

According to the East Oregonian story, professional tire chain helpers often find themselves helping truckers, who have never installed chains before. Some of the drivers are new to the truck driving occupation; others have worked for companies, with policies in place instructing drivers to park when conditions are severe enough to require chains. The pros say the biggest problem they encounter among inexperienced drivers, is chains that are not put on tight enough.

Chains that are too loose are prone to falling off without warning. That could be a big problem in the middle of a steep grade where there is very little room for error. Lose a chain while climbing and it is nearly impossible to get it back on again. The pros make a point of getting chains as tight as humanly possible. More impressively, they can completely chain a truck and get it on its way in about 20 minutes.

Know Your Company Policy

The best advice we can give truckers starts with understanding company policy. If your company expects you to keep running even in the snow, it is important that you learn how to apply chains quickly and effectively. You might also want to maintain a supply of chains on your truck just in case state DOTs either don’t lend them or run out during a heavy snowstorm.

Company drivers who are encouraged by their employers to park during heavy snow should obviously abide by those recommendations. Pressing on in extreme weather and winding up in an accident, not only jeopardizes one’s own safety and health, but it could also jeopardize one’s job. It’s better to just park and wait it out, than to violate company policy.

Independent contractors should certainly consider purchasing chains as well. We carry them here at Mytee, along with a full range of truck tires for all positions. The right combination of tires and chains will keep you on the road except under the most extreme conditions.

Making a Living in the Snow

We commend the dedicated workers in Oregon who brave miserable weather conditions to help truckers apply tire chains. It cannot be easy to spend an entire workday kneeling in the snow, being dripped on by dirty, melting snow underneath wheel hubs, and constantly having to worry about other truck traffic that could be potentially deadly. These individuals certainly deserve the respect of the entire trucking community.

Should you ever have need of their services, we hope you will show them your appreciation and respect. Getting professional help to chain your tires will get you back on the road quicker and ensure that your chains are properly fastened. Everybody wins in the end.

Sources:

  • East Oregonian – http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160208/chain-men-embrace-cold-and-dirty-job

How To Detect and Avoid Abnormal Truck Tire Wear

The average independent trucker invests a lot of money on truck tires – It’s part of the game. But take a moment to step back and consider how important a role tires play in everything you do as a trucker. The rubber underneath you affects your mileage, your handling, the kinds of loads you can safely carry and, ultimately, your profit margin at the end of the year. That means minimizing tire wear plays a pivotal roll in improving your bottom line.

Truck tires wear out just as anything else on your truck. What you should be most concerned about is abnormal wear. When tires wear abnormally, this is a sign that something else is wrong with your truck or your driving habits. Correcting the issues causing the abnormal wear is imperative.

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Abnormal Wear on Steer Tires

Your steer position tires are most susceptible to abnormal wear because they take the brunt of the friction as you drive down the road. There are multiple classifications of abnormal wear including full shoulder wear, feathered wear, cupping, and toe-in/toe-out wear. The wear pattern on your steer position tires should tell you what’s going on with your truck.

For example, full shoulder wear is often the result of side scrubbing, according to Fleet Equipment Magazine‘s Al Cohn. He says that side scrubbing is caused by either the steer axle or drive axle being misaligned. When axles are not properly aligned with each other and the truck frame, the misaligned axle pushes against the tires on the wide side of the angle. This causes the full shoulder wear on that side.

Cohn also says drivers should be looking for cupping – i.e., a wavy wear pattern – on steer position tires. Cupping is likely a sign that a wheel is out of balance, although under-inflation can also cause cupping as well.

Abnormal Wear on Trailer Tires

Truck tires mounted on the trailer position are not exposed to the same level of stress as drive and steer position tires. Nonetheless, they can wear abnormally under the right conditions. Cohn suggests checking trailer tires regularly for signs of brake skid, diagonal wear, shoulder wear, and depressed wear.

Tire damage resulting from brake skids is an obvious sign that the driver is using his or her brakes too aggressively. The most effective way to approach the problem is to be more gradual and purposeful in the braking process. Avoiding skids will certainly increase the life of your trailer tires.

As for the other three kinds of wear, they can be caused by a number of different problems. For example, excessive camber or bearing problems can cause unusual shoulder wear on one side of the trailer. Diagonal wear can be caused by skids or by using mismatched duals on the same axle. Depressed wear is often the result of tire under-inflation.

According to Cohn, the keys to maximizing tire performance and minimizing wear are proper tire inflation and routine equipment checks that look at wheel balance and axle alignment. Keeping those three things in check ensures your truck tires run smooth, straight, and at recommended pressures.

Mytee Products carries a full line of truck tires for all positions, offering well-known manufacturers including Triangle, Double Coin, Roadmaster, and Super Cargo. You can find complete details about our entire tire inventory here on our website. You can search for tires by manufacturer, brand, position, price, or profile.

Remember, you invest an awful lot in your tires regardless of where you purchase them. Protect your investment by taking care of your tires at all times.

Sources:

  • Fleet Equipment Magazine – http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/minimizing-irregular-truck-tire-wear/

What to Remember When Choosing New Truck Tires

Whether you are an independent operator or a fleet manager, you will face the decision of choosing new truck tires at some point during your career. You will be looking at tires for both tractors and trailers as well. What you choose will directly affect how your trucks perform down the road. It is safe to say that choosing truck tires is as important as choosing flatbed tarps and tarping systems.

Truck owners have a few standard choices in terms of size:

  •  295 truck tires
  • 285 truck tires
  • 11R22.5 truck tires
  • 11R24.5 truck tires

There is also the question of bias, radials and tubeless tires to consider. Ideally, a truck driver wants a tire that will provide maximum performance under most weather conditions and specific load requirements. Those requirements may change throughout a driver’s career. Therefore, a truck owner may have to reconsider all of his or her options whenever tires need to be replaced.

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Size and Load Concerns

Perhaps the two most important factors when choosing new truck tires are size and load concerns. When we speak of size, we are talking about the size of a tire in relation to the rig on which it is being mounted. Size needs to be considered from three angles:

  • Vertical Clearance – Vertical clearance is the amount of space between the top of the tread tire and the structure above it. However, it cannot be measured solely by the amount of space that exists when the truck is at rest. Clearance changes along with axle movement as the truck moves down the road. Drivers need to consider total clearance on either end as dictated by a truck’s axle stop.
  •  Front Tire Clearance – This is the distance between the edge of the tire tread and the front of the tractor in the steering position. It must be measured by moving the front to full left, then to full right. Minimum clearance will occur somewhere between the two lock positions.
  • Tire Width – The overall tire width becomes important when mounting tires side-by-side on the same axle. Tire width must be measured at the top position rather than the bottom. Remember that the width at the bottom will increase under load as the tire surface is compressed.

In addition to the size of the tires themselves, drivers have to consider the kinds of loads they are carrying. Some shippers pay based on weight, expecting drivers to carry loads as heavy as possible while remaining within legal limits. One way to maximize load weight is to reduce the weight of tires and rims. But tires not rated to handle the weight of heavier loads will obviously be inappropriate.

Drivers and fleet managers can choose either bias or radial tires depending on their needs. Both choices include several subcategories including tubeless, tube-type, low profile, and wide-base single tires. Again, the choice relies heavily on the rig being used and the types of loads most frequently carried.

As with flatbed tarps and tarping systems, there is no particular tire that works for every driver under every circumstance. Tires are a very personal choice that each rig owner has to make individually. Thankfully, there are enough options and manufacturers to meet just about every need.

At Mytee Products, we are proud to serve our customers with a full line of truck and trailer tires. We carry several of the best-known manufacturers including Triangle truck tires. We also have multiple sizes as well. While you are shopping for truck tires, do not forget to upgrade your stock of flatbed tarps as well.


Choosing the Right Truck and Trailer Tires for Your Rig

Trucking companies and owner-operators don’t have the luxury of choosing a single tire the way car owners do. In other words, car owners choose a specific make and model of a tire that is installed uniformly on all four wheels. Truckers have to consider different options based on drive position, traction position, and trailer position. They have to make their choices based on the kind of handling and traction they want as compared to how much they can afford to spend.

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Mytee Products carries a range of tires in the All Position and Drive Position categories. Below is a brief description of all four tire categories offered by manufacturers of truck and trailer tires:

1.Steer Position – The steer position includes the two front tires of the tractor. This position takes its name from the fact that steering is the domain of the front axle. Tires made specifically for this position typically utilize a ribbed tread design to move water away from the tire as it rolls down the road. They provide the best handling under all weather conditions.

2.Drive Position – The drive position includes the four wheels at the rear of the tractor. This is where engine and transmission power are transferred to move the tractor forward. Traction is paramount in all conditions, but especially important in rain, snow, and ice. These tires tend to be wider, and they are manufactured with either lug or siped treads for maximum traction.

3.Trailer Position – The trailer position includes all of the free rolling wheels on the typical trailer. These tires do not necessarily need great traction performance, but they do need to withstand the heavy stresses of weight and braking. A good trailer position tire has a reinforced sidewall that can handle maximum lateral forces while withstanding the shock of coming in contact with curbs.

4.All Position – All position tires are manufactured to provide excellent handling, traction, and durability regardless of the position at which they are mounted. The all position tire is to the trucking industry what the all-weather radial is to passenger vehicles. It is a multipurpose tire that works very well under most driving conditions.

Is it possible to use all position tires across an entire tractor and trailer combination? In theory, yes. Practically speaking, however, reality is a bit different. Most American truckers prefer to stick with steer position tires on the front of their tractors in order to maximize handling. They may use all position tires on the rest of the rig depending on what is available and what they want to spend.

Larger trucking companies are more likely to use all position tires for financial reasons. As with anything else, a company can get a discounted price if they are willing to buy in bulk. Using all position tires at every position other than the steer position enables trucking companies to purchase large volumes of tires at more affordable prices.

Choosing Tires for Your Rig

Choosing the right truck and trailer tires for your rig does not have to be complicated. Choose your tires in the same way you would purchase tires for a pickup truck or passenger car. We believe it is better to spend a little more on a quality brand name, by the way. The most trusted names like Double Coin and Roadmaster offer very good quality at an affordable price.
Consider the wear and tear you are likely to put on them, the types of weather conditions they will probably be exposed to, and your overall budget when purchasing your truck and trailer tires.