More from: truck tire

Roadside Cargo Inspections: What Do They Actually Check?

What would you say if we told you that the 2019 CVSA Roadcheck is now a mere seven months away? We know, it seems like this year’s Roadcheck was just conducted. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Anyway, contemplating the 2019 event got us thinking about what inspectors actually check during roadside inspections.

Being that we supply the trucking industry with all sorts of cargo control supplies, we thought it might be helpful to better understand roadside inspections. So we dug around and found an interesting video created by the Indiana State police.

The video was quite enlightening to say the least. While we understand that what the trooper demonstrated in this video is open to some interpretation by police officers and DOT inspectors, the general principles described here are pretty standard. Let’s talk about those general principles.

Trailer and Cargo

The trooper in the video used an open-deck trailer carrying a piece of heavy construction equipment for demonstration purposes. One of the first cargo control things he talked about is securing all four corners of any load that exceeds a certain weight limit. He rattled off that weight limit like it’s second nature. That’s because it is. Inspectors know exactly what federal law says about tie-downs and load weight.

Next, the discussion moved to working load limits. The trooper used the binders holding the load to the trailer at all four corners as an example. He explained how those binders are legal because they cover all four corners and because their working load limits are applicable to the load.

He also discussed working load limits in relation to the chains used to tie down the load. Interestingly enough, the trooper had a handy gauge he could place on one of the chain links to quickly determine its size and grade. And he also found a marking on the chain that told him the actual working load limit. He calculated the math and decided that the chains were appropriate.

One last thing we found extremely fascinating is that the trooper’s chain gauge had two sides to it. The first side has gauges for all standard chain sizes. The second side had gauges that were 20% smaller than standard. If an inspector can fit a smaller gauge over a section of chain, that indicates the chain is at least 20% worn. The chain can no longer be used. It must be taken out of service.

Other Things They Check

Roadside inspections place a lot of emphasis on cargo control. But inspectors check other things as well. For example, tire pressure and wear are both big things. If an inspector doubts the integrity of truck’s tires at all, he/she will measure depth tread and take a pressure reading.

Oversize loads have to be marked with flags on each corner and the appropriate signage on the back of the trailer. Inspectors are looking for both of those things. When a load exceeds the length of the trailer by a certain amount, the inspector will be looking for some sort of flag attached to the back of the load as a warning to drivers.

These are the basic things inspectors are looking for during roadside cargo control inspections. Obviously, inspectors do a complete check of a truck from front to rear, looking at everything from lights to safety reflectors. We hope you will take this information and combine it with everything else you know about roadside inspections in order to improve your own cargo control efforts. Do not be the next driver taken out of service.

 


Tractor Tires Are Tough, But Stalks Are Tougher

As suppliers of  agricultural experts here at Mytee Products. So imagine our surprise to learn that while tractor tires are fairly tough, grain stalks are even tougher. Some of the toughest stalks can ruin a brand-new set of tires in 100 hours or less if a grower isn’t careful. Of course, there are things tractor owners can do to mitigate the damage.

According to Ag Web, some of the worst stalks for tractor tires include soybean, wheat, corn, canola, and even cotton. The problem is that running a combine through a field often leaves behind cut stalks with razor-sharp edges that can easily penetrate rubber. If a combine leaves the stalks standing straight up as it passes through, you are looking at a field of spikes sticking up, just waiting to puncture tractor tires.

Ag Web stated back in 2009 that tire manufacturers were working on harder rubber compounds that could better withstand the punishment of the field. We know that to be true as a tractor tire dealer. Today’s tires are better than anything the industry has seen in the past. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a perfect tractor tire impervious to sharp grain stalks.

Tips for Preserving Your Truck Tires

Every purchase of tractor tires is a cost that goes against the grower’s bottom line. It doesn’t make sense to have to buy new tires every season just for lack of taking care of the tires you purchased the season before. Just a few simple tips can help extend the life of your tractor tires considerably.

1. Modify Your Combine

One of the easiest thing growers can do is modify their combines so that sharp stalks are not left sticking up. Stubble shoes mounted on the combine accomplish this by pushing stalks forward slightly. Rather than being left sticking straight up, the combine leaves them pointed forward at about 45 degrees. They will do little damage to tractor tires as long as the grower doesn’t come back later and drive against the grain.

A stalk stomper is another option. This is a homemade implement consisting of a heavy pipe mounted in front of the rear tires to knock down stocks before the tires pass over.

2. Install New Tires Early

Tractor tires are similar to other tires in that they need time to season. That is to say they need time to ‘toughen up’. If you are buying new tires, install them as early as possible. Give them all spring and summer to toughen up before harvest arrives. They will do much better in the field after a few months on the tractor.

3. Run Between Rows

Growers can also increase tire life by running the tires between rows. This would seem to be common sense. Running between rows minimizes tire exposure and reduces the risk of puncture. If you do have to run across a row, go either perpendicular to it or in the same direction the stalks are leaning. The idea is to minimize contact between tires and razor-sharp edges.

No tractor tire will last forever. But if you make the effort to be careful with the tires you have, they will last longer. So respect the fact that some of the stalks you leave in your field can be pretty brutal on your tires.

If you are in the market for new tractor tires, we hope you’ll check out our inventory. And don’t hesitate to contact us even if you do not see what you need. We still might have a way to get it for you.