As is often the case with passenger cars, the tyres for trucks tend to be taken for granted, and are often regarded as an unwelcome imposition. But in the case of trucks and other commercial vehicles, tyres are tools of trade subject to wear and need constant, close monitoring especially across every season.
This brief outline looks at some of the major issues in a general way; we recommend that you discuss your specific tyres needs with your nearest tyre and auto store.
Back to Basics: Tyre Pressures
The need for ensuring correct tyre pressures is paramount, affecting their wear and durability. Incorrect tyre pressures are the prime cause of irregular and excessive wear.
Over-inflation causes excess wear in the centre of the tread; decreasing the usable tyre life.
Under-inflation causes most of the weight to be met by the tyre shoulders, which can cause them to wear unevenly; drastically reducing tyre life. Low pressure also causes the tyre sidewalls to deflect excessively, creating greater stress and increasing their risk of being split or ruptured. It is worth remembering that even with undamaged rims and sound valves, air still leaks slowly from sidewalls, especially during high operating temperatures.
The importance of tyre rotation
The most obvious advantage of proper, scheduled rotation is to help even out the wear. Front tyres face extra wear in steering, especially on the shoulders. Drive tyres generally wear most in the centre and other rear tyres wear more quickly than those at the front (often being subject to scrubbing and other impacts).
Tyre rotations are time-consuming and there is a temptation to take them lightly as a 'whenever' task. They should, in fact, be part of scheduled servicing.
The Hidden Enemy:
Different size trucks have different wheel alignment needs, depending on the loads they carry and the area of operation. Trucks are designed to meet alignment specifications according to intended uses and expected conditions and because of this Hino trucks have a wheel alignment carried out prior to delivery.
Given the considerable bumps and thumps endured by heavy-duty vehicles precise alignments can easily be knocked out of kilter. This can have a dramatic effect on how evenly and quickly the tyres wear. The following diagrams illustrate the key alignment parameters.
Achieving Proper Balance:
Harder Than It Looks
Even the best balanced wheels, complete with the right weights can come up with problems. Poorly applied wheel weights can drop off and the affected wheels begin to thump at speed. By the same token, tyres can pick up balance-affecting weight by way of mud and debris.
The importance of choosing the right brand and type
Tyres can look nearly identical but have vastly different performance characteristics. For instance, how would you choose between these tyres with the aim of selecting the right one(s) for your particular application?
The short answer, as with all the matters touched on here is to talk to your Hino service advisor. You'll get better performance from your tyres while greatly reducing this part of your running costs. Refer to your nearest Bridgestone tyre and auto store.