Commercial truck tires are not just for ordinary vehicles. They are designed especially for class 6 – 8 trucks, based on the GVWR or gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds or 13 tons. Usually this means at least three axles as well. Such vehicles are used in the public sector, construction, mining, and other forms of industry. Not only are these the biggest tires made, with diameters 25 inches or larger, but they are differentiated in their design according to their placement on the vehicle.
Slightly different specialty tires may be used for steerage, driving, and trailer hauling. The normal driving conditions for the truck will also determine the type of tire chosen. Long distance hauling will be different than regional traffic with stops and starts and lots of turning. Construction sites and off-road hauling present another set of requirements for properly working tires. Truck owners can today have a variety of choices in the quality and specificity of the tires they choose to use on their trucks. Companies such as Continental, Cooper, Firestone, Toya, and Bridgestone, just to name a few, all offer these custom designed commercial truck tires.
In spite of the high quality available in his tires, it remains the responsibility of the truck driver to check them daily. A huge majority of the accidents on the road today involve commercial vehicles and tire blow-outs can often be avoided by regular maintenance. Before driving the truck more than a mile, at the start of every new day, each tire should be checked for inflation and air pressure. By using a properly calibrated tire gauge, an accurate reading can be taken. Of course, if the gauge is dropped, it needs to be reset or replaced for correct measurement. Thumping the tire doesn’t work and is not a true reflection of air pressure within the tire. A brief but thorough hands-on inspection across the treads for chips and chunks completes the daily maintenance routine. Everyone would agree that a few minutes of precaution out-weighs the danger of accident and injury.
Commercial truck tires are rolling constantly on the more than 14 million miles of roads in the world. Whether they are making the long hauls across country, bussing residents around their city, transporting local goods, or lugging ore and boulders across construction sites, the longevity and safety of the tire has much to do with how it is chosen for a specific job and how it is maintained. Fortunately, it may well have a second life as a retread and have years more of service yet to offer.