Tire Safety is an Important Part of the Driver's Daily Pre and Post Inspection
Accidents are often caused by tires, which are improperly inflated. With fuel and tires, two of the largest expenses in operating a truck it is important to make sure that the tires are properly inflated. The service life of a tire is shortened by improper inflation. Under inflated tires can significantly take a bite out of the unit’s fuel mileage. The only true and accurate way to determine the air pressure in a tire is to gauge the tire with a tire pressure gauge. At your next drivers safety meeting inflate 3 tires on rims with pressures varying by 10lbs each, with one tire at the correct pressure, one 10lbs under and one 20lbs under. See if they are able to tell which tire has the correct pressure. A unique workers compensation case I reviewed was for a driver who was checking his tires by thumping them with a hammer and the hammer bounced back breaking the drivers jaw! When inspecting tires also pay close attention to the wear patterns and tread depth. The FMCSA regulations CFR 393.75 require that steer axle tires have a minimum tread depth of 4/32” and all other applications including trailers to have a minimum tread depth of 2/32”. Pay attention to your tires and they will provide many miles of service.
Question of the Week
While doing my pre-trip inspection I noticed a cut in the side wall of one of my tires, is this out of service violation?
Answer: It is an out of service violation if the sidewall is cut, worn, or damaged to the extent that the ply cord is exposed. (393.75(a))