Photo by Mauro Navea Delgado
For those not familiar with the specifics and technicalities, truck tires may look basic—black and round, the one that keeps your vehicles moving on the road. Tires are important components of a vehicle because they let drivers steer safely on diverse terrains. Truck tires, on the other hand, are able to do more than just that. There are actually more interesting facts about them that you might not be familiar with.
Did you know that one truck tire is manufactured with more than 200 raw materials? These materials are categorized into five groups:
- Natural Rubber – harvested from the rubber trees (mostly originated from Southeast Asia) in the form of latex
- Chemicals – zinc oxide and sulfur are added to the tire manufacturing process to help with tire performance and the vulcanization process. Many chemical agents create special properties like low traction and rolling resistance.
- Synthetic Rubber – 70 percent of all rubber is synthetic, which is made from crude oil and other petrochemicals.
- Carbon Black and Silica – both used as filters to add strength, with the carbon black responsible for the tire’s dark colors. Did you know that for the first 25 years, tires were black as a byproduct of rubber added with zinc oxide to add strength? It was when they added carbon black to improve longevity that the tires became black.
- Reinforcements – there provide rigidity and shape to the tire; both textile and metallic reinforcements are added, such as rayon, nylon, and wires.
General Functions of Tires for all Types of Vehicles
- Weight-bearing – tire construction and air pressure are important considerations to carry and sustain the vehicle’s weight.
- Shock-absorption – to reduce initial road shocks and vibrations.
- Delivering power from the engine – for a vehicle to move, tires serve as the one providing power and braking and traction capabilities.
- Translating steering wheel movement – tires are crucial in controlling the direction of a vehicle, which determines the stability and maneuvering capability in driving.
Passenger Truck Tires vs. Light Truck Tires
Light truck (LT) tires can carry heavier loads than passenger truck (PT) tires. Although LT tires are made with a thicker rubber compound that makes them more durable than other tire types, they tend to be relatively more expensive than the rest.
Passenger truck tires, on the other hand, provide a smoother ride, are easy to find, and are less expensive. Unfortunately, they are not capable of carrying heavy loads, and they are less durable then LT tires since they have thinner sidewalls.
Tire Maintenance and Safety Tips
Following maintenance and safety tips are required to ensure that you are not driving on worn-out or damaged tires. Not only is doing so dangerous, but it is also against the rules and guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If you are caught driving vehicles with unsafe tires, there will be points of demerit that could affect a carrier’s CSA score. Follow some of these basic maintenance tips to avoid any violations and low CSA scores:
- Inflate to recommended PSI level
- Rotate the tires regularly
- Perform a pre-trip inspection
- Practice good driving habits
- Wash the wheels and tires
At this point, you now realize that there is more to truck tires then meets the eye. For this reason, there are many aspects of tires that every truck driver or carrier need to know. If you are looking for a reliable truck tire depot in Texas, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.