You may already know the importance of regular preventive maintenance for your semi-truck or trailer, but what about the tires that keep you rolling in the first place?

Choosing the right tires is a top priority, but maintaining them after purchase is just as essential.

When you invest the time and resources into keeping tires in good condition, they’ll reward you with lower fuel costs, and properly inflated tires can reduce risk of truck breakdowns.

Read on for tips on getting the most out of your tires.

Recommended Tire Pressure for Trucks

Simply keeping your tires properly inflated goes a long way toward giving you a longer service life, better fuel efficiency, and a lower risk of traffic mishaps.

But what is the right tire pressure? Here are a few points to consider.

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Individual tires have different minimum and maximum tire pressure ranges, so check your manufacturer’s load and inflation tables.
  • How much weight are you hauling? Tire loads also determine the optimum pressure. Inflate your tires to accommodate the maximum load size you’ll be transporting.
  • Should you go slightly over or under the minimum? Running tires at the high end of your recommended range may help you maintain pressure between checks and guard against underinflation as the tire naturally leaks. It may also give you lower rolling resistance, which can help with efficiency. On the other end of the scale, slightly softer tires may be more flexible and more easily absorb impacts from debris and potholes.
  • Avoid overinflation or underinflation. While inflating slightly above or below may offer some benefits, too much of a good thing will hurt you. Too much or too little pressure can lead to premature, irregular wear, structural failure, and a greater risk of blowouts.

Once the correct pressure is determined for each tire, maintaining proper inflation is a matter of proactive, daily tire checks, and adjustments.


Other Maintenance Tips for Semi Truck Tires


Besides keeping tabs on tire pressure, here are a few more smart, simple habits for maintaining your tires.

  • Check for irregular wear. Improper inflation, misalignment, failure to rotate, and out-of-balance tires can all cause uneven wear.
  • Invest in a tire rotation. A tire’s position on your truck affects its wear pattern. Front or steer tires tend to wear on the shoulders, drive tires wear in the center and rear tires wear more quickly. Regular tire rotation gives you more even wear.
  • Maintain correct alignment. Poor alignment causes tires to wear out more quickly, leading to higher replacement costs.
  • Keep tires balanced. Proper mounting is key for maintaining the correct balance. Regular rebalancing extends the life of steer tires in particular.
  • Watch your inside tires. Paying a little attention to these easy-to-ignore positions can pay off. Wash tires regularly to keep them free of mud and debris, and avoid aggressive driving maneuvers such as sudden stops and starts.
  • Consider retreading. You can minimize the cost of new tires by investing in quality retreads, combined with a proactive maintenance plan.
  • Watch your costs. Use analytic systems to calculate cost-per-mile for individual tires, and keep detailed records, so you’ll know when the cost to maintain outstrips the cost of purchasing new tires.

For more information on tire maintenance, or to select the best trucks and trailers for your fleet, get in touch with Pedigree today! We have a wide selection of used trucks and trailers, including used reefers, tankers, and flatbeds and trucks from brands like Freightliner


Ask the Trucking Experts | Semi Tire Pressure Tips

We talked to the guys who run the tire bay at Prime Inc. to ask their best tips for semi tire air pressure.  Here’s what they had to say:

If you aren’t airing up your tires, you’re losing your mileage.  For example, if your tires are 5 PSI low on average you are going to lose 1% of fuel mileage.  That adds up.  Your goal is to make as much money as possible.  Ignoring your tires can cost your business a lot of money over time.  Doug Tamm, Tire Bay Manager, Prime Inc.

If your tire pressure is over, you will start to lose tread life on your tires.  Even 5 PSI over can lessen the life of your tires.  Manny, Plaza Manager, Prime Inc.

Do not rely on a tire thumper or your shoe to check air pressure.  This isn’t an accurate way of measuring air pressure.  Make sure you use an air gauge.  Doug Tamm, Tire Bay Manager, Prime Inc.

Have a truck tire low on air?  Andre, a Prime Driver since 2017, doesn’t travel without an air hose and a Hyper Tough Signal Air Gauge.  In his experience, fuel station air hoses often have leaks.  By having these tools he can use the air from the trailer to service his truck.  Simply hook the hose to the red glad hand on the back of your truck and you can be back up and running in moments.

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