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The Importance of Tire Maintenance and Fleet Safety - Essential Tips for National Tire Safety Week (June 24 – July 3)

Posted by Wesley Hall, CTP on 6/24/24 10:16 AM
Wesley Hall, CTP


Gain valuable insights and practical guidance on maintaining optimal tire conditions for fleet operations.

National Tire Safety Week (NTSW) is a crucial annual campaign led by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) to educate drivers on the important practices of tire care, safety, and maintenance to ensure road safety. Tires play a crucial role in road safety as they are the only part of the truck that makes direct contact with the road. Therefore, prioritizing tire care and maintenance is essential for all drivers to ensure optimal safety on the road.

Let’s examine the importance of choosing the proper tire and accurate tire air pressure, and review what tools you need to ensure proper tire monitoring to avoid failures.

Choosing The Right Tire - Understanding the correct tire category for your application is important to achieving optimal miles-per-gallon (MPG). Each tire manufacturer will have three different tire groups:

  1. Economy-focused - for the price-conscious buyer.
  2. Vocational - with different attributes to navigate off-road or specific terrain.
  3. Fuel-efficient - reduces operating costs by delivering improvements in wear performance.

Find The Right Tire For Your Operation Will:

  • Increase MPG,
  • Reduce road failures, and
  • Allow your fleet to deliver on your customer-focused KPIs.

There are a few indicators that you may have made the wrong tire selection. First and most importantly, there is the number of on-road failures. Benchmarking yourself against the industry will help you evaluate your tire program.


Air Pressure  - Air pressure plays a key role in tire performance. Having underinflated tires will reduce MPG and increase heat, leading to additional failures. Air pressure can fluctuate based on outside air temperature. Checking air pressure is a critical step, not only during your scheduled service events but also as part of your Pre- and Post-trip inspections. Educating your drivers and technicians on how to check air pressure accurately and safely is critical. Tire failures while adding air to a tire can cause serious injury. Any tire below 80lbs should be considered flat and only inflated after being inspected by a tire professional.


The Right Tools for The Job - When inspecting tires, you must have the right tools to do the job safely.

  • Part of completing a proper tire inspection is to look for cuts, irregular wear, and exposed belts. To do this safely, you will need a pair of cut-resistant gloves to prevent injury.
  • The second tool you will need is a properly calibrated air gauge. Tire gauges are sensitive to being dropped and may read differently after 30 days of usage. It is advisable to have a master gauge in the shop to test all air gauges every 30 days.
  • Finally, a tread depth gauge is essential. Tires are measured in 32nds and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all steer tries have a minimum of four 32nds and all other positions have two 32nds. 

Providing these tools for your drivers/technicians to measure the tread depth is crucial to staying compliant. Tire maintenance is a vital aspect of ensuring fleet safety and efficiency. You can minimize road failures and enhance overall performance by selecting the proper tires, maintaining accurate air pressure, and using the correct tools for tire inspections. National Tire Safety Week serves as a timely reminder of the importance of these practices. Let's take this opportunity to renew our commitment to tire safety, educating our teams, and implementing strong maintenance routines. Together, we can drive towards a safer, more efficient future on the road!


Topics: Fleet Safety, Fleet Management