Keeping up with tire inflation maintenance

By |  December 26, 2016

Looking for an excellent way to help optimize the return on your tire investment? “Start with inflation,” says Eric Matson, manager, global field engineering, OTR, for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. “Quite simply, maintaining correct inflation pressure is likely the single most important tire care practice that you can employ.”

Consistent, correct inflation positively impacts tire wear, casing life and overall tire performance. It also can help reduce the amount of fuel that machines consume.

“The benefits of checking and, if needed, adjusting tire inflation levels are well worth the time and effort that this practice requires,” Matson says.

“Both over-inflation and under-inflation change a tire’s footprint. You’ll want to avoid both conditions.” Over-inflation can contribute to or even cause a number of issues, ranging from a harsher ride to irregular/fast tread wear. Under-inflation also can lead to problems that can cost you time and money.

Under-inflation typically causes tires to flex more, which generates excessive heat. Under-inflation also can lead to separations, irregular/uneven wear and even increased susceptibility to damage caused by rocks and other objects.

Under-inflation also can hurt a machine’s fuel economy, owing to the simple fact that under-inflated tires force engines to work harder.

What’s normal?

“At this point, you might be asking, ‘What is normal when it comes to tire pressure?’” Matson says. “Tires are engineered to run at specific pressure levels based on the load they’re carrying. An authorized [tire service center] can help you determine a recommended tire inflation pressure.”

As cold weather approaches in many areas of North America, keep in mind that ambient temperature can impact inflation pressure.

“We recommend that equipment managers check air pressure levels at least once a week, using a calibrated tire gauge or a gauge that is checked periodically,” Matson says.

Maintaining a record of tire inflation, plus tire inflation checks and adjustments, can be beneficial, as well.

“You can collect a lot of important information via inflation level checks,” Matson adds. You can make this data work for you by feeding it into an online tire management system that monitors tread depth and other critical metrics.

“If you don’t track your tires, how do you really know if you are getting full use out of them?

“Tires for aggregate applications often represent a significant capital outlay, and like any investment, should yield a profitable return,” he adds. “Frequent air pressure monitoring and adjustments, when necessary, can help you achieve this.”

Information for this article courtesy of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

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