Overlooking tire pressure a detriment to a successful program

By |  August 23, 2017

Producers should frequently inspect OTR tires for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges and penetrations. Photo courtesy of GCR Tires & Service.

One of the most crucial components to tire maintenance on a crushed stone site is inflation pressure.

According to Roy Brooks, off-the-road (OTR) specialist for GCR Tires & Service‘s East Region, inflation pressure is to a tire what engine oil is to an engine. Producers must have proper inflation pressure to maximize performance. Air pressure is probably the most important factor to consider but probably the most overlooked, Brooks says.

“At GCR, we recommend sites incorporate tire pressure-monitoring systems into their tire policy so if a tire loses pressure, the operator is notified via a monitor in the cab,” he says. “We also recommend utilizing programs to monitor and track overall tire performance across a fleet so companies can make educated adjustments based on real-time performance data.”

In addition, Brooks recommends producers frequently inspect OTR tires for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges and penetrations. Site operators can easily improve the performance of their tires by being observant and checking tire conditions daily, he adds.

“We also recommend aggregates companies properly maintain haul roads, dump and loading areas to ensure the surfaces are clean and debris free,” Brooks says. “This is a simple step that can greatly impact tire performance.

“Most of the aggregate sites here in the Southeast are deep pits, and that brings on other issues,” he adds. “The more time on a higher grade, the faster tires will wear.”

The smoother the road conditions, the better it is for tires. But smoother roads will benefit sub-frames and the equipment itself, according to Brooks.

“When you’re constantly going over bumps and undulating the tires and frames, that puts a lot of stress on everything, especially when you’re fully loaded,” he says. “Keeping smooth haul roads and ensuring there’s no debris is important.”

Consider, too, that it’s not easy to see how much material is loaded in an off-highway truck from the equipment’s cab.

“You think you can miss a rock because you center it in the vehicle when driving, but what you miss with your front tire you might hit with your rear tire,” Brooks says. “So haul road maintenance is key.”

Also, avoid driving through water. It’s a natural lubricant for tires, Brooks says, adding that tires will cut about 20 times easier in wet conditions versus dry conditions.

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