Are You Prepared for National Tire Safety Week?
This week, June 1-7, is 2014 National Tire Safety Week, sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Associations (RMA). The annual National Tire Safety Week launched in April 2002 as an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart — Play Your PART” program. PART is an acronym that stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, which are the four essential elements of tire care. The program is designed to give truck drivers easy tips to make sure their truck tires are in good working condition.
To make sure small to medium-sized trucking companies and their drivers are prepared for National Tire Safety Week and the Roadcheck Safety Blitz, truck drivers should review the RMA’s “Be Smart Tire Safety Brochure”.
Tire Safety Tips
The RMA recommends these quick tips to make sure truck drivers are prepared for National Tire Safety Week:
Check air pressure: By checking that tires are properly inflated, drivers can increase the life of their truck tires and maximize fuel efficiency. Poorly inflated tires can cause excess heat build-up that can damage tires and lead to failure. Drivers should make it a habit to check tire pressure at least once per month and before every long trip.
The correct tire pressure is found on a sticker on the driver’s door, doorpost or owner’s manual- not on the tire sidewall. The number on the sidewall is the maximum pressure for the tire and should not be used. To accurately measure tire pressure, drivers should check tires when they are cold.
Check alignment: Drivers should check tires for irregular wear, which is a sign of improper alignment. Improper alignment can cause drivers to counter-steer while driving, increasing driver fatigue and irregular tire wear. It’s important for drivers to monitor tires for irregular wear and rotate them every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to promote uniform wear and longer tire life.
Check valve caps: Federal DOT regulations require truck tires to have valve caps on at all times. Tires can lose air and pressure if a valve cap is loose or faulty. To prevent tire failure, drivers need to check the tire’s valve caps. To save time, invest in flow through valve caps, which allows truckers to check, inflate or deflate tires without removing the caps.
Check spare tire: Truck drivers should check their spare tire each month and keep it properly inflated. It should be at peak performance should drivers need to use it.
Check tire tread: An easy way for truckers to tell if a tire is bald is to place a penny upside down into the tire’s tread groove. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tread on the tire is too low and it is time to replace the tire.
Avoid potholes: Potholes can damage a truck’s tires and alignment. Drivers can avoid hitting potholes by driving at moderate speeds and avoiding jackrabbit starts. This will also help drivers save on fuel!
Events This Week
During National Tire Safety Week, tire makers and retailers across the country will work to educate the public about proper tire care and maintenance. Last year’s National Tire Safety Week had more than 20,000 tire and automotive dealers as well as repair shops spreading the message of tire safety.
“National Tire Safety Week is an opportunity for the tire industry to focus its collective efforts to educate motorists about the importance of proper tire care,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Regular tire maintenance is critical to optimizing fuel efficiency, maximizing tire tread life and promoting a safe driving experience.”
Last year, 10% of out-of-service violations during the 2013 Roadcheck Safety Blitz came from tire related issues. In addition, a 2014 survey done by the Rubber Manufactures Association reviewed more than 3,300 vehicles and found nearly 7 out of 10 vehicles had at least one under inflated tire.
For additional tire safety tips or to learn more about National Tire Safety Week, visit www.betiresmart.org.
Apex Capital Tire Discount Program
With the Apex Capital Tire Discount program, carriers can save an average of $450-$1,500 annually on the cost of tires per year. This program, designed specifically for Apex Capital clients, allows trucking companies to purchase Continental or General Tires at a special, reduced rate at any authorized Continental dealer.
This means significant savings because the average truck goes through approximately 18 tires every two years. This translates to an annual tire expense of $4,000-$5,000 per truck.
To learn more about how become an Apex client and get access to the Apex Capital Tire Discount program, call 1-855-369-2739