The Dangers of Underinflated TiresPosted June 21, 2016 by admin
Maintaining proper tire pressure in your 18-wheeler should always be a top priority, but with summer underway, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your tires. The dangers of underinflated tires include increased risk for tire blowouts which in turn can cause you to lose control of your semi-truck and trailer and potentially cause harm to other drivers on the road.
What Causes Tire Blowout
There are a variety of reasons that a semi-truck could experience a tire blowout, but almost every cause for blowout can be traced back to the condition of the tire and whether or not it was properly inflated. In the summer, drivers have a tendency to underinflate tires, knowing that heat causes air to expand. This approach makes sense; however, in order to keep your tire pressure at a safe level, tires should always be inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications.
When tires are underinflated there is undue stress put on the internal components- the fabric, steel, rubber, etc. The extra heat of summer, along with the low air pressure can cause these internal components to snap and break. If your truck’s tires are already weak or in poor condition then you’re at an even greater risk for experiencing a blowout during the summer months.
Another cause of tire blowout includes overloading your semi and carrying more weight than you have the capacity for. Overloading your truck poses its own set of dangers and puts too much pressure on your tires. As we discussed above, too much pressure paired with too much heat spells out disaster.
Potholes, uneven driving surfaces, and sharp debris left in the road can also cause semi drivers to experience a tire blowout. A pothole can cause an underinflated tire to explode if hit at just the right angle. When driving your semi you need to keep a lookout for potholes, debris, and other issues so you don’t put yourself and other drivers in danger.
What Can You Do To Prevent Tire Blowout
Preventing a tire blowout from happening is one of your primary responsibilities as a semi-truck operator. While there will always be factors that are out of your control, take the time and effort necessary to do your part in keeping tires in safe working condition.
- Always inspect your tires, checking for tread depth, signs of wear and tear, and most importantly, checking for adequate tire pressure
- Make sure you aren’t overloading your truck/trailer and carrying more weight than you have capacity for
- Keep a watchful eye on the roadways, looking out for debris or potholes that could cause tire damage
- Maintain a safe driving distance from other vehicles at all times just in case you would lose control of your vehicle due to a tire blowout
Tire blowouts can be very dangerous, not only for you but also for other unsuspecting drivers that have to swerve to avoid tire pieces. Follow these tips, maintain your tire pressure, and be safe driving this summer.
At Smith Springs, our goal is to keep you moving safely on the road so that you can do your job. If your truck is in need of spring repair or replacement, contact us today to set up a service appointment. We’ll have you back on the road in no time!