Having the proper tire pressure is a crucial safety issue. Next to the brakes, the tires are the most important safety devices on your truck. Incorrect tire pressure will compromise cornering, braking and stability. And, in the worst-case scenario, improper tire pressure can lead to tire failure — and a serious accident. Incorrect tire pressure also will affect your comfort, fuel economy and tire life.
What happens if I don’t do this?
If tire pressure is too high, then less of the tire touches the ground. As a consequence, your truck will bounce around on the road. And when your tires are bouncing instead of firmly planted on the road, traction suffers and so does your stopping distance. You’ll also feel a decrease in ride comfort. (Hint: If you notice that every shirt you own has coffee on it, check your tire pressure. It may be too high.)
If tire pressure is too low, then too much of the tire’s surface area touches the ground, which increases friction between the road and the tire. As a result, not only will your tires wear prematurely, but they can also overheat. Overheating can lead to tread separation — and a nasty accident. One sign of low tire pressure is if your tires squeal when cornering.
You need to check your tire pressure even if your tires aren’t leaking. Why? Because tire pressure changes with the outside temperature! Tire pressure decreases by about 1 pound per square inch for every 10-degree drop in outside air temperature. So if you last had your tire pressure checked in July, when it was 80 degrees outside, and it’s now January — and the temperature is minus 20 — your tires may be under-inflated by 10 pounds, which is dangerous.
What are the consequences of a blowout?
Besides the obvious inconvenience of having to stop and get a tire replaced, that tire that blows could potentially be a deadly weapon! Most drivers have seen blowouts occur, and you know it is a pretty violent event! When the cap comes off the tire, you a slinging 30 pounds of hard, hot rubber through the air at 65 MPH! If this strikes a car, or a motorcycle, it can cause a secondary accident that could result in death! You, as the driver, would likely be held responsible for operating faulty equipment. If a tire blows, it is usually from low air pressure, and investigators can determine if a tire has been run low. Rollovers are also a common result of tire blowout!
Aside from the potential liability of causing damage or injury to others, tires are a huge financial burden to the company. They are, by far, our greatest variable expense, next to fuel. The average cost to replace a tire, on the road, is $350-$500! Multiply that by 2 a day and you can do the math! You could also face a citation for operating defective equipment, if law enforcement is around when your tire blows.
Steer Tires: 100-110 psi (check rating on sidewall)
Drives and Trailer: 100 psi