Small businesses of many shapes and sizes depend on trucks to help keep their businesses up and running. Whether you own a service business, offer deliveries, or have routes to manage, accidents are a constant concern when you have vehicles on the road. A surprising number of these accidents are the result of tire problems — many of which are completely avoidable, such as those listed below.
Failure to Maintain Tires
Regular routine maintenance, such as rotating your tires and keeping them properly inflated, extends the life of your tires and prevents many other tire-related problems from cropping up. More importantly, it provides advance warning of potential problems related to improper wear that may indicate other conditions affecting your tires.
Defective tires are always a concern. You hear periodic stories about massive tire recalls related to bad tire batches or groups. It’s a good idea to keep up with the major recalls to ensure your tires aren’t on the list. You can do this by visiting the Department of Transportation website. However, it’s not wise to rely exclusively on recalls. The DOT site mentioned above also records investigations and complaints related to defective tires.
Balance issues are quite common and can result in vehicle vibrations in addition to unnecessary, and very specific, wear on the tire. Improperly balanced tires are usually the result to centrifugal forces that are out of balance. It leads to a wobble in the tire that results in improper wear. Over time this can lead to blowouts and accidents. It’s important to understand that balance does change over time. Sometimes you have to allow it the opportunity to shit on its own after rotating tires, for instance. However, rebalancing at the midway point of tires expected lifespan is generally recommended to prolong the life of your tires.
Many people stop with front-end alignments on their vehicles. Today’s trucks, though, need four-point alignment instead. This ensures that all tires are parallel to one another, flat to the pavement, and that they are working with their best possible wear profile. Incorrect alignment leads to improper wear on the tire which leads to a similar chain reaction that is experienced when tires aren’t properly balanced.
Road hazards are another problem that leads to tire-related auto accidents. Debris on roads and highways can puncture tires that lead to slow blowouts or, in some cases, cause instant blowouts. Even innocent-looking debris can prove quite hazardous for tires at higher speeds, such as many people drive on Interstates and highways. Although it is common sense, take special precautions to avoid hitting debris whenever possible.
Prevention is the best defense for tire-related issues for your business trucks. Practice preventative maintenance, have drivers conduct daily routine inspections of the trucks and tires before heading out, and require them to make notations indicating that the truck is ready for work.
This helps keep you aware of the condition of the tires so you’ll know when replacements may become necessary. Finally, make sure you have an adequate amount of business auto insurance coverage so that if a fleet truck is involved in a tire-related accident, you’ll have the coverage you need to get through the days and weeks ahead.