A leading independent tyre management consultant is adamant that the longstanding industry practice of depth-testing tread grooves in truck tyres is a poor way of analysing if a costly truck tyre should be replaced or not.
Mr Brad Bearman, of Bear’s Tyres, which manages tyre maintenance for several national carriers, says the old-style depth test approach doesn’t take into account any of the important operating variables.
“It is all well and good slotting a measuring gauge into the grooves of a tyre, but the fact of the matter is all tyres wear unevenly,” said Mr Bearman
“Most of the tyre companies, by using a simple depth test, are not really showing any consistency because the operating variables are too diverse for a simple gauge to accurately read the situation and the circumstances.
“Often, trucks are overloaded, a little heavier on one side or on one end, but that will probably not be the case on the very next trip so it’s wrong to assume on a depth test that the same tyre will continue to wear on the same side.
“Also, seasonal difference and temperature have significant bearing. The rubber breaks down in the hotter weather but you can save the tyres now during the cooler weather by simply re-grooving them and doing a basic rotation.
“The simplified depth test can easily sacrifice about 30% of the lifespan of a tyre, which, in the long run, equates to a sizeable waste of money.
“Tyre company reps go out there with a depth gauge and give all these big estimates on how long a tyre is going to last, but it isn’t that simple and doesn’t normally work that way.”
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