Tire Tread Awareness: What Causes Wear Where?

February 18, 2016

Tread Awareness

As always, we give you the best in trucker tips, and one of them involves your tires. There are certain things you should know about the tread wear of your tires, and what you can do about it.

Tread Depth

All truckers, and particularly owner operators, should be aware of the tread depth of their tires. This is extremely important to maintain absolute safety on the road and to prevent tire blow outs due to wear.

For example, premium tires generally have 18/32nd's of treadat the beginning of their life. With normal driving, you'll scrub off 1/32nd of tread for each 10,000 miles. The proper replacement time is when a tire shows only 6/32nd's of tread left. So, that gives a tire approximately 120,000 miles of safe tread life from beginning to end.

Tire Wear

If everything is aligned properly, you should expect the maximum in tire service. But that isn't always the case, so inspection of your tires becomes that much more crucial to correct problems as they are happening.

Now, we aren't going to get into the science and theory of tread wear, that would take too much time. But there are some basics you can look for, some being common and some that may be cause for concern.

For example, just like in your car, if the tire pressure is too low, the center treads will wear much faster than the outer treads. If you have too much toe-in, the inside of your tires will show more tread wear. Conversely, too much toe-out, and the outer tread will wear quicker.

Such things as thrust angle, distortion and inconsistent drag will all lead to uneven tread wear, which should always be professionally checked out.

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