Tire dealers account for a $35 billion industry. These professionals are quite literally responsible for keeping vehicles on the road and can help you when you’re trying to take care of your vehicle’s maintenance.
Truck tires are equally as important, and maybe more so when you consider the heavy-duty load these trucks carry and the amount of work they get done. Learning the best ways to care for your tires will lead to better truck performance and an overall positive experience owning these vehicles.
Keep reading to learn what truck tire mistakes to avoid when it’s time for a replacement.
1. Choosing the Wrong Tire Replacement
Not just any replacement will do when you have worn truck tires. Look into your truck owner’s manual to find out the exact measurements and type of truck tires that you’ll need to purchase.
Consider some of the following specs:
- The diameter of the rim
- Tire speed rating
- Width of the tire
- A notation for the type of vehicle
- The truck tire aspect ratio
- Load index
- Radial construction of the tire
All of these details are mentioned in the tire code, which is found in the manual and often in the lower driver’s side panel. If you’re in need of vehicle restoration, you’ll definitely want to choose tires that are made with the manufacturer’s specifications in mind.
2. Failing to Keep a Spare
Truck tires are much larger than those of sedans and compact vehicles, so they don’t typically come with the “doughnut” spare that you get with those vehicles. However, this doesn’t mean you still can’t carry a spare.
Invest in a new tire purchase and keep it in the bed of your truck or attached to the back so that you’re never stranded on the side of the road. Having this truck on-hand will prevent you from having to call roadside assistance, and you’ll be able to get back on the road quickly.
3. Not Taking Safety Precautions
Changing truck tires is potentially dangerous, especially if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Get out of harm’s way as much as you possibly can and put on your blinkers.
Always do your best to increase visibility while you’re handling roadside repairs. Pack a fluorescent vest, roadside flares, flashlights, blinking lights, and other tools that’ll help you make your presence known. Increasing your visibility keeps other drivers on alert so that you are less likely to get hurt while changing the tire.
Check your surroundings before fixing the tire so that the coast is clear and that you know you’re not in any immediate danger.
4. Forgetting to Follow Up With a Professional
You should still follow up with an auto repair shop, even if you’ve changed a hundred truck tires in your lifetime. A truck repair shop might find wheel damage that you missed or may pinpoint a larger issue that caused the damaged tire in the first place.
They might also suggest a wheel alignment, or notice that the tire wasn’t securely replaced because you didn’t have professional-grade repair tools at your disposal. After you’ve replaced your tire, get to a licensed and certified truck repair shop as quickly as you can to have them provide an assessment.
This is a matter of safety since a properly repaired tire will keep you from skidding or losing control of your vehicle.
5. Waiting too Long to Change Tires
Many truck owners also make the mistake of waiting too long to swap out tires. You can get away with a little wear, but driving too long on old or badly damaged tires is downright dangerous.
Here are a few signs that you need to replace your tires:
- The tread is wearing down below state law requirements, to the point that the tire is balding
- The tires aren’t gripping the road and you need to observe farther stopping distances
- Your truck needs a wheel alignment and is causing the tire to wear down unevenly
- It keeps leaking air and going flat
- The tire has a tear in it that can’t be patched
- You notice the tire rotting or peeling
- The tire is becoming frayed and showing its cords
Always keep your tires on a schedule so that you know when it’s time for a replacement. Keeping proper records will help you change the tire out before it’s too late.
6. Using a Faulty Jack
Pickup trucks weigh a lot more than other automobiles, so you can’t half-step when it comes to your choice of a jack. Look into a quality floor jack similar to those used by professional repair shops.
This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that it can lift an entire side of the truck without worrying about it slipping or coming down. Invest in some sturdy, heavy-duty jack stands that will also hold the truck still while you work on changing the tire.
7. Purchasing Subpar Tires
Finally, make sure that you only buy trusted brands of tires. Ask for recommendations on which brands pickup truck owners use more than any other, and call around to see what the truck shop near you has in stock.
Get price estimates upfront, and consider buying a gently used tire if you’d like to get a significant discount. Add a roadside service warranty to any new tire purchase as an added layer of protection.
Get Help With Your Truck Tire Issues
The points above will help you do what’s best whenever you have truck tire needs. These tips need to be on every truck owner’s checklist so that they can get the best longevity and performance from their vehicles.
NFI Empire specializes in high-level vehicle maintenance and repair work and would be happy to help you get the best from your favorite truck. Use our web form or give us a call at (814)746-4213 for more info.