Tires are arguably the most important part of any vehicle. They connect the vehicle with the ground, and without them, the vehicle won’t be going anywhere. Tires protect the wheels, provide traction, and prevent unnecessary wear on the wheel.
Semi-trucks, heavy trucks, and other kinds of commercial vehicles rely very heavily on the quality of their tires. Larger trucks with tire problems pose a great risk to everyone on the road, including the driver and the cargo.
How long should a tire last? More importantly, how long should you keep tires on a vehicle before replacing them?
How Long Should Truck Tires Last?
Checking the age of a tire is simple: look at a number on the tire that starts with “DOT”. The final four digits will tell you the week and the year that the tire was manufactured. A car whose last four digits of their DOT number end with “4018” means that the tire was manufactured in the 40th week of 2018; specifically, in the week of October 1st, 2018.
Truck tires will almost never get “too old”, as they simply acquire too much mileage for this to be the case. But how many miles can a truck tire last?
A truck tire can last for tens of thousands of miles. Generally, though, a truck tire will go for between 50,000-70,000 miles before the tread wears too much for it to be usable.
There are factors that affect the life of a truck tire, including:
● Road conditions. If your trucks are being driven on poorly maintained roads, a tire will suffer from more wear and tear. Trucks driving on highways tend to see more life out of their tires than trucks that drive in the city.
● Climate and weather. Driving in snowy weather can wear down the tire more since it needs to generate more work to keep the same amount of traction. Trucks that operate primarily in cold climates will see less life out of their tires than those than drive in warmer ones.
● The driver. Some drivers are a bit more aggressive on the road, which can cause the tire to wear unevenly. Uneven wear reduces the life of your truck tires.
WHEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR TRUCK TIRES?
Preventive maintenance will help tell you whether or not you should replace your truck’s tires. Any tire with too much wear, bulges, or holes will need to be replaced on the spot.
Here are some questions you should ask to determine whether or not you should replace your tires:
● Are you noticing any sort of bulges in the tire? If so, replace it.
● Is your tire losing pressure too quickly? If so, replace it.
● Are drivers complaining about the way their truck drives? If so, replace the tires. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then the tires may not be the issue.
A tire may appear healthy in a regular maintenance check, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be replaced. With that said, there is no “expiry date” on tires. A tire can be used so long as it’s safe to do so. Tire manufacturer Bridgestone does not advocate for a mandated expiry date on tires, but they do recommend that their tires be discontinued after ten years in service.