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Tire Safety: A Focused Pre/Post-Trip Inspection Effort

By: Ken Marvenko, PTI Director of Safety

Exterminating Road Gators (the treads of failed tires lining the shoulders of highways).

As we approach tire-blowout season (May through October), tire safety is a hot topic and CVSA’s focus for this year’s International Roadcheck Inspection Blitz (June 7-9, 2016). International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the US, and Mexico during a 72-hour period. During the annual three-day even, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, and driver safety.

In our efforts to make Safety a Personal Commitment for every employee at Paper Transport, Inc. Vehicle Maintenance continues to be a focus item – tires included. It’s not safe to drive near a commercial vehicle with tires that might blow at any minute or cause other damages because of tire problems. Training and daily emphasis on performing a good, thorough pre/post trip each and every time our driver engages with equipment has an incredible impact on improving our safety as a whole.

FMCSA Regulation Review

§ 393.75: Tires.

(a) No motor vehicle shall be operated on any tire that-

  1. Has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall,
  2. Has any tread or sidewall separation,
  3. Is flat or has an audible leak, or
  4. Has a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed.

(b) Any tire on the front wheels of a bus, truck, or truck tractor shall have a tread groove pattern depth of at least 4/32 of an inch when measured at any point on a major tread groove. The measurements shall not be made where tie bars, humps, or fillets are located.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, tires shall have a tread groove pattern depth of at least 2/32 of an inch when measured in a major tread groove. The measurement shall not be made where tie bars, humps or fillets are located.

What to Look For During Pre/Post-Trip Inspections

Tire Problems

  • Too much or too little air pressure.
  • Bad wear. You need at least 4/32 inch tread depth in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall.
  • Cuts or other damage
  • Tread separation
  • Dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle.
  • Mismatched sizes.
  • Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
  • Cut or cracked valve stems.

Wheel and Rim Problems

  • Damaged rims
  • Rust around lug nuts may mean the nuts are loose – check tightness. After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later and re-check tightness of nuts.
  • Missing clamps, spacers, studs or lugs means danger.
  • Mismatched, bent or cracked lock rings are dangerous.
  • Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are not safe.
  • Bad Brake Drums or Shoes.
  • Cracked Drums.
  • Shoes or pads with oil, grease or brake fluid on them or shoes or pads worn dangerously thin, missing or broken.

Read more about the upcoming CVSA International Roadcheck’s Tire Safety Inspection Blitz (June 7-9, 2016):
http://www.ccjdigital.com/tire-safety-to-be-emphasis-of-annual-72-hour-inspection-blitz-in-june/