Common Causes for Irregular Tire Wear on Semi-Trucks 

As a truck owner or driver, the convenience of having to do your business without major setbacks here and there is key. However, when irregular tire wear starts to sap your hard-earned money in replacing this part after every so often, you will be losing out big time.

While replacing worn out tires in itself is a recommended practice, you should be worried when your truck tires wear out irregularly at the time of replacement.

So, What Causes Irregular Tire Wear?

In this guide, we compile some of the most common causes for irregular tire wear on semi-trucks and go a little bit out of our way to help you figure out how to mitigate them.

To start off, driving your semi-truck with worn-out tires does not only endanger your life and those of other motorists, it could run you into serious fines when the cops pull you over.

Dangers of Driving a Semi-truck With Worn Out Tires:

  • Worn out tires have a reduced traction and this greatly impairs your truck’s braking system.
  • Driving a semi-truck with worn-out tires increases chances of getting a puncture, and in severe cases- a blowout. These cases could make you lose control of the vehicle.
  • With low tire treads, your car is more likely to hydroplane.
  • Worn-out tires usually lose more pressure, meaning you are likely to experience reduced handling and fuel efficiency. When this happens, you’ll more likely to spend more money on fuel costs.

There are many things that can happen when driving a semi-truck with worn-out tires. But all these situations may lead to increased risk of catastrophic road accidents, resulting in serious injuries and even death.

How Do I Know That My Tires Are Worn Out?

how to tell if my tires are worn

While experienced drivers know how to visibly check the tires to determine whether they are due for replacement or not, an untrained driver may be at pains to know this. In that case, you may work with a mechanic to inspect the tires or teach you how to identify worn-out tires by yourself.

Now, tire treads are usually measured in 32nds of an inch. New tires normally come with treads as deep as 9/32 inches to 11/32 inches depending on whether the tire is meant for highway driving or off-road action.

When your tire grooves hit the 4/32 inch mark, you should start looking for a new set of tires. Some motorists usually wait until the tire grooves reach 2/32 inch but this could jeopardize your safety.

As a standard procedure, most truck tires come fitted with tread depth indicators showing you when it is the right time to replace your tires. This means you should replace your tires once the tread ribs are flush with indicator bars. That way, you can minimize the risks of road accidents
caused by irregular tire wear.

On the other hand, when replacing the tires or parts of your semi-truck, you may need a reliable distributor/seller to ensure durability, functionality, and quality. For example, if you drive a Volvo or other European trucks, you should look for a distributor that offers Volvo truck parts.

That way, you can ensure the replacements are compatible with your semi-truck.

What’s with the Irregular Wearing in My Tires?

When you are observant enough, you could notice uneven wear on your tires during replacement. There a raft of reasons for uneven wearing out of semi-truck tires. These are some of the reasons we found from most drivers.

Checking Tire Pressure

One of the leading causes for irregular tire wear on semi-trucks is in the under/overinflating the tires. When your tires are lack enough pressure, they will wear out on the shoulders.  This should not be taken lightly as it could spread to the tire sidewalls.

Similarly, when you overinflate your semi-truck tires, they are more likely to wear out in the. This is chiefly because the middle part of the tire will always be in contact with the road.

Now, all tires come with the stipulated pressure to ensure optimum performance on the road. As a beneficial routine, you should regularly check your tire pressure including that of the spare wheel.

It should be part of your maintenance checklist to ensure your tires are in perfect working condition, especially while driving on the road.

Debris in the Tire

Debris in tires causes irregular wear

Sometimes, depending on where the semi-truck is driven, debris could get inside the tire grooves and pose serious danger if left unchecked.

Just one random check on the tires could save you the pain of looking for a lawyer for accident with a semi-truck in the case of an unforeseen blowout.

You could also find bolts or nails stuck onto your tires after an off-road driving adventure. Depending on how hazardous the driving conditions are, you could also deal with some problems, including multiple cuts, heel corrosion, brake skid damage, chunking, and spin damage.

To minimize the danger of these foreign bodies, you could regularly remove them as a component of the routine maintenance. In case there are punctures, you should seal them immediately.

Truck Tire Misalignment

In some circumstances, you could observe that your truck tires wear out only on one side while the other side still remains road-worthy. In this circumstance, alignment could be the problem.

When your tires are misaligned to be facing inwards or outwards, the tires would also unevenly wear out based on the part of the tire that makes contact with the road often.

To solve this problem, your mechanic should adjust the angle of the tires in relation to their contact on the road. In case the trucking company doesn’t have the resources to conduct regular maintenance checks, you can outsource the services to a local provider, set up automatic inflation systems, and other alternatives.

Otherwise, your tires could persistently wear out unevenly and prematurely, leading to high maintenance costs.

Wrong Truck Tires

Perhaps one of the most overlooked causes of for irregular tire wear is using the wrong tires for your truck transport purposes.

Highway tires used on off-road expeditions could result in irregular truck tire wear due to the nature of damage that is characterized by uneven terrains.

Advanced Mechanical problems On Semi Trucks

Semi-truck tires advanced mechanical troubles

Deep-seated mechanical problems in a semi-truck could sometimes manifest themselves in the tires through irregular wear.

Some of the common mechanical problems that could cause irregular tire wear on your semi-truck are:

  • Bent: Axle: The axle transmits power from the transmission to the truck’s wheels. When it gets bent from hitting a curb or hitting a pothole at high speeds, it could greatly destabilize the wheel-road angle resulting in uneven tire wear.
  • Damaged Tie Rod Ends: The tie rod ends connect the wheels to the steering parts of the truck. This way, you are able to turn the steering wheel and the wheel turns. When it gets damaged, your tires turn with difficulty-leading to more wear.
  • Worn-out ball-joints: These components act similar to the human hip. The ball joint is the main suspension that allows the truck tires to move up-down, left-right with the turning of the steering wheel. When worn out, the dexterity of the tire on the road is greatly impacted leading to irregular wear and could damage your truck fender in adverse circumstances.

Now You Know What Are The Causes for Irregular Tire Wear on Semi-Trucks

Tires are some of the most expensive parts of the vehicle that undergo routine replacement. For this reason, every truck owner always wants to maximize on every set of tires to get return on investment.

However, when you notice your tires no longer last, these could be the most common causes for irregular tire wear on semi-trucks.


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Hatice Degirmenci