It's also important to know when to replace vs. repair. "A good rule of thumb is to consult your tire dealer on all repairs. Tire punctures aren't always straight, so pressing a plug straight into the tire could cause additional damage," says Porterfield. "If a tire is running low on tread, but is still holding air and is structurally sound, it may be a good candidate for retreading. The important thing to remember, however, is to pull that tire off with about 15% of the tread remaining. If it goes much further than that, and any of the under-tread compound is exposed, it's too late."
"Ultimately, successful implementation of a tire management program takes buy-in from both the fleet manager and the operators," says Porterfield. "It's important for the fleet manager to train the operators to use the equipment within its limits and to report any changes in inflation pressure or job site conditions that could lead to potential problems."
Ongoing consultation from the tire dealer is also essential to a successful long-term program. "It's important to consult with the tire dealer as changes occur that could potentially affect the tire management program," says Porterfield. "As an operation expands, haul distances, speeds, loads, site conditions, cycle times and equipment configurations can all change. Each of these factors necessitates a change to the tire management program. As such, the fleet manager should work closely with his or her tire dealer for recommendations whenever major changes occur."
As a regional OTR tire manager for Titan Tire Corporation, Bill Porterfield has spent 38 years in the tire industry, helping tire dealers implement tire management programs for their customers in the construction, aggregate and mining industries.