There are many ways to improve the fuel mileage of your commercial or owner operator truck. These include improved aerodynamics, high-tech cruise control, and even hybrid electric semi trucks. However, before investing in these advanced technologies, you should start with the basic things that make your rig energy inefficient. Poorly maintained tires for example, are one of the biggest energy wasters. The wasted fuel and the reduced tire life are costly. In addition, good tire maintenance is central to safely operating your vehicle.
As a provider of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Florida, we would like to share these three tire care tips that increase the fuel efficiency of your rig:
Avoid Under Inflated Tires
Under inflated tires deform excessively as they roll. This deformation uses up energy (turns it into heat), which when multiplied by eighteen wheels and the miles driven each year, adds up to a hefty sum. Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure, which is how they were designed to run. It will give each tire an optimum footprint that provides both good mileage and good traction.
Don’t over inflate your tires. This causes other problems such as a harder ride, which can damage your truck and cargo. Over inflation causes uneven tire wear and therefore shortens tire life. It also does little to improve fuel efficiency.
Keep Your Wheels Balanced
Imbalanced drive wheels cause slippage between the tire rubber and the pavement. This slippage generates heat, which is an energy loss. Slippage increases at higher speeds and at greater levels of wheel imbalance. Imbalanced wheels also cause uneven tire wear.
Keep Your Wheels Aligned
Wheel misalignment means you’re riding on wheels that aren’t pointing straight ahead. Therefore the tires are dragging on the pavement and generating energy wasting heat. The dragging also causes significant tire wear.
Another consequence of poor tire maintenance is that it increases your risk of blowouts. Note that all three of the above maintenance issues generate excess heat. Over heated tires, especially on hot days when black asphalt gets very hot, weaken and degrade the tire’s rubber and its reinforcing belting structure.
If you have questions on this or on commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Florida, please contact us.
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