Home > All Mercertown Blog Posts > A TIRING SUBJECT


Let’s spend a little time today on tires. Since most of you have eighteen of them, it is a major expense as well as potentially a major problem out on the road.  Hopefully everyone is checking their air pressure every morning ( or when the tires are cool).  As everyone is aware, underinflation affects tire wear and fuel mileage. Overinflation affects tire wear. Both situations take money out of your pocket. Enough said.

Under CSA 2010, tire problems can do you and Mercer some major damage on points. A tire showing below 2/32″ tread depth (4/32″ on steers) costs a driver 24 points (8×3). A flat tire (defined as under 50% inflated), or a tire with fabric exposed, costs 30 points (8+2 points OOS x3). It won’t take much of this to do some serious damage to a CSA 2010 point level.  We are going into the warmer months. The road surfaces are hotter, tires wear faster. I urge everyone to watch their tires closely. This is not the time to be stretching dollars by running tires out too far.

Something many drivers don’t consider (but the kind DOT inspector does) are the tire load ratings. For example, if you are pulling a spread axle, you are allowed 40,000# on the spread, right? Well, maybe. You are if all of the eight tires are rated for at least 5,000# (40,000/8).  The same is true with 34,000# on the drives. Each of the drive tires must be rated for 4,250 # (same math, 34,000/8). Usually, this isn’t a problem. The problem comes with the steering axle.  Just because you have a 12,000# axle, doesn’t mean you are good for 12,000# on the front. Each steer tire must be rated for 6,000# (yep, 12,000/2).  If your tires are not rated for what your axles scale, you have a violation. Or violations. Under CSA 2010, it is 9 (3×3) points each tire. Again, these things add up quickly. Be sure you know what your tires are rated for and do not load over their ratings.

For you van drivers who operate into California, an important date is coming your way: January 1, 2011. On that date and after, your tractor must be equipped with Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) tires. All major tire brands offer LLR tires. These are EPA SmartWay certified. The SmartWay website has listings of them by brand, or your tire dealer can offer assistance. This does not effect the van trailer (unless it is 2010 or newer) and you flatbedders are good, for now. But van drivers need to be thinking about this now and planning future tire purchases accordingly.

Tires are important. Tires are also expensive, both in dollars and CSA 2010 points. This evening, I urge everyone to spend a little quality time with their tires. It’s something that needs to be done every day.

  1. Dan & Jane Danger
    April 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Hey, Uncle Lennie; just seen your comments in The Trucker regarding the big KY crash of last month. You are so right in that portion of hwy is so obsolete! Let’s hope they get on the bandwagon soon now that they have some$$.
    (PS: will you autograph my copy?.lol)

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