The two main benefits of maintaining your truck's alignment are to prevent uneven tire wear and to keep your drivers comfortable as they drive. The tires' tread will quickly wear out if a truck is pulling to the left or right, leading to wear on the inside or outside of the tire. It is crucial to optimize tire removal miles since commercial truck tires, which vary in price from 35,000 to 60,000 depending on make, model, and wear depth, are expensive. A good alignment will go a long way toward preventing irregular and unequal tire wear, which lead to early tire replacements. This is something that you should be extra mindful of during winter.
Does your heavy-duty truck need alignment in winter?
Yes, it would help if you did proper wheel alignment of your truck for winter. The effect on the driver of inadequate alignment is a hidden expense. The driver can experience increased fatigue if they struggle with the steering to keep the truck on a straight route. A fleet with a reputation for poorly maintained and out-of-alignment trucks will not retain drivers.
When should the fleet consider alignment?
The correct timing of alignment should be considered since it requires downtime and money to align every tractor and trailer. Some fleets may align their trucks depending on the age or mileage. Some fleets won't align, while others will only do so if the tires wear unevenly.
The presence of trailers is one of the excuses fleet managers provide for not having alignments performed. When a perfectly aligned truck is coupled with an out-of-alignment trailer, the trailer will pull the truck out of alignment, causing uneven tire wear and difficult steering control for the driver.
The repeatability of alignment data is an issue for fleets that acknowledge the significance of correct truck alignment on both the truck and trailer. The methods used by various alignment businesses to establish alignment angles for thrust, toe, camber, and caster vary. Within alignment businesses, the technician's skill level may also impact the repeatability of alignment findings.
Getting the help of an expert for winter truck wheel alignment
To obtain reliable results, the alignment apparatus has to be calibrated often. Every fleet should research potential alignment companies before making a choice. When visiting the different alignment businesses, fleets should consider the following:
- What kind of systems are used for the alignment
- How much experience do the technicians have
- How often is the equipment calibrated
- Inquire about other fleets' experiences with the alignment shop
When should you go for winter truck wheel alignment?
You will be driving your truck in slippery road conditions during winter. Therefore, it is essential to pay special attention to truck wheel alignment. Your steer tires make it simple to spot toe-in and toe-out situations. Full shoulder wear on steers is a consequence of side scrubbing and is brought on by either the drive/trailer axle being out of alignment or the steer axle having an inappropriate toe condition.
This an excellent illustration of when the steer axle may be aligned correctly but the drive or trailer axles are not full. Too much toe-in is to blame if both steer tires' outer shoulders are worn. The steer axle has a toe-out condition if both steer tires' inner shoulders are worn.
The ribs of the steer tires are worn from high to low on each rib across the tread, which is a sign of feather wear, another prevalent steer tire wear characteristic. The typical culprits are excessive toe on the steer axle and/or drive axle misalignment. Only one of the two dual-drive tires has fast shoulder wear that may be ascribed to negative camber. This quick shoulder wear will be amplified by uneven inflation pressure between the inner and outer duals.
Now you have a clear understanding of heavy-duty truck wheel alignment. Keep these in mind, and you can ensure your safety and comfort when driving your vehicle on the road.