Preventing Semi-Trailer Tire Blowouts


According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, tire problems result in 6% of all large truck crashes. One of the more serious experiences truck drivers may face as a consequence of tire troubles are semi-truck tire blowouts.

Semi tire blowouts can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle or expel tire debris that may pose a danger to other vehicles on the road. In the event of an 18-wheeler tire blowout, the truck may jackknife or become unmanageable.

For safety reasons as well as expense purposes, avoiding tire issues is a priority. Here you’ll learn some easy ways to prevent semi-truck tire blowouts to keep you and other drivers safe.

Check Semi-Truck Tire Pressure Often

Maintaining proper inflation of semi-truck tires can prevent a good deal of semi-truck tire blowouts. While regular semi tire pressure checks are encouraged, underinflation continues to plague the trucking industry and negatively impact tires. The pounds per square inch (psi) of air in tires must be at desirable levels. After all, this air is what allows tires to support tremendous amounts of weight.

When semi-truck tire pressure falls below proper semi-truck tire psi, tires will flex more than they’re meant to and the additional friction with the road will cause excessive heat. Because it’s natural for tires to incrementally lose pressure, it’s critical to check semi-truck tire pressure regularly.  

By routinely checking semi-truck tire psi with a calibrated gauge not only will you help avoid blowouts, but you’ll also improve the lifespan of the tire and gain other benefits. According to the Technology & Maintenance Council (TCM) of the American Trucking Association, “Proper tire inflation pressure for the load being carried provides several key attributes necessary for safe, reliable and economical service.” Among these attributes are:

  • Load capacity
  • Transfer of driving and braking forces from vehicle to the road
  • Resistance to environmental conditions and aggression from the road surface
  • Low-rolling resistance
  • Long tread life
  • Casing durability for maximum retread-ability
  • Comfort for the vehicle operator and cushioning for the vehicle and load
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Reduced tire and vehicle maintenance. (TMC Future Truck Committee Position Paper)

Avoid Overloading Semi-Trucks

You should avoid overloading semi-trucks for a number of reasons because it can lay the groundwork for semi-truck tire blowouts. Tires are already under extreme pressure and when additional weight is added that exceeds capacity, strain from the heavy load could cause any tire to blow.

To help prevent semi-truck tire blowouts it’s important to adhere to semi-trailer’s weight restrictions and avoid overloading the trailer. Avoiding overloading a semi-truck can help prevent semi tire blowouts and maintain driver safety, truck safety, and the safety of other drivers.

Should your job require a different semi-truck than you have on-hand, you can find semi-trailers for rent so that you can be sure to use a semi-trailer that’s compatible with your project.

Evaluate Tires for Wear and Tear Regularly

Routine evaluation of tire wear and tear is vital to ensuring driver and truck safety while avoiding semi-truck tire blowouts. Semi-truck tires operate under extreme pressure every day as they support heavy loads and traverse road conditions with potholes and other potentially damaging road conditions.

Visual tire inspections can help identify potential problems. Conduct regular walks around the semi-trailer to look for signs of wear and tear and evaluate tread wear indicators.

Semi-trailer repair and maintenance also includes:

  • Tire rotations
  • Balancing
  • Alignment

Easy maintenance services like these extend the life of your tires and help to avoid uneven wear that could result in safety or operational issues.

Replace Semi-Trailer Tires When Necessary

Another way to prevent semi-truck tire blowouts is to replace tires when necessary. We all like to get the most mileage or age out of a tire but trying to make a tire last longer than it should compromises safety on the road.

Be sure to keep up with routine maintenance and service appointments to catch issues before they arise, and replace tires when appropriate. While it may seem like a costly maintenance item, it is far less expensive than the potential cost of not replacing your tires.

Drive Carefully

Cautious driving can also help prevent semi-truck tire blowouts. By avoiding road conditions or hazards that may puncture your tire you can avoid semi tire blowouts. Large potholes may cause rapid tire pressure changes as the semi-trailer drives over them. Potholes can also have sharp edges that may puncture a tire.

Unexpected road hazards can also do severe tire damage. Road hazards that may cause tire damage include:

  • Rough roads
  • Animals
  • Gravel
  • Debris
  • Ice
  • Uneven or bumpy edges
  • Fallen objects

Paying close attention to the road and the behavior of other drivers will help you steer clear of potentially damaging objects.

While potholes and road hazards can be unavoidable, being prepared and alert helps to ensure the safety of all drivers.

Trust Hale Trailer for All Your Semi-Trailer Needs

Whether you need a semi-truck tire blowout repaired or are looking for semi-trailers for sale Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel, Inc. has the parts, maintenance, and services you need. We pride ourselves on having an extensive inventory that offers you semi-trailers, parts, and truck equipment from some of the finest manufacturers in the business. Our knowledgeable team is ready to answer all your questions and help you find the perfect solution to meet your semi-trailer needs. View our locations to find the shop most convenient for you or give us a call at 800-232-6535!

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