Truck tires are a crucial place to check for defects. When a tire on a commercial truck fails, it can cause the truck to lose control and collide with one or more vehicles. Truck companies should be aware that cold temperatures can pose special problems when it comes to truck tires.
Knowing how the extreme cold can affect tire safety may help responsible parties avoid cold-related issues that threaten tire integrity. Fleet Owner explains different ways that cold winter weather challenges truck companies when it comes to maintaining good tires.
Cold weather cracking
Sometimes very cold weather can damage tires. It depends on how low the temperature falls and the compounds of the tire itself. When extreme cold interacts with poor tire compounding, it can make the compound less elastic and more brittle, a condition called cold weather cracking. As a trucker drives with tires in this condition, the tires will wear out at a quicker rate and may lead to blowouts or tire failure.
Air pressure readings
Truck companies should make sure their tires stay inflated at the right pressure. Tires with not enough air tend to wear faster and heat up to the point where they could blow out. However, a trucker or a fleet manager should wait for truck tires to cool before checking the pressure since the heat generated from driving can inflate the air pressure reading.
When a truck sits in cold temperatures, it is also possible to get an inaccurate reading. In the event the outdoor weather is extremely cold, it is better to move the truck to a more controlled environment. If the truck tires are above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a trucker may acquire a more accurate air measurement.
Air supply system issues
Frozen condensation can also affect tire air. If condensation builds up inside the air supply system of a truck, it can gather inside the valve core. Extreme cold weather can freeze the condensation and open the valve core. This releases air and causes tire deflation. These and other reasons may account for a cold weather truck accident that could cause serious personal injury.