Fuel Savings May Ride on Rubber

September 28, 2010

The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) offers tips for helping truck operators save fuel — a hot topic as pump prices continue to climb.

Alignment: Make sure that "the front end, other axles and steering and suspension-related components are operating in their proper position," says TRIB. Misalignment can cause tires to drag and scrub, which diminishes tire life, of course, but also creates added resistance that burns more fuel.

Tire selection: "Because tread depth and design have the biggest single effect on rolling resistance," says TRIB, "tires should be application-specific." A potential consideration, says TRIB, is using a single wide-base tire in a dual-tire application.

Inflation: You may have heard this before, but it's true — under-inflated tires burn fuel, because, says TRIB, they don't roll as easily as their design allows. According to TRIB, it's best to check pressure when the tires are cold (before the vehicle has been driven more than a mile). A truck tire, says the Bureau, may lose a pound or two per month, perhaps more in hot weather.