Commercial truck owners can and, on occasion, do, save money by in-sourcing their tire dismount and mounting. Improper mounting can cost truck owners in a few different ways: Out of balance tires don’t drive easy and don’t wear well, hot beads unnecessarily deteriorate casing assets, and bad inflation pressure also accelerates tread wear, casing degradation, and wastes fuel and drive-train life.
Whether you retread your truck tires or not, the best thing to do is try and avoid damaging the bead when you take the tire off the wheel. If you do not retread, the tire dealer may refuse to purchase casings that have damaged beads. Some brands of casing do not have a chaffer ply in the bead, and we choose not to repair damage to this make’s beads. For further information contact your salesman or email us at, firstname.lastname@example.org. New bars, tire-soap, and taking small bites can help avoid dismount/mount-related bead damage.
The flanges that the tire bead sits on on the rim should be cleaned with either a rotary wire wheel or a wire brush once a tread-life so that dried built/up bead grease does not generate friction which generates heat which will hasten the hardening of the rubber in the tire’s bead area. Mounting a new retread or steer tire on a dirty wheel is like putting dirty socks on a clean foot at the beginning of the day; by the end of the day, your feet will start to get sore. In the truck tire though, instead of your feet getting sore, the hard-brittle rubber in the bead becomes less pliable and more likely to split and crack.
Truck tires are molded with a beauty ring around the sidewall about 3/8ths of an inch from the wheel. If the distance between this ring and the wheel edge is the same all the way around the wheel, the tire is seated on the wheel straight. Having the tire on the wheel as straight as possible reduces shimmy and vibration and is very important for tires that will be used on the steer axle. To ensure that the tire is straight on the wheel wet all of both beads with a tire-specific mounting lubricant. Chassis grease or diesel fuel are petroleum based and will react with the rubber in the tire and cause damage. It’s also necessary to lay the tire/wheel flat on the ground when starting the air. Failing to seat steer tires straight on the wheel can greatly impact wear-performance and driver comfort.
Another best practice for mounting steer tires is to match the manufacturer’s low point with the valve stem. Manufacturer’s mark the light side of the tire with a painted yellow dot. This is best matched to the valve stem to eliminate vibration and maximize performance.
In addition to cleaning the wheel with each tread-life, the small gasket that seals the valve stem to the wheel in a tubeless tire should be refreshed and changed out. There’s no point in having a flat on your brand new tire because of a part the costs less than pennies.
Lastly, take the time to make sure that the air pressure your tire’s inflated to is exactly right. Always use a tire safety cage or have the tire and wheel bolted to the vehicle. When airing a tire that could have been ran under-inflated for an amount of time, look and listen for popping in the upper sidewall. A zipper will start popping, like popcorn being popped, before an explosive and potentially lethal rush of air will come shooting out of the sidewall of the tire. Get in a habit of not standing in the blast area of a tire as it’s inflating, or in other words, directly beside it. Hose extensions for filling tires with air with remote air gauges and tire cages and other supplies for doing tire work are available from companies like Myers, Borg, and Tech.
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