Welcome to the FTS Plus+ Blog: The Highway Wire

Summer Tire Tips

Posted on 8/16/2016 by in tires Michelin

There's no avoiding the heat and the effects it can have on your commercial vehicle. While fuel is one of the biggest expenses for fleets, it's no surprise that tires are close behind, so make sure you do what you can to ensure you're getting the most out of your tires, especially in the extreme summer conditions.

Preparing for Summer - Start with a Maintenance Policy

Fleets and owner operators should have a maintenance policy to ensure their vehicle efficiency and safety and the safety of their drivers. This policy should be specific to their vehicles, equipment, geography, distance they travel, loads they carry, time on the road and other pertinent factors. Conditions for summer travel can obviously be more challenging and safety is ultimately the #1 priority. In general, the following checks should be performed by the driver prior to any trip:
  • Driver inspection pre-trip. This is the most important thing that can be done. Check the condition of your tires by listening for air leaks, signs of uneven wear, sidewall damage and anything out of the ordinary.
  • Maintain proper tire pressure and replace missing valve caps
  • Monitor tread depths
  • Inspect for tire damage and irregular wear.
  • Inspect suspension components.
  • Look between dual tires to see if there may be obstructions, something lodged or any foreign objects and remove these immediately.


Prevention is key to safety. A solid pre-trip inspection is critical to ensuring the best performance out of the trucks while staying safe. The advantages of a pre-trip inspection include improved highway safety, reducing downtime, increasing productivity and getting on-time load delivery.


Hot Weather Tire Pressure Requirements

Tire pressure monitoring is a key component of a complete tire-maintenance program. Summer heat means that a tire works harder in extremes of temperature and the potential for tire-related issues and roadside events can be increased. Correct pressure maintenance significantly enhances the tires ability to operate correctly during extreme summer temperatures and potential downtime on the side of the road can be reduced
The ideal time to check tire pressures is during the pre-trip and set the tire pressure prior to operating the vehicle while the tires are at ambient inspection prior to departure. Driving, even for a short distance, causes tires to heat up and pressure to increase.
Pressures should always be checked and set to the recommended pressure for the vehicle and load. Low air pressure, caused by improper maintenance or tire damage, is one of the main causes of tire failures and, in extreme circumstances, and can cause fires and magnify the impact of other potential tire related issues.
Uneven tread wear is a clear sign of possible air pressure issues. If the tire is 20 percent below the recommended pressure, it should be considered flat, removed from service and inspected for punctures or other damage. Failure to do so may lead to possible safety issues and unwanted downtime.



Fleets and owner operators should know their specific operating and delivery conditions as well as the tread depth of the tires. Even in summer a sudden rain can cause sitting water on the road surface. Adequate tread depth is required to clear this water to ensure vehicle grip and stability. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, “the minimum tread depth for a steer tire is 4/32 of an inch on every major tread groove.”
If a driver believes he or she has hit or run over a large piece of road debris such as, metal objects, concrete blocks, tree limbs, and other debris they should immediately pull over to a safe place and inspect for damage and potential puncture.
Michelin manufactures a full range of commercial truck tires and treads, all designed to cope with the extremes of weather conditions. Fleets can request assistance from their Michelin Dealer or Sales Person in selecting the right product for them and their operating conditions.


Safety in the Summer Weather Applications

Any tire found, during an inspection, showing signs of unusual wear such as, circumferential cutting, chunking, spin damage, blistering of the tread or sidewall, could be an indication that the tire could have a problem and should be further evaluated.



During the hot summers, it is essential that drivers also look after themselves and remain hydrated. Dehydration can lead to elevated blood pressure and reduced awareness. Drinking the recommended amounts of water promotes physical and mental health, which is essential when in control of a commercial vehicle.


This helpful information was brought to you by our friends at Michelin to make sure you get the most out of your tires and remain safe on the road. To learn how you can save on Michelin tires, please call us today at (800) 749-1724 Opt 2.


Savings are our specialty and we're here to make sure you're saving as much on your fleet needs as possible. If you're interested in learning more on our programs and how much money you could be saving with your FTS Plus+ membership visit us at ftsplus.com/savings or give us a call at (800) 749-1724 Opt. 2 to speak with a savings consultant.