When to Know Your Truck Tires Should Be Changed

September 13, 2017
Truck Tires

When looking at used semi-trucks, a buyer should be aware that they may need some minor repairs and upkeep before they’re really ready to take on the road. One of the most basic examples of this are the truck tires. Even if the truck looks “like new” the tire wear and tread depth can break down quickly.

On smaller truck configurations, it’s often easiest to go ahead and throw on new tires as part of the purchase.  But for trucks with more than two axles is a pricey bit of maintenance.

So, here are some tips from our Coopersburg & Liberty Kenworth team on how to know when your truck needs new tires before you put them to work.

3 Ways to Know Your Used Truck Tires Need Replacing

1. The Penny Test

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, yet it still often works.  Pull out a penny, and stick it in the tire tread.  If you can see all of Lincoln’s face, the tread is too shallow to give you good traction. If the tread can take most or all of the penny, it’s fine.

2. Tread Wear Markings

Many tires are now deliberately manufactured to make it easy to tell when the treads are too worn to be safely used.  As the tread wears, you’ll start to see flat bars become exposed which are perpendicular to the tread.  If you can see them, it’s time for new tires or, at least, some tire retread.

3. Exposed Steel Wires or Belting

In particularly bad cases, the tire may be so worn down you can see exposed metal from the wires and/or belting reinforcing the tire. If it’s this worn down, it’s absolutely NOT safe to drive and should be replaced before you even leave the lot.

Should You Have Your Tired Balanced Too?

There’s a lot of dispute within the truck industry, and even between different tire manufacturers, over whether balancing is worth the extra cost and, if so, how much benefit it actually brings.  This matters since, if you’re getting your tires replaced, the question of balancing them will probably come up.

You will probably get some benefit from balancing, but it’s also likely to be fairly small – except for the drive wheels.  We do recommend balancing those.  If nothing else, well-balanced drive wheels will make your own ride smoother and more comfortable!

See Great Used Semi-Trucks for Sale at Coopersburg & Liberty Kenworth

Between our two lots, we have forty acres of new and used trucks available! Come visit and see for yourself.