Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tire Patch

This is a picture of a tire on my trailer.  Notice the white dirt on the tread.  This is a very simple way of detecting where the tire touches the road.  This tire is getting the maximum tread on the road, which is what I want.  This is called the tire patch.  The more inflated these wide base tires are, the smaller the tire patch and the less traction you get. 

With a smaller tire patch you also get more miles per gallon because there is less rolling resistance, but the tire will wear out faster and it is very unsafe in wet or slippery conditions.

In the absence of white dirt, many things can be used.  You can even use chalk by drawing a line across the tire in several places and seeing where the chalk has been worn away after driving around the parking lot. 

The tire patch will change depending on how much weight you have on your trailer.  There are several ways to manage your tires.  Tire pressure is the number one reason for tire failure.  In addition to that, tire punctures are one of the main reasons for decreased tire pressure.  A great place to acquire tire punctures is the shoulder of the highway where debris accumulates over time. 

Tires are relatively important so knowing the most you can about how they play a roll literally, can help you greatly improve your bottom line.


Scott said...

Do you notice a cost savings running a single tire? Or, is it more of a weight saving issue to allow for higher payload?

Ed said...

Scott, it is both. Fuel savings is at least 10K a year and the weight savings is about 400 lbs. lighter than an entire truck and trailer with all aluminum wheels.