The Number One Way to Reduce OTR Trucking Expenses

Posted on August 23, 2016 by wpengine

gahr-truckThe number one operating expense in over-the-road transportation is fuel. The second most costly expense is tires. Both are expenses that are hard to control, but regular wheel alignment is the most effective way to get longer life out of your tires. Additionally, aligning your tires can impact fuel costs as well. Fuel consumption with misaligned tires will rise due to increases rolling resistance.

Misaligned Tires Cause Many Problems

Like most truck owners, you’re trying to squeeze every bit of life out of your tires. One of the best ways to do that is to get your tires aligned. Misalignment causes many problems:

  • Fast Tire Wear
  • Increased Fuel Consumption
  • Trailer Dog Tracking
  • Irregular Tire Wear
  • Steering Wheel Shakes
  • Driver’s Seat Shakes
  • Excessive Tire Wear
  • Pulling to the Left or Right
  • Premature Suspension Component Wear

Get Tires Aligned before Excess Wear Occurs

Waiting until tire wear indicates misalignment doesn’t really help save the tires. While it will extend their life vs. not having them aligned after noticing wear, you’ve already lost tread due to wear. Simply making alignment part of a vehicle or fleet preventive maintenance program will allow you to easily get a handle on this perceived uncontrollable expense. Industry experts recommend a minimum of two to three alignments per year or every 50,000 to 60,000 miles as part of the average vehicle’s preventive maintenance program.

Get the Longest Tire Life with Three-Axle Alignment

At Gahr Truck & Equipment, we not only align front tires, we do three-axle alignments. Our alignment equipment allows the axles to be aligned to the centerline of the vehicle ensuring maximum tire life, not to mention the safest vehicle operation. We can perform alignments on trucks or trailers. To ensure the best performance, any time you put new tires on your steer, drive, or trailer axles, a three-axle alignment should be done.

How Often Should You Rotate?

How often should you have your tires rotated? While not all experts agree on how often, they do agree that some tire rotation is beneficial. Obviously, if you notice irregular wear, it makes sense to rotate, but  Bridgestone’s Guy Walenga says, “We recommend doing it when the wheels are up anyway, and the truck is in for other service.” That makes sense, here’s what some of the other industry pros recommend from Overdrive Magazine:

  • At least once during the life of the tread. (Bridgestone’s Guy Walenga)
  • At the halfway point of wear-out. (Yokohama’s Pat Keating)
  • Only when irregular wear appears. (Michelin’s Doug Jones)
  • Once at one-fourth of the total expected mileage, and possibly again at half to three-quarters total mileage. (Goodyear’s Tim Miller)
  • At every oil change or every other. (Giti Tire USA’s William Estupinan)

Bring your truck into Gahr Truck & Equipment for three-axle alignments starting at $175. Stop in, our service shop is open till midnight. If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-748-7582.


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