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Repairing Tires on a Tractor-Trailer Every day across America, the highways and interstates are filled with tractor-trailers, also known as eighteen wheelers or semi-trucks, hauling good and products long distances and in bulk. The service that these haulers provide is invaluable to industries across the nation and to the commerce of the United States as a whole. But these tractor-trailers are vehicles little different in function than any other form of motor transportation. Still, the gigantic differences between a semi-truck and a four door sedan are readily apparent when it comes to changing tires. Tires on a semi-truck are monstrous in comparison to other tires on the highways, and the sheer size of the machinery they support require specialized shops and tools in order to completely and safely change the tire of a large eighteen wheeler. But this unfortunate reality of life for a trucker does not eliminate the likelihood of each driver having to deal with multiple tire issues throughout their career. When a driver of a semi-truck experiences problems with one of the tires on their rig or trailer, an immediate assessment of the tire should be undertaken by the driver. To do this, the driver must pull safely to side of the highway in a designate turn off or exit, deploying caution cones as necessary to warn other traffic of the stopped vehicle, and inspect the problematic tire to determine to cause of the issue.

Blowouts Sometimes, in the instance of a complete blowout for example, the issue will be readily apparent. However, if the problem with the tire is not so obvious a driver may have to inspect each tire for air leaks or other damage in order to determine the source of the problem. If the tire or if tires have been completely destroyed beyond repair, a driver should contact their dispatch to relay that information and decide which action would be most responsible. Often it is safe for a driver to transport the vehicle to the nearest service center even on the damaged tire, although there are likewise the instances where further use of the truck is not advisable in which case the company may be able to send a road-side team to help fix the tire or change to a spare.

If the tire is still operable, however, it is likely that a driver will have to repair the tire before making the journey to the service center for further aid. Repairing tires on a semitruck is much like repairing tires on other vehicles, and is a task that all drivers should be able to perform. To repair the tire, first a driver must find the cause of the damage or leak. Once the damaged area is located, the driver will be able to asses which repairs will be needed.

Leaks For leaks, it is usually advisable to not remove objects that may have punctured the tire, but if a driver has a puncture repair kit than the object may be removed and patched according to the kit instructions. Whatever action is determined to be the best, a drive must remember to keep their fleet management services and others informed of their actions so as to request aid if needed. Photo Credit: Popular Mechanics, ohioautowarehouse

Repairing Tires on a Tractor-Trailer