Did you know that your tires can save you money on your fuel costs! With the number of miles our drivers log each year, we know all too well the cost savings that can be produced by doing “little” things like making sure your tires are always road ready!
Not only can it increase your fuel efficiency and save you money, following a few of these tire safety tips from the road experts at McKenzie can increase your tire safety, protecting you and those around you on the road!
Here are a few tire safety tips that will also help increase your fuel efficiency this summer, whether you’re driving a commercial vehicle or just your personal vehicle!
- Buy fuel efficient tires! McKenzie founder, Guy McKenzie, Sr., worked for many years as an avid entrepreneur in the transportation industry in Florida and throughout the southeast. All those years in the industry meant plenty of time on the road. Having tires that increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency can be a “game changer” to your business and your own bottom line, McKenzie says. While you might not realize it, about 13 percent of each gallon of fuel consumed goes solely to overcoming rolling resistance. That can vary by the load on the tire, the tread pattern and of course, inflation pressure. Various wheel positions have different impacts on fuel efficiency. On a tractor-trailer combination, the steer tires contribute 15-20 percent to fuel efficiency, drive tires 30-40 percent and trailer tires about 40-50 percent. Look for fuel efficient tires that have low rolling resistance and require less energy than standard tires to propel them in the direction of travel. The easier it is to roll the tires, the less heat is generated, and the less fuel needed to advance the vehicle.
- Make sure you’re aligned! The tires on your vehicle — any vehicle — will not roll efficiently when your alignment is off, so make sure your alignment is checked and adjusted regularly. This will keep your tires rolling properly, reducing the rolling resistance and increasing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency! It also will mean you will be rolling down the road safely and with less risk of losing control when everything is properly aligned! Known for our safety standards, McKenzie Tank Lines vehicles are checked and serviced regularly and alignment is at the top of the list. When your tire alignment is out of whack, all the wheels can be heading in different directions. It’s the equivalent of dragging your tires sideways down the road. The result is greater resistance, poor rolling resistance and thus it’s unlikely you’re getting the best fuel efficiency. Having your alignment checked and adjusted regularly can quickly fix the problem and ensure everything is rolling in the right direction as you’re trucking down the road.
- Inflate your tires, not your fuel bill: Under-inflation kills not only tires, but also fuel efficiency. A tire underinflated by as little as 10 percent can result in 20 percent increase in rolling resistance, and a corresponding drop in fuel efficiency. Improper inflation bites you in two ways: It reduces the ability of the tire sidewall to support the load on the tire, which increases the degree to which the sidewall will flex; and it changes the footprint or contact patch of the tire. For commercial fleets like ours, it’s important to make it easy for drivers to add air to their tires. Additionally under-inflated tires aren’t just a threat to fuel efficiency, they can impact tire safety as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 1/3 of passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs are being driven with at least one under-inflated tire. Under-inflation is one of the leading causes of tire failure. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire’s surface area touches the road, which increases friction. Increased friction can cause the tires to overheat, which can lead to premature wear, tread separation and blowouts. You can avoid this risk by regularly checking your tires and making sure you have them inflated to the appropriate PSI, increasing not only your tire safety but upping your fuel efficiency as well. Operating from 14 terminals in 6 states, McKenzie tries to ensure that we conduct regular checks of all of our trucks’ tires and provide inflation hoses at all of our terminals so our drivers can easily and regularly keep their tires road ready.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that thousands of injuries could be prevented each year if drivers would inflate their tires to the correct pressure.
Simply paying attention to the details of correct inflation, tire temperature, and alignment can help keep vehicles on the road and in good operating condition, reducing the odds of a catastrophic failure, and improving highway safety. Employing some 400 drivers, mechanics, and other staff, the MTL team is committed to a mission of efficiency and safety on the all the roadways throughout our country and by sticking to a few of these tire safety tips, you can join us in our mission!