During the winter a lot of machinery remains stationary and parked up for several months. In this period, BKT technicians absolutely recommend to not neglect the tires. Indeed, there are small steps to take that help prevent vehicle downtime and waste.
This is because proper maintenance and care can result in considerable and sustainable savings for every aggregates business. Tires are an important investment in equipment, so it is essential to take proper care of them. In addition, a good tire maintenance program means a higher level of safety and better performance.
These are the main operations which the BKT technical team recommends implementing during the winter period:
- Increasing tire pressure while machines are not in operation. This lets you avoid flat spotting, i.e. tire going flat when not in use, causing the annoying phenomenon of bouncing on restarting. Being stationary for a long time and being very heavy machines, it would be ideal to lift them off the ground and suspend the tires, so avoiding loading any weight on the latter. Alternatively, it is necessary to over-inflate the tires to avoid flattening. In this way the phenomenon of flat spotting is minimized.
- Checking tire pressure before the season starts and set the correct pressure, checking the value indicated by the relevant tables. The outside temperature affects the pressure and it is therefore essential to check it periodically.
- Checking the tires, so you can intervene in good time, if necessary (for example, performing repairs, swapping over the tires, etc. before the season starts), avoiding subsequent vehicle downtime.
- Above all for trailers and tankers, however, it is important to perform the rotation (or switching) of the tires on the axles. This is because tires mounted on the central axle are generally the ones most affected by wear and tear. BKT technicians recommend measuring tread depths and wear and tear, so that the tires can be optimally rotated and crossed.
When activities are fully up and running again, the BKT technical team recommends these practical measures that can really make a difference:
- Paying attention to the condition of the soil and the intended application to make sure that the tires in use are of the correct type. If in doubt, please contact your local BKT specialist or reseller.
- Daily checking of the correct tire pressure is also crucial. It is always advisable to perform the operation with a calibrated pressure gauge or to install, when possible, tire pressure monitoring systems for continuous control. This is because the outside temperature can affect the tire pressure and should therefore be checked regularly.
- Selecting tires suitable for the flow, speed and working conditions for the intended activity.
- Before starting the work, checking for debris trapped in the tread and remove it. This is especially important for tires with a more closed design (e.g. those intended for road transport). This allows you to avoid drilling phenomena in the compound and therefore possible lacerations or punctures. In general, it is important to always visually check the state of the tire, especially with regard to uneven wear and tear, cuts and cracks, and possible bulges.
- Monitoring and tracking tire performance. Some companies calculate the hourly cost by recording the hours of engine operation. Others track the same cost by tracking mileage and calculating the cost per mile. Others calculate the total tons of material handled or the cost per ton within a given period of time. Regardless of the method used, it is important to constantly monitor the conditions in which the tires operate, their performance and note any change that may occur.
- Following the tire speed ratings to avoid problems and prevent road hazards.
These “small” measures save time and costs caused by unnecessary delays and let you solve problems before they even occur. All these operations lead to more efficient and productive work. BKT advises you to never abandon your tires.