Tread wear and damage

Determining the causes of tyres placed out of service is vital to transport companies because of the substantial investment that tyres represent. To protect your investment, it helps to be aware of the factors that can lead to a tyre’s demise.

Lug base cracking

Appearance: Cracking is evident at the base of the tread lugs in the shoulder area.

Probable causes: The wrong tread design was used for the operation – combination of high drive-axle torque, underinflation and heat.

Tyre: Consult your tyre dealer/ retreader to retread casing.

Actions: Change tread design to suit application.

Chipping/flaking tread

Appearance: Rough, severely chipped tread surface with numerous small flakes or chunks of treads missing.

Probable causes: Operation of the tyres with highway tread rubber compound on coarse gravel surfaces – wrong tread design and compound selected for the application. Aggravated by high torque and overinflation.

Tyre: Tyres with major chipping/flaking need to be removed from service. Consult your tyre dealer/retreader for the possibility of retreading the tyre with a mixed service or off-road compound tread.

Actions: Review the tread selection with your tyre dealer/retreader for the correct compound.

Heel/toe wear

Appearance: Each lug around the tyre worn high to low from front to back edge of lug. Probable causes: Most often, mismatched inflation pressures or tyre diameters in a dual assembly.

Tyre: Consult your tyre dealer/ retreader to retread casing.

Actions: Rotate tyres, review tyre maintenance practice and tread design selection. If the wear is severe, maintain the tyres at the current position to run the tread out.

Radial tyre rupture

Appearance: A vertical break through the crown and sidewall between two body ply cables that does not break the cables.

Probable causes: Severe impact fracture. This situation can occur in overinflated and/or overloaded conditions.

Tyre: Scrap tyre. Actions: Review tyre inflation-pressure maintenance programme. Review driver training.