Safety Tips for Commercial Tires
Tire safety is a subject that cannot be stressed enough, whether it is for drivers or technicians. The wheels that carry the load of a vehicle need to be designed with extra precautions, and similar care should be taken when inflating and mounting them.
Those working in the industry are aware of the dangers related to the inflation process. However, surprisingly, many people do not practice safety procedures, though there have been many cases of serious injuries and even deaths when proper procedures were not followed. This is especially important when dealing with big tires and a few basic tips can make a world of difference.
First and foremost, comprehensive training should be given to all technicians for thorough understanding of safety measures. They should also be provided with the right tools. Most importantly, every shop that deals in commercial tires should have an inflation safety cage. A tire should never be inflated while resting against on a wall or on the floor. Filling a little air to seat the tire is fine – around 20psi to 40psi – but for full inflation, it has to be inside a cage.
Safety cages are particularly useful if a tire bursts during the inflation process, because they can bear the brunt of the explosion and reduce the impact significantly. Technicians should always ensure that the cages are in workable condition, and should be replaced if they are cracked or corroded. The placement of a cage is equally important and given the risk of potential explosion, it should never be fastened to the floor or a wall.
Similarly, technicians should not stand too close to the cage while inflating a tire. They should position themselves at least three meters away and use a remote inflation system with a clip-on chuck and an extension hose. They should also wear safety goggles during the procedure. Techs should take extra care to ensure that during the inspection, the tire and wheel are kept inside the cage. As a safety precaution, they should stick to the use of a remote inflation system even when topping up tires on a truck. Moreover, a tire should be completely deflated before it is demounted.
Prior to mounting a tire, it is essential that it undergoes a thorough examination. Technicians should ensure that the wheel is not bent, cracked, or rusted. Also, when cleaning the bead seat , they should always use a non-inflammable lubricant. Moreover, the tire and rim must be of the
same diameter, or else the tire bead could break.
Since fitting a tire on a vehicle is a routine job for technicians, over time they may get to be a little careless in their approach to safety. However, once again, attention to safety measures is just as vital, especially when dealing with trucks. The jacks – whether hydraulic or air/hydraulic – used to lift trucks should be in good working order and should be regularly examined for damage. Likewise, a jack should always be placed on solid ground and should never be of lower capacity than the weight of the axle it is lifting. Technicians must also ensure that parking brakes are set and that chocks are put on the opposite side. Lastly, a jack stand and mechanical pins should support the axle.
Although these safety procedures may seem overwhelming, the fact remains that a few steps can save tires and vehicles from damage. More importantly, it can save lives and reduce the risk of injuries to people involved in the procedures.