Special from our Friends at Powertank
Do you know how often you should be checking your tire pressures? How often do you need to replace your tires, regardless of wear? Do you know how to do a five tire rotation with a spare? Tires are the most critical component of your vehicle as they are the only contact point with the road. Your tires are in charge of accelerating, braking, and turning. Keep your tires happy so that they can keep you safe.
Finding the Load Index…
If you’re an off roader, you should be well aware of what size tires you’re running. But not all 37’s are created equal. With long road trips comes a lot of equipment. Heavy equipment. Make sure your tires are up to the task to carry that weight. The number usually found after the tire size is the Load Index. By using this chart, you can determine how much load your tires can carry at peak pressure. Our Falken Wildpeak M/T tires that we use on our JKU have a load index of 124. This means at peak pressure, they can support 3527 lb x 4 tires = 14,108 lb. This far exceeds the weight of the vehicle plus its max payload capacity.
Monthly Check Up…
You should be checking your tires monthly! The beginning of each month should be a reminder to check your tire pressure. Under inflated tires will heat up much more quickly at speed, decreasing lifespan dramatically. Overinflation can cause tires to balloon which can cause excessive wear in the middle of your tire. Power Tank has pencil pressure gauges on clearance right now for a dollar each or upgrade to a pocket digital gauge for a few bucks more. You have no reason not to have safe tire pressure in all of your vehicles!
While you’re at it, examine the tires for wear. Look for uneven tread wear which may indicate a tire balancing issue or an alignment problem. Look for cracks or bulges in your tire. You know the old penny trick? It’s outdated. Use a quarter to measure tread instead. Hold a quarter upside down against your tread. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, you need to replace your tires. The difference that 2/32 inch makes in the stopping distance of a light pickup is 120 ft on wet pavement or a 24% decrease in stopping distance!!! (500 ft stopping distance at 2/32 in tread depth vs 378 ft stopping distance at 4/32 in tread depth)
Safe Tire Inflation Practices…
Never inflate a tire that you suspect may have been damaged. This is especially true for high pressure RV tires. High pressure tires should never be inflated if they have dropped below 80% of their max capacity. Instead, bring them to a professional tire shop with access to a tire cage. A damaged tire can lead to an explosive accident.
Power Tank has just added three new tire inflators to our Safety Series featuring a 6 ft Safety Whip. The 6 ft whip allows you to stand off to the side of the vehicle and not in front of the tire that you are inflating. Previously standard on our high pressure gauges, we have now made it easier to get “stand away safety” on a more general purpose gauge. You can now get the increased accuracy of a 60 psi digital gauge, 60 psi analog gauge, or a 100 psi Racer Series gauge with a 6 ft Safety Whip.
Five Tire Rotation…
The older your tires are, the more likely deformities may arise. After six years, regardless of miles or tread life, it is recommended that you replace your tires. If you carry a spare tire on your rig, even if it hasn’t been taken off of your tire carrier, it has still been subjected to harmful UV rays from the sun and oxygen breaking down the rubber from the inside and outside.
It would be unfortunate to toss a tire that hasn’t seen a mile of pavement, so include it in your tire rotation. You can get 20% more life out of your tires this way. Use this handy diagram and rotate your tires every 6-8000 miles.
Since 1997, Power Tank CO2 air systems and accessories have been setting the performance standards for all on-board air systems. No other OBA can match the power, versatility, and portability of a Power Tank air system and no other air system can match our unprecedented warranty and value.