Have you ever wondered how to change a commercial truck tire? It isn’t like changing the tire on a car where you can just loosen the bolts, jack up the side, and slide the tire off. Semis and tractor-trailers are too heavy to be lifted up like that.
Options When Needing to Change a Commercial Tire
Truck drivers have some options for changing the tire. They can radio dispatch to find the nearest truck stop and let them know they’re driving there with a flat tire, or they can attempt to change the tire themselves on the side of the road. Semi-trucks have several tires and can allow the truck driver to reach the nearest truck stop without any problems on the road. Truck stops are typically located about every 40 miles or so on the interstate. Therefore, a truck driver won’t have to drive too far to get help with their tires.
Tools for Changing a Commercial Truck Tire
If the truck is in a remote area away from the interstate, this might require the driver to change the tire themselves. Most truck drivers should have a tire changing tool, which can break the bead seal that holds the tire in place and prevents the air from escaping. The bead seal is a small groove on the inner edge of the tire which rests on the wheel. When the seal is broken, the tire on the truck can be removed without lifting it. You will also need to remove the nuts. At this point, you would take the damaged tire off the axle and put the spare tire in its place. But you might find some trouble doing this because spare commercial tires can weigh up to 300 pounds. So, you may need a tool to help you lift and place the tire on the axle properly. Once the new tire is placed on the axle, just replace the nuts and you’re ready to go.
Be Safe When Changing Commercial Tires
The majority of truck drivers encounter tire problems while they’re on the interstate, though. After all, this is where they spend the majority of their time driving. The problem is that if a tire goes flat on the interstate, it can be hard to find a safe place to pull over to on the shoulder without endangering the lives of other motorists on the road. If you don’t see a safe place to pull over to then keep on driving until you do. It would be better to just ruin your tires altogether than it would be to pull over somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of room and then have a motorist crash into you. Once you do find an area with a lot of space, turn on your hazard lights and pull onto the shoulder. Use flares or hazard triangles when necessary.
However, it would always be safer to just get off the nearest exit and then pull over on a local road where motorists are not driving as fast. This is true whether radioing for help or changing the tire yourself. Stay safe truckers.