Tips to Improve Equipment Tire Wear

SOURCE: Volvo CE | April 28, 2024

If you’re looking for a way to cut maintenance costs, be sure to look at the tires on your wheeled machines. Premature tire wear not only costs you more in wear parts, it also adds unnecessary downtime — meaning your machine is sitting idle instead of out there making you money.

These tips can help you cut back on excessive tire wear on your articulated trucks, wheel loaders and wheeled excavators to experience more profitable uptime.


Operators or maintenance staff should visually inspect tires daily. Clean off any excess mud or dirt first, then check the condition of valve stems and valve caps. Look for cuts, cracks and irregular wear on both the tread and tire shoulders. It’s important to find issues early, as this can eliminate major problems requiring early tire replacement.


Incorrect tire pressure is the main cause of premature tire failure on articulated trucks. If you’re an operator, it should be part of your daily check to have a tire gauge in hand. As ambient temperatures change throughout the year, so does tire pressure.

Low inflation causes extreme heat buildup, especially on the side walls of the tire, causing cracking. Over inflation causes the tread to be worn prematurely in the center of the tread pattern which causes a very uncomfortable ride.

An easier way to monitor tire pressure is to use a tire pressure monitoring system if your OEM offers one. Volvo 35-ton up to 60-ton articulated haulers, for example, are equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS) as standard equipment. It relays tire psi and temperature to the operator via the in-cab Volvo Co-Pilot display at all times. This system can also be added as an option to 25- and 30-ton models or on older trucks delivered before it was available from our factory. Another handy feature on Volvo haul trucks is a decal on the rear frame stating the tire pressure for front and rear tires for each tire manufacturer that you may decide to run on your trucks.

For wheel loaders, the TMPS is an app in Volvo Load Assist. The system can be configured to warn operators of low/high pressure and high temperature for each individual tire. When it’s used, the maximum lifecycle of the tires can be reached to help avoid frequent tire changes. Fuel consumption is also affected, especially when tire pressure is lower than specified. By using the TPMS, you can lower fuel consumption and your total cost of ownership.


For operators running Volvo articulated haulers, using the 4×6 operation mode versus constantly being in 6×6 mode can really save on tire wear.

The Volvo 4×6 drive feature turns power off to the rear axle. On better maintained haul roads where six-wheel drive isn’t required, operators can chose to run with the front and center axles only engaged. It’s like taking your 4×4 pickup truck back to two-wheel drive on a road with a good surface. This results in less tread friction against the road surface, increased maneuverability and less stress on the complete drive line of the truck. Imagine how much these things are amplified on a pickup in 4×4 — now apply the same concept a six-wheel drive truck hauling 45 or up to 60 tons of dirt or rock.


A lot of operators like to get every bit they can on every trip, but your tires will suffer — especially on longer runs. 20 years ago, we saw most hauls around 800 feet to a half mile one way. Now many of our customers are hauling materials two and a half up to five miles to a dump site. Even if everything we’ve discussed previously is kept in check, but you overload your truck and travel further than ever with many more tons than the tires are rated for, the money made by having more on the truck will be spent in the end replacing tires.

To help ensure more accurate loads, be sure to utilize an on-board weighing system if your haul truck is equipped with one. All Volvo trucks are equipped with an On-Board Weighing system that tells the operator how many tons he’s hauling. It also has a light system over both rear view mirrors for the excavator or loader operator to observe. It’s a simple green, then yellow then red light system to give the loading unit operator an idea of how close he is to a full load. Tire manufacturers are being asked more and more to do an onsite TPMH (ton per mile hour) study to suggest the best tire, pressure and load to achieve longer tire life.


Tires are probably the most expensive wear part on a wheel loader. Features that allow you to adjust your wheel loader’s torque to match the conditions of your worksite helps reduce unnecessary tire spin and tire wear in poor or slick ground conditions. It can drastically cut down on tire wear.

If you run Volvo wheel loaders, our torque adjustment feature is called Rimpull Control, and it features five different settings: 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and Off. By utilizing Rimpull Control, you can increase tire life while reducing operating costs at the same time.


When operating wheel loaders at the face, it’s important to keep your work area clean by removing any rocks, debris or sharp obstacles that can cut or damage the tires. Chains can be installed to provide additional protection against damage-causing obstacles, but installing chains will lead to some tire wear and will require maintenance and added weight to the machine that will most likely increase fuel consumption.

A few minutes each day inspecting your tires and monitoring them throughout the day can really cut back on excessive tire wear to help keep your operating expenses in check. Cutting back on your daily fuel consumption is another way to decrease your operating costs — these fuel-saving tips can help.

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