Tires are perhaps the most important part of a larger commercial truck, particularly when it comes to the day-to-day activities of the vehicle. Unfortunately, these truck tires can lead to significant injuries in many ways. In some cases, tires can fly off of the truck and cause accidents on their own. In other cases, bad tires can lead to the entire truck colliding with other vehicles on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss how often semi-truck tires need to be replaced.
What the Regulations Say About Truck Tires
When we turn to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we can see that the regulations say that tires on a commercial vehicle must “meet safety standards, including load restrictions, inflation pressure, and other safety standards, and be free from specified defects.”
However, federal regulations do not state specifically how often truck tires must be replaced. That said, when delving into the specific language of the law in the federal code, there are very detailed instructions about when a tire is no longer safe. For example, every truck tire must have a tread that is at least 2/32nds of an inch deep. For the front tires of the vehicle, the depth must be 4/32nds of an inch deep. Inspections should include the measurement of a major groove on the tire. If any spot on a tire has a groove depth less than the required depth, this could result in trucking companies receiving a citation, and the tires should be replaced.
Additionally, there is some confusion about federal regulations regarding regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires. The rule says that commercial buses cannot use regrooved tires, but commercial trucks can. However, the load-carrying capacity for regroved, retreaded, or recapped tires for commercial trucks must be under 4,920 pounds.
It is up to truck owners and companies to ensure a regular inspection and maintenance of every tire on their vehicle to ensure that it meets safety requirements set forth by the FMCSA. If a tire ceases to meet inspection standards, it must be replaced.
The general guideline for truck tires is that they should be replaced every three to six years, but that is certainly a wide year range. Again, if truck drivers and trucking companies perform regular inspection and maintenance on their vehicles, then they should be able to tell when it is time to replace a truck tire.
One benchmark that could certainly be useful, and objective, is using the tire’s mileage. So long as there is proper accounting involved, every truck company should be able to tell the exact mileage that every tire has taken.
The reality is that knowing when to replace a commercial truck tire is not always easy, and truck companies are strongly encouraged to err on the side of safety when it comes to vehicle safety, including tire replacement.
Working With a Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck, reach out to a skilled attorney immediately. A Houston truck accident lawyer will investigate every possible cause of the incident, including defective tires, to help their client recover full compensation for their losses.