Truck tyres are very expensive. They can represent a significant line item for a fleet operator and especially when you consider how many tyres are found on a typical tractor/trailer configuration. It is very important, therefore, to look after them and to ensure that they do not wear down too quickly. This is why, as a fleet operator, you need to pay attention to the way that they are configured. What do you need to bear in mind?
Starting at the Front
From a performance perspective, the tyres on the front of a tractor are the most vulnerable. These wheels do, after all, turn as the vehicle goes around corners and they must be adjusted from a toe, caster and camber perspective. Most of the energy is pushed through the axles that drive the tractor, of course, but you can expect additional wear on these axles no matter what. Nevertheless, it is also important to ensure that those wheels are properly configured and are checked from time to time.
Many people think that the trailer axles are irrelevant as they just follow in the track of the tractor ahead. Yet you will want to ensure that those axles are properly aligned too, as otherwise the trailer may push the tractor and this could cause excessive tyre wear to the rear.
For best effect, the driving and driven wheels should toe in slightly. This means that they will point slightly to the inside of a straight line ahead. When the vehicle is travelling, the friction generated by the road surface will pull the tyres into a straight direction. This is known as deflection, and you should account for this at all costs if you want to reduce the amount of wear on the inside of the cover.
You should also aim for a positive camber, but this is mostly built into the design of the axle by the vehicle manufacturer. There's only a certain amount of adjustment you can make here, but it is nevertheless an important consideration.
Always ensure that you check the important angles whenever the vehicle is brought in for a service. If you notice any excess wear, you should double-check your calculations in order to keep your overall tyre budget as reasonable as possible.
If it's been some time since you checked your truck wheel alignment, book the vehicle in to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.