Why You Should Care About Truck Trailer Alignment

September 21, 2019 2:07 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re working in the trucking industry, you should know just how important it is to keep your vehicles in good condition. The health of your fleet will play a big role in the overall health of your company. A big part of that is ensuring you’re able to maintain proper trailer axle/wheel alignment at all times. Not only does this help you maximize the useful life of your tires, but it also helps create a safer road for everyone sharing it.

Fortunately, the technology that exists today for aligning trailer axles and wheels is more sophisticated than ever before, making it easier to achieve reliable accuracy in the process of truck trailer alignment.

What you should know about trailer alignment

When wide-based tires first made their appearance in the trucking industry, it resulted in trucking companies needing to pay closer attention to the alignment recommendations handed down by manufacturers. The way these tires are manufactured varies from company to company, as each has its own specifications.

One thing to know about wide-based tires is that the tread face of the radial tire will react differently in such a way that makes it more susceptible to wear if it’s not properly aligned. This means proper alignment is crucial if you’re going to prevent premature wear and having to replace the tire earlier than you would have otherwise needed to.

The footprint across the face (the portion of the tire tread that comes into contact with the surface of the road) should always roll directly in line with the direction the vehicle is traveling. If one or more of the trailer’s axles are not properly aligned, then you’re going to start to have issues with uneven or improper wear. Both axles need to track true with the trailer if you’re going to prevent this wear from being an issue.

Part of maintaining proper alignment is making sure you stay up to date with maintaining every component of your suspension system. A healthy suspension will go a long way toward keeping your vehicle’s axles in line. You should regularly take care to inspect bushings, fasteners and other components during routine maintenance. A worn bushing on an air ride suspension is one of the most common causes of loss of alignment. You should also make sure there is sufficient torque on track bar/rods and U-bolts on mechanical suspensions.

Keep in mind that all measurements you take when making inspections and checking alignment should be done with an empty trailer and in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. The suspension should always be at ride height, with slider suspensions in the rear position and pull pins engaged. A failure to properly conduct these measurements and inspections could result in you failing to notice alignment issues as they develop, which makes damage to your tires and vehicle more likely.

For more information about what you need to know about truck trailer alignment, contact the experts at J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC today. We look forward to working with you!

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