Tire punctures and other damage can end a recreational trip quickly, but they're far more than a mild inconvenience for commercial drivers. A flat tire can leave you stranded, pushing you behind schedule and forcing you to wait for a replacement to arrive. Even worse, the cost of heavy-duty replacement tires can be prohibitive, further cutting your profits for the trip.
Fortunately, it's often possible to repair even heavy-duty tires, although it's necessary to do so safely and correctly to ensure the repair is long-lasting. While there are plenty of do-it-yourself kits on the market, these are unsuitable for use on commercial vehicles that see long and hard highway miles. Instead, professional repair is always the best option to avoid future failures.
What's Involved in a Professional Repair?
An expert tire repair is about more than just the methods used to patch the tire. Professionals also need to focus on inspecting the tire and ensuring that the repairs they conduct are safe for long-term use. One of the most significant safety issues with do-it-yourself repairs is the potential for repairing a puncture in an unsafe portion of the tire.
With personal and commercial vehicles, it's only safe to repair a puncture in a relatively narrow portion of the tires. The sidewall and shoulder (the transitional area between the tread and sidewall) are structurally critical parts of the tire. Punctures in these areas can affect the tire's stability and integrity. The remaining part of the tire, known as the "crown," is safe for patching.
Professionals know these limitations and the dangers of incorrectly patching a tire, especially on a semi-truck that may weigh tens of tons. As a result, any professional repair involves fully inspecting the tire to determine the location of the puncture and to ensure that there's no additional damage in sensitive areas.
What Should You Do When Your Truck Has a Flat?
If your truck has one or more tires losing air, there are two things you absolutely should not do:
- Continue driving on the tire
- Attempt to patch the tire yourself
Instead, it's crucial to get your truck off the road as quickly as possible and allow a professional tire shop to conduct a full inspection. Continuing to drive on the tire may let you put a few more miles under your belt, but you're likely to destroy the tire in the process. Instead of a relatively inexpensive repair, you'll need to pay for the cost of purchasing and mounting a new tire.
While it's tempting to do everything you can to stay on schedule and minimize additional expenses, your tires are too important to ignore. Leaks can put your truck at risk of catastrophic tire failure, potentially creating a hazard for yourself, your cargo, and other motorists. A professional repair will ensure your tire remains safe, allowing you to resume your trip with a minimum amount of disruption.
To learn more, check out a variety of sites like https://www.eastbaytire.com.