I talked about the importance of tire safety in a recent post. Taking good care of your tires is important. Not only are blowouts dangerous to you but they can also cause serious trouble for other drivers on the road and lead to severe accidents. Additionally, tire issues are a frequent cause for inspectors to take trucks out of service. Taking the time to do a good inspection and keeping your tires in good condition can help you avoid a lot of costly fines, serious time delays, or even save you from personal injury down the road.
In that post, we discussed many of the things to look for while inspecting your tires. One thing we didn’t cover was checking for locked or frozen brakes. Frozen brakes can cause severe flat spots in your tires from dragging. Something we definitely don’t want.
When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to jump in the cab and start rolling. Then just swing a little to the left and then the right checking your tires in the mirror to see if they are rolling. The danger here is that the amount of distance you need to travel to check both sides is enough to cause a flat spot if your brakes are frozen on one side.
The best way to avoid this is to take a few extra minutes to mark your tires. Using a marker, chalk or just about anything that will make a visible, non-destructive, mark on your tire you can quickly see if your tires are rolling free or not. Doing this does require you to get in and out of the cab a couple times but you only need to roll an inch or two to then see if the marks rotated or not. This could save your tires if the brakes are frozen since you do not need to move as far. This method may cost a little more time and physical effort, but it can save you big in the long run. Take a look at this quick tip from one of our trainers on checking for frozen brakes.