IRREGULAR TIRE WEAR 101

IRREGULAR STEER TIRE WEAR PATTERNS

ONE-SIDED WEAR

one sided wear

APPEARANCE
Wear increasing from one side to the other.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Out of alignment specification parameters (camber, toe, axle parallelism).

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check alignment and inspect for worn parts. 

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run until minimum tread depth is reached.

SHOULDER STEP WEAR

shoulder step wear steer

APPEARANCE
Partial or full depression of the inside or outside shoulder tread rib.

PROBABLE CAUSE
This condition is common on radial tires in slow-wearing operations.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
None

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run or rotate.

EROSION / RIVER WEAR

erosion river wear

APPEARANCE
Circumferential worn area situated on the sides of the tread ribs.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Condition most commonly occurs on slow-wearing radial tires in steer or trailer position (free rolling).

CORRECTIVE ACTION
None

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run.

DEPRESSION WEAR (INTERMEDIATE)

depression wear steer

APPEARANCE
One or more interior ribs (not center) depressed more than adjacent ribs.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Incorrect air pressure, worn mechanical part, or nonuniformity such as mismount.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check air pressure and mechanical issues.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Rotate or retread.

DIAGONAL
WEAR

diagonal wear steer

APPEARANCE
Manifests in the form of oblique wear patches. Can appear singularly or repeat around the circumference of the tire.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Misalignment, radial and lateral runout, severely out of balance, loose wheel bearings or steering parts.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check for mismount and worn parts.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Reverse direction of tire or retread.

MULTIPLE FLAT SPOTTING WEAR

multiple flat spotting wear

APPEARANCE
Multiple radially worn areas around the tire.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Faulty shocks, loose/worn wheel bearings, severe balance issues, mismatched pressures or tire diameters, excessive high-speed empty operation.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check for mechanical issue; check air pressure.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run or retread.


FEATHERING

radial feather wear

APPEARANCE
Feathering at the edge of the tread ribs.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Usually the result of continued exposure to lateral force, such as excessive toe. Can also form as a result of counter-steering to compensate for drive axle misalignment.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check alignment

TIRE DISPOSITION
Rotate to another position or retread.

DEPRESSION WEAR (SHOULDER)

depression wear steer shoulder

APPEARANCE
Localized wear patch on the shoulder rib of the tire. This patch can repeat around the circumference of the tire.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Faulty shocks, lateral runout, loose wheel bearings, mismount, severe balance issue.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check for mechanical problem.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run, rotate or retread.

DEPRESSION WEAR (CENTER)

depression wear steer center

APPEARANCE
Circumferential depression wear of the center tread rib.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Overloaded/underinflated, faulty shocks, loose wheel bearings, mismount, high-speed empty haul conditions.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check air pressures/load weight and worn parts.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run, rotate or retread.

 

IRREGULAR DRIVE TIRE CONDITIONS

MULTIPLE CUTS / CHUNKING

multiple cuts chunking

APPEARANCE
Numerous small cuts to the tread surface with portions of tread removed, giving a rough appearance.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE

Vehicle operation on rough surfaces (misapplication of tread compound).
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION

Review tire selection and operation.
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION

Minor damage; should return to service. Consult retreader for possible repair and retread.

VEHICLE / SPIN
DAMAGE

vehicle spin damage

APPEARANCE
Cuts or lines 360 degrees around the tire.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE
Contact with vehicle components (mud flap brackets, bumpers), or spinning the tires on ice or loose road surface
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Analyze cause. Ensure tire does not contact vehicle components. Review driver practices.
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION
Return to service if damage is not below base of tread groove. If deeper, retread or scrap.

BRAKE SKID
DAMAGE

brake skid damage drive

APPEARANCE
Localized spot of excessive wear across tread face showing abrasion marks. Damage may extend into casing.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE
New brakes (not worn in), unbalanced brake system, frozen brake lines, driver abuse.
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check brake system.
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION
May be repaired or retreaded if casing is undamaged; otherwise, scrap.

STONE RETENTION / DRILLING

stone retention drilling

APPEARANCE
Stones or gravel embedded between tread blocks, sometimes reaching steel cables.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE
Condition is common with vehicles operating on gravel surfaces. Overinflation, misapplication of the tire.
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Remove stones & return to service. Maintain proper inflation pressures.
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run unless there are multiple spots reaching steel cables. Consult retreader or tire manufacturer.

HEEL / TOE
WEAR

heel toe wear

APPEARANCE
Each lug around tire worn high to low from front to back edge.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE
Mismatched inflation pressure or tire diameters in a dual assembly. High torque conditions, mountainous terrains, and high inflation pressures aggravate this condition.
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Review tire maintenance practices. Consult tire manufacturer when selecting tire for operation. 
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run. If severe, change direction of rotation. 

CUPPING / SCALLOP / ALTERNATE LUG WEAR

cupping scallop alternate lug wear

APPEARANCE
Localized cupped-out areas of fast wear around the tire. Alternate lugs worn to different tread depths around the tire.
                                    
PROBABLE CAUSE
Mismatched inflation pressure or tire diameters in a dual assembly. Aggravated by slow rate of wear, poorly maintained suspension components.
                                    
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check for mechanical problem.
                                    
TIRE DISPOSITION
Check for worn components, inflation pressures and matching tread depths.

 

 

IRREGULAR TRAILER TIRE CONDITIONS

DEPRESSION WEAR (INTERMEDIATE)

depression wear intermediate

APPEARANCE
One or more interior ribs (not center) worn below adjacent ribs around the tire's circumference.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Worn suspension components, mismatched dual diameter or inflation pressures, underinflation, improper bearing adjustment. Aggravated by high speed/light loads. 

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Diagnose mechanical condition and correct.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run until pull point, then retread.

DIAGONAL
WEAR

diagonal wear trailer

APPEARANCE
Localized flat spots worn diagonally across the tread, often repeating around the tire.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Improper bearing adjustment, misalignment, mismatched dual tire diameter and/or inflation pressure. May start as brake skid. Aggravated by high speed/light loads.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Analyze cause and correct.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Reverse direction of rotation. If excessive, submit for retreading.

BRAKE SKID
DAMAGE

brake skid damage trailer

APPEARANCE
Localized spot of excessive wear across tread face showing abrasion marks. Damage may extend into casing.

PROBABLE CAUSE
New brakes (not worn in), unbalanced brake system, frozen brake lines, driver abuse.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check brake system.

TIRE DISPOSITION
May be repaired or retreaded if casing is undamaged; otherwise, scrap.

DEPRESSION WEAR (SHOULDER)

depression wear shoulder

APPEARANCE
Localized areas of wear in shoulder, generally less than 12" in length.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Improper inflation pressure or tire mismounted on wheel. Can also be caused by some other type of wheel end imbalance.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Review tire and wheel end maintenance practices.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run until pull point, then retread.

SHOULDER
STEP WEAR

shoulder step wear trailer

APPEARANCE
Tire worn on edge of one shoulder, greater than 12" in circumference.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Excessive camber, misaligned or damaged axle, improper bearing adjustment.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Diagnose misalignment and/or mechanical condition and correct.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Reverse direction of rotation. If excessive, submit for retreading.

CUPPING / SCALLOP WEAR

cupping scallop wear

APPEARANCE
Random areas of fast wear around the tire. Erratic in some instances.

PROBABLE CAUSE
Mismatched inflation pressure or tire diameters in a dual assembly. Aggravated by high speeds/light loads, poorly maintained suspension components.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
Check for worn components, inflation pressures and matching tread depths.

TIRE DISPOSITION
Continue to run until pull point, then retread.

These tips and suggestions may also interest you:

Tire Basics and Markings
Tire Structure and Functions
The Right Pressure
 

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