Are Your Tires Legal? Think Again
The government has passed several regulations for tires over the past years. Every tire dealer and fleet need to understand the contents of the legal provisions. For example, the Code of Federal Regulations describes eight parts of truck tires. According to the regulation, a vehicle should not be operated if has a flat tire, has an audible air leak, or any thread separation.
Regulations For Tires
Regulations are different depending on the types of tires you have and the vehicle that you own. For instance, truck drivers have different regulations than cars. Truck regulations prohibits operating overloaded trucks. Truck drivers are required to carry up to the limit indicated on the sidewalls of a tire. Part D of the program affects buses. The provision prohibits the use of retreaded tires on the front tires. Speaking with professionals at Element Wheels, they even go on to say the regulation also outlines the recommended tread depth, especially on particular Ferrada wheels made after 2000.
Commercial Vehicle Inspection by CVSA
Law enforcement officers from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) are mandated to inspect all commercial vehicles on highways in the country. The alliance publishes an annual manual which outlines out-of-service criteria for trucks in North America. The manual specifies truck violations that can render them unqualified to drive or to be put out-of-service. You will also find specific truck tire issues that are termed as violations by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
The SmartWay Program
Another program that was initiated by the government that affects truck tires is called SmartWay. The program is run by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is involved in tire regulation to ensure fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions which have a negative impact on the environment.
The Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Program
The fourth program by the government to regulate truck tires is called Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA). The U.S Department of Transportation runs the program. It has been used for almost a decade now, and the primary objective of the program was to improve the safety of all commercial vehicles on national roads. Some of the auto parts that the program pays attention to during inspections include brakes, lights, and tires.
CSA carries out live inspections on national roads and penalizes drivers and fleets using a score. The program may give tires a score of three or eight points depending on whether they are in good condition or not. If a truck is found to be operating with a flat tire, exposed tire cords, or using tires with treads below the recommended tread depth, the eight points can be given. They can also take into account the type of suspension a truck has. An Accuair suspension might put a little more pressure on the tire, resulting in a different shape point. A flat tire is defined as a tire whose current inflation pressure is 50% or less of the recommended pressure.
If one of the tires of a truck is given eight points, the vehicle is rendered out-of-service, and a CSA officer will call a roadside service provider as the drivers are not allowed to drive it in the current condition. On the other hand, if a tire is assigned three points, it would mean that CSA considers it to be underinflated. Unlike the case of a flat tire, the regulation does not define under-inflation. Therefore, an officer may decide to assign three points and write a citation saying that it is underinflated even if the inflation pressure is less by 5 psi.