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Tyre Rotation

Tyre Rotation refers to changing the tyre's positions on the vehicle, particularly to change their direction of travel (rather than the obvious fact that the tyre's spin on their axles).

Rotating tyres will help you to maximise tread life. It is often possible to increase normal tread life by 50% just by rotating the tyres three or four times throughout the life of the tread. if there is abnormal tread wear, the cause of that wear should be corrected. If the tyre wear indicates alignment errors, these errors should be corrected before the tyres are rotated so the alignment specialist can diagnose the problem. After the errors are corrected the tyres should be rotated to minimise the effect of the abnormal wear.

The disadvantage is that it does cost time and money to include rotation in the vehicles maintenance program, however the good tyre managers should reason, "If this gives a good return for the investment, we will do it. If the return is not worth it, then we will not do it" As an example, using approximate figures $1100 to $1500, two 295/80R22.5 steer tyres may cost about $1100.00. To rotate these tyres four times should cost about $80.00. If the tyres achieve only a 10% improvement in tread life (and that would be a very conservative example) the owner of the vehicle will receive back all of the cost, plus a $30.00 dividend on the investment. Even if the tyres are retreads on a trailer, the improvement in tread life more than justifies the time and cost of regular rotation.

One of the greatest difficulties in getting tyre rotation to happen is the false perception that this service can be done for free.

Usually, neither vehicle owners, nor their tyre services, budget for the cost of this process, or for that matter the cost of regular pressure and wear rate checks, and so these crucial services just do not happen. The result is poor tyre performance and high tyre costs for the transport operation. The transport operator may then look for cheaper tyres, with even less budgeted for correct service, and the $$ costs for tyres and fuel stay as high, or perhaps even get worse. Alternatively, the transport operator may decide to pay for good maintenance, which costs far less than the extra fuel and tyres.

Tyre Rotation

Tyres should be fitted to the vehicle in a planned order and rotated several times throughout each tread life. Where possible the tyres fitted to one axle should be kept as a matched set, even when moved to another axle. Steer tyres should be fitted as a matched pair and rotated to the opposite sides of the axle at 10% 25% 50% and 75% of tread wear.

Drive tyres

should be fitted as a matched set of four on a single drive or as a set of eight on a tandem drive. They should be rotated to the opposite sides of the axle at 10% 25% 50% and 75% of tread wear. Tyres on a tandem drive should be rotated from rear drive axle to front drive axle and front to rear at the same time, With deep tread drive tyres, some tyre manufacturers recommend inflating the tyre 10% to 15% above normal until the first rotation then the pressure should be reduced to normal. It may also be beneficial to rotate dual tyres from inside to outside however the most important thing is to change the direction of travel.

Trailer tyres

should be fitted as a matched set of four on an axle (two per axle for wide singles). These for (or two) tyres should be kept as a set and rotated to the opposite sides at 10%, 25% 50% and 75% of tread wear With triaxIe trailers tread life can be greatly improved by having the rolling circumference of the set of tyres fitted to each axle different to the circumferences of the other axles, This will minimise the effect of harmonic vibration within the suspension system that are a major cause of rapid tyre wear on trailers, especially those fitted with air suspensions. An ideal way to achieve this is to fit new tyres to one axle each time the trailer has run about one third of the distance of the projected tread life and at the same time rotate the tyres on the other two axles. In some applications there may be further benefits by rotating each set of tyres to a different axle or rotating duals from inside to outside.

A small number of modern tyres are being produced with directional case construction or directional tread patterns. These tyres have their direction of travel clearly marked on the sidewall and must not be rotated to run in the Opposite direction without a specific recommendation from the manufacturer
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