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Fuel for Thought

Trucking Myths

By Greg Huggins
Posted Nov 24th 2018 8:57AM

Truck drivers and traditions go hand in hand. Whether it is just because that is how we have always done something or our unwillingness to change, drivers tend to follow old practices.

Myth #1.

Tire thumping. Really?!? Tire thumping. Can you hear the difference between 95 PSI and 105 PSI or 110 PSI or 120 PSI? Without a doubt you may be able to hear a flat tire, but can you really hear proper inflation? Nowadays we have TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems). These systems, when properly installed and in good working order, can tell you the tire pressure for every tire connected to the system as well as give warnings for pressure loss. Most will even give tire temperatures to alert you of overheating tires before they blowout. Don’t have a TPMS, that’s understandable, they are not cheap and maybe you don’t want to spend that much money just to check tire pressures. A long time ago someone invented the tire gauge. They come in all shapes and sizes, for single wheels and dual wheels. These handy devices can be purchased relatively inexpensively, maybe even cheaper than a tire thumper. While the accuracy of these gauges can vary +/- 1-2 PSI, they are still a better way to judge proper tire inflation than just a thump with a club or hammer. Tires are expensive and so is fuel, but proper inflation will help your tires last longer and also have your truck running more efficiently, thus saving precious fuel.

Myth #2

Don’t run your fuel tanks below ¼ , it will pick up all the debris in the tank(s). While it may be a good thing not to run low on fuel, this old reasoning is outdated. Older steel fuel tanks could have rust in them but if you have aluminum tanks, the likelihood of rust in the bottom of your tanks is eliminated. Any debris that may be in your tanks gets stirred up everytime you fuel anyway. Isn’t that what filters are for? To filter out water and debris.

Myth #3

This last one is not just about trucking, but drivers in general. Speed limits are not suggestions. Everyday on our roads drivers seem to trying to qualify for the next NASCAR race.

For the record, here is the definition of speed limit: the maximum speed at which a vehicle may legally travel on a particular stretch of road.

Many drivers believe that it is perfectly fine and legal to drive over the posted speed limit. If you believe there is a little wiggle room, say 74 mph in a 70mph zone, you are not only deceiving yourself, but possibly endangering your life and the lives of others. Did you know tires, especially truck tires, have speed ratings? Most truck tires are speed rated for 75 mph, some are rated for 80 mph, but the most popular tires are rated for 75. Travelling in the southwest region of the country, it is not uncommon to see speed limits of 75 or 80 mph, but do you have the proper tires for driving 80 mph?

Know the limits on your equipment and slow it down. Many of us drive at or below the speed limit everyday, and we still get where we need to be ontime.


See you down the road,