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Monday, December 8, 2014

Match Duals... Does anyone really do this?

I believe that sometimes people understand that there are suggestions and recommendations concerning the proper care and maintenance of tires but all too often they just don't bother to follow the published guidelines as they feel it may be too much work or some guidelines are simply put out to get people to buy more tires.

Let's look at one example. I have previously covered the importance of "matching" dual tires by measuring the Outside Circumference (OC) and ensuring that each pair are within 3/4" for this measurement. You can read THIS post and THIS one for more details. But is this practice followed by truckers who may put 100,000 miles on their rigs in just a year or so? I think this might help you believe that the practice is followed.

Here are a couple of pictures I was able to capture at a stop-light.

As you can see from these pictures, this driver has matched the level of wear on the front pair of tires. Now this isn't absolute proof that the OC was matched but given the relatively even wear rate of truck drive tires it's reasonable to assume the change in tread depth results in a similar change in OC.

You want to match dual tire dimensions as if one tire is significantly larger than the other it will be forced to carry more load than the smaller tire. This will result in higher operating temperature which is not good for long-term tire life.

While measuring tread depth and doing some calculations may seem reasonable this practice ignores the reality that all tires "grow" in use so a new tire and old used tire will actually measure different if you do an actual OC measurement than if you just do calculations based on tread depth measurement done to the 0.01" accuracy.

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