1. #1
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    Default Tandem Axle Tire Wear

    Somewhere in another thread that I can't find, someone made a point about seeing more tire wear on the forward axle of a tandem axle set.

    At our county chief engineers' association meeting last night we had as a guest speaker a field engineer from Bridgestone/Firestone tires. The same question came up from a member of a department that runs a tandem axle Sutphen tower. The answer given was that it is normal for the tires on the forward drive axle to wear at a greater rate than those on the rear drive. That didn't apply to fire trucks alone, but almost any truck.

    Our speaker didn't go into an explanation of why that's so, but he did said that in order to even out the wear, rotate the tires. He suggested using an "X" pattern as being best. He did allow that simply moving the tires from the forward axle to the rear axle on the same side was acceptable.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 02-21-2009 at 07:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Savage / Hyneman 08'

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    The front drive axle is the one that puts the power to the road, hence more tire wear. The rear axle just goes along for the ride unless you engage the power divider to put power to both axles.

    The rear does see extra wear from scrubbing, because when the truck turns the rear pivot point is the front drive, making the rear drive "scrub" sideways ever so slightly. This wear still does not compare to the front drive.

    Rotating the drive tires in the X pattern is best because front to back rotation makes all tires wear, but doesn't even out the wear on each tire as the leading edge of the lugs on the tread wear faster. This uneven wear or "feathering" is very noticable. The only way to wear them evenly is to switch sides when rotating so the tire spins in the opposite direction, wearing the opposite edge of the tread lugs, evening out the wear.

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    This is completely opposite of trucks that I have operated. The company I work for has 6 tri-axle dump trucks and at the FH we have a 100' mid-mount ladder and all of them wear out the rear-most tires sooner than the other set. The treads are noticeably more worn down as are the edges. I would surmise that this is from tight, low speed turning where the rear-most axle drags around the corner.

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    DFDMAXX nailed it to a T. However, when rotating in an X pattern, make sure your tires are not directional. Do not reverse the direction of a directional tire or it may come apart.

    Dakotaguy, I would say you are correct in your assumption also. Those 3rd axles and tags take a beating as do spreads. They really eat up tires
    Buck
    Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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    I dont know if firetrucks are different but every OTR truck with tandems that i have worked on had the rear axle as the drive and the front has the power divider.
    Wear on suspension parts is also a factor especially with walking beam suspension. I've seen trucks where they look like they're going sideways down the road from the rear because of worn or broken components.

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    Hendrickson Tandem® Walking Beam Suspensions are notorious for tire wear on the front axle on tandems, as well chewing up the ride along rears, but not as bad.

    The main cause of the tire wear is your turning radius on the tires. The sharper you turn to leave the station, as well as backing in, will scrub/wear the tires to death.

    Speed is also dependent on the wear of the tires. You'll wear out the tires in 6 months just by leaving or entering your station. If your angle is a sharp one.

    As for rotating them, I agree with the "X" rotation. But, the problem is that it should be done monthly, to gain 2 months of tire life.

    For me, that is time wasted, when there are more issues and/or repairs that need to be done. As well, wasted manpower and time.

    FM1

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    Say Mech,mebbee you oughta sign that pit stop guy that does the UPS racetruck tires,hehe T.c.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Say Mech,mebbee you oughta sign that pit stop guy that does the UPS racetruck tires,hehe T.c.
    I was going to until I actually timed him. My grandmother was faster.

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