Best Practices

Tire Pressure Tips: Deal with Low Winter Temperatures

Underinflated equipment tires hurt machine performance, increase operating costs, and slow down your business. When temperatures drop in the winter, low tire pressure can increase your fuel usage and machine wear. To help you avoid equipment issues in the colder months, follow these tire pressure tips and best practices below.

Regularly check tire pressure

Equipment tires can appear properly inflated even if they’re not, which is why it’s crucial to inspect them when the temperature changes. In the winter, you should check tire pressure weekly. The best time get an accurate number is before you operate the machine or three hours after shutting it down. A good rule of thumb is that for every 10° F of air temperature change equipment tire pressure goes down by 1 psi.

Always measure equipment tires at the working temperature

You don’t want to check tire pressure in a warm shop if you’ll be working out in the cold. Make sure you’re taking accurate tire pressure readings on the jobsite where the equipment will be working.

Use nitrogen

Using nitrogen to fill your equipment tires is a great way to combat pressure fluctuations. There’s no added risk of combustion or fire and it prevents ice crystals from forming that could hold open the tire’s valve stem. When using nitrogen to inflate your tires, fill the tire to the manufacturer’s recommended psi.

Slowly roll equipment tires in cold weather

When putting a machine to work after it has been sitting in the cold, gradually move it at first. Cold temperatures can cause the tire’s contact surface to go flat against the ground. Doing a slow roll will let them return to their correct shape.

Keep an eye on tire pressure as temperatures warm

When working in the winter, the air temperature can increase quite a bit from the early morning to the afternoon. Check the pressure throughout the day to make sure they do not over inflate. Over inflation can cause faster, irregular wear, shortening the tire’s life.

Contact Heavy Machines Inc. for more tire pressure tips or with any questions about equipment tires!