As the owner or operator of a heavy-duty vehicle, you may understand the importance of front wheel alignment. After all, these particular tyres work the most in everyday operation as they have to manoeuvre the vehicle around tight corners. Without adequate adjustments, those tyres could wear down very quickly, and you may be left with a large maintenance bill. But did you know that you should also adjust the rear wheels if you want to avoid any problems and be as efficient as possible? Why is this important?
Compounding the Problem
A large truck or tractor unit will typically have several axles. Each axle will have several wheel pairings, and when added up, all of the tyres behind the front steering units have a much larger footprint. This means that they can certainly have a bearing on how the vehicle performs, and inadequate rear wheel alignment can sometimes cause push or pull characteristics. In other words, those trailing axles can exert their own force and may want to steer the vehicle away from its intended line.
Wearing out the Driver
If this problem is acute, the driver may have to constantly adjust the steering wheel to maintain a straight line on a motorway. These unwanted adjustments may be relatively subtle, but they can nonetheless lead to increased fatigue. After all, the operator needs to work harder than they should.
Avoiding Excess Damage
Further, those rear tyres may now be scrubbing against the road surface rather than rolling along with reduced friction. This can cause them to wear down more quickly and may even lead to premature failure. With the cost of truck tyres today, you'll want to avoid such issues if you're going to balance your books at the end of the year.
Focusing on the Rear
When you take your vehicle in for a wheel alignment session, ensure that the mechanic also has a good look at the trailing axles and wheel combinations. They may need to look at the camber, caster, toe and thrust angles to ensure that everything lines up. You'll want to see that your rear axles are parallel with your front axle line and ensure that the tyres scrub evenly during everyday operation.
Taking the Time
Small adjustments can make a big difference. Don't underestimate the need to measure your rear wheel alignment and make regular checks to see that everything is still in line. For more information on truck wheel alignment, contact a professional near you.