If you drive any type of truck, even a light-duty passenger truck, you want to ensure you take proper care of the tyres, so that they can provide the traction needed for controlling a heavier vehicle. Having tyres properly aligned is, of course, important for any vehicle, but especially when the tyres are standing up to the added weight and pull of a truck. To ensure your truck's tyres are always in good repair, note a few commonly asked questions about truck wheel alignment, and then you can know when to take your truck in for tyre servicing and repair.
How often do tyres need an alignment?
It's often recommended that an alignment be done annually, but don't use this guideline as a hard and fast rule. Your truck tyres made need an alignment more often, according to your own driving habits. The more you drive and the more weight your vehicle pulls, the more often the tyres should be checked for a needed alignment. This means that delivery trucks, those that pull a trailer behind them, or those that are driven on unpaved roads should especially be checked for a needed alignment often throughout the year; your mechanic can give you a personalized recommendation, based on the everyday use of your truck.
What causes tyres to need an alignment more frequently?
Other than heavy wear and tear due to your everyday driving, as mentioned, any number of problems with the steering and suspension can cause poor alignment. Lack of steering fluid can allow the steering column to stiffen up, so that the truck pulls in one direction or another. Worn differentials can cause tyres to drag around turns, pulling them out of alignment. Not replacing tyres with the same size and weight of other tyres can also put undue stress on one side, or ignoring needed repair to one tyre can also pull them all out of alignment. If your truck needs frequent, consistent wheel alignment, your mechanic can check for any and all of these other needed repairs, to ensure your tyres are always in good condition.
What are hidden signs of a needed alignment?
Your truck pulling in one direction is an obvious sign of a needed alignment, but note your fuel consumption, as misaligned tyres cause more drag on a vehicle, reducing your fuel economy. You may also be able to do a quick visual check of the truck's tyres; if one seems to be pointed in a certain direction when parked, this can mean that it's out of alignment and needs servicing.