Inspections Transportation Trucking

Trucking association petitions to scrap roadside checks for underinflated tires

Arlington, VA – The American Trucking Associations has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remove a regulation requiring roadside inspectors to check for underinflated tires.

Roadside inspectors typically evaluate a tire’s pressure based on the maximum allowable pressure listed on the tire, then subtract by a standard amount of 15 psi to compensate for any additional pressure caused by heat buildup while driving. ATA stated that some carriers may need to keep tires at a lower pressure for trucks with lighter loads or in other special circumstances, and the standard 15 psi deduction does not take into account the amount of time the truck had been in motion when the inspection occurs. A special ATA group concluded that no “simple” or “practical” method can take all relevant factors into consideration during a roadside inspection.

According to ATA’s petition, state inspectors have issued more than 30,000 citations for underinflated tires in the previous two years. These citations impact carriers’ federal safety ratings, which in turn can affect carriers’ business performance.

Inspectors should still check for flat tires or tires with audible leaks, ATA added.