Knowing how to properly check if the wheels on your heavy vehicle are aligned is very important. However, many heavy vehicle operators do not understand how to perform these checks. Your heavy vehicle's wheels are what keep it in contact with the road surface. If the vehicle's wheels are misaligned, it can lead problems with the steering and uneven tyre wear. Below is a guide which will help you to identify problems with and check the wheels on your heavy vehicle are properly aligned.
The Causes of Wheel Misalignment
There are several things which can cause a wheel to become misaligned. These include:
- driving on rough road surfaces and potholes
- striking or mounting a kerb
- mechanical wear and tear
If you have recently driven your vehicle over uneven surfaces or have struck or mounted a kerb, you should pay particular attention to any signs of misaligned wheels.
Signs of Misaligned Wheels
There are several signs that the wheels on your heavy vehicle are not properly aligned. When driving in a straight line, you may feel the steering wheel pulling to the left or right. You may also have to apply force to the steering wheel to keep your vehicle heading in a straight line. When turning a corner, you may notice that the steering feels very heavy. It may be difficult to turn the steering wheel. At high speed, you may notice that the steering wheel begins to vibrate in your hands.
How to Inspect the Alignment of Your Wheels
First, you should park your heavy vehicle on level ground which is off the road, such as a forecourt or driveway, in a position which will allow you to visually inspect the front wheels. Turn the steering wheel completely to the left. This will allow you to inspect the whole of the left front tyre. You should check for how the tyre is worn. Misaligned wheels will cause the tyres to wear unevenly. Depending on the direction of the misalignment, the tyres will be excessively worn on the inner or outer edge. You should now repeat this inspection on the front right tyre.
Only a professional can do heavy vehicle wheel alignment. It is not something that can be completed as a part of DIY heavy vehicle maintenance. If you notice signs of misalignment, you should contact an auto repair shop today. They will inspect your heavy vehicle before carrying out any necessary repairs and adjustments.