If you run a business that rents out all-terrain vehicles, you want to make sure your customers stay safe while having fun. Part of this is to make sure the tires are free from damage. To do this on a daily basis, use the following checklist each morning before you open, as well as before any new rental.
Scrape Out Any Residual Mud In The Tread
The first thing you want to do before inspecting your ATV tires is to scrape out any residual mud in the tread and wash them off. Not only does this give you a better visual of the tire, but it also helps with the safe operation of the vehicle.
If the tread stays packed with mud, it is not able to give the vehicle proper traction. This could become dangerous is one of your customers is driving on an uphill path, and the tires cannot grip the ground beneath them. This could make them slip downhill, potentially causing an accident.
To clean the mud out of the tread, you can use a narrow putty knife or flathead screwdriver. Make sure you hold the tool at an angle and gently scrape along the surface to keep from puncturing the rubber. Once the excess mud is removed, spray the tires down with a hose, and let them dry completely.
Inspect The Tread
After the tires have dried, carefully inspect the tread, looking for any areas that are starting to wear down. If the tread is uneven, this could either make a bumpy ride for your customer or decrease the traction of the vehicle.
While inspecting the tread, you may see that it is wearing down quickly on the inner or outer edges. If this is this case, the ATV's wheelbase may be out of alignment and should be checked, especially if that particular vehicle wears down a lot of tires.
Check For Any Broken Belts
While you are looking at the tread, also check for any broken belts underneath the rubber. A broken belt is a sign that the tire itself is severely damaged. If taken out on rough terrain, the belt could snap completely.
If this happens, the belt could puncture the tire or could snap completely, causing a blowout. If this were to happen on a trail or in the woods, your customer could be stranded or hurt, if the ATV flips during the blowout.
Look carefully for any shiny, silver strips in the wall and tread of the tires. Also, run your finger along the surface to feel for any sharp angles beneath the rubber. If you find any, the tire will need to be changed.
Look For Punctures In The Tires
While checking for broken belts, also look for any punctures in the tires. Since off-road driving exposes them to sharp objects, such as nails, screws, or sharp rocks, there is a chance that something has become lodged in the rubber.
If you find a nail or a puncture hole, you may want to change the tire. However, if you are running low and feel comfortable enough, you could also plug the tire. You should only do this, however, if the hole is small and you have not plugged it before.
If you find that the tires are unsafe to safely drive on, switch them out with new ones. However, since this could become expensive if you have a high amount of rentals and wear and tear on the tires, you may want to consider buying your tires in bulk through a place like City Limit Tire & Service so you can get them at a cheaper individual rate, potentially saving you money in the long run.