Treads across Montana: Tire shop keeps mission moving
By Senior Airman Jaeda Tookes, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 02, 2016
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- On average, members of the base have driven over 2 million miles this year.
“It is very important to keep up with the tires on vehicles,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Fisher, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman.
At the base tire shop, where government vehicles are worked on, Fisher and his team of four can get pretty busy.
“This morning we had to change all four tires on five different trucks,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Allen, 341st LRS vehicle maintenance apprentice.
There are times when there are maybe one or two vehicles to fix, but other times there can be seven or eight, Fisher said.
“We do a full diagnostic review of the vehicles, checking tire pressures and sensors,” Fisher said. “We thoroughly inspect the tires, making sure there are not uneven surfaces that can later translate to sledge hammer sounds while driving.”
Tires can also develop dry rotting, which can sometimes be referred to as sidewall cracking.
“Dry rotting is when little black or gray cracks form around the tire, and can sometimes lead to a blow-out,” Fisher said. “The tire is the only thing protecting the car from the ground, so regularly checking the tires is a good safety measure.”
Individuals sometimes tend to overlook the correct tire pressure range, Allen said.
“The tire pressure on a vehicle is constantly changing,” Allen said. “The pressure changes with the weather, lowering with the cold and rising with the warm.”
Every couple of weeks, drivers should check the tire pressure of their vehicles.
Without the mechanics of this job, according to Allen, vehicles can’t get out, preventing the mission from continuing.
“When I came into the military I wanted this job,” Fisher said. “To have been given the opportunity to perform this job for the Air Force makes me feel good, that what I am doing helps support the people who defend from the front.”
According to Allen, small impacts make the mission a success or a fail.