Tyres lose air over time, and a tyre low on air is dangerous. With autumn’s moody weather upon us driving, in driving rain and falling leaves, means it’s imperative to inflate your tyres to the correct pressure.
It does seem obvious to say that your tyres are essential for safe driving. Checking them regularly or worrying about them may not be at the top of many driver’s lists of care. However, they are the only link between your vehicle and the road. A critical contact area that is no bigger than the palm of your hand.
Tyres account for a significant proportion of the maintenance costs involved in running a car and van fleet. How much depends on how the driver drives on them. It also depends on a fleet’s tyre replacement policy: whether they reach the end of their tread life or are replaced prematurely due to damage.
Correct pressure is a life-saver and a fuel-saver
Making sure your tyres are running at their correct pressures is not only a life-saver, but it’s also a fuel-saver too. Under-inflated tyres can add up to 2 per cent to your fuel consumption, as well as wearing them out sooner, which costs you even more money.
The vehicle manufacturer provides at least two air pressure recommendations – one for light loads and another when fully loaded. Use an accurate pressure gauge and to ensure the vehicle’s tyres are at the correct settings
Wheel alignment can also make a difference to your fuel consumption as well, so make sure that is correct too.
Three simple tyre checks
These are three simple checks which motorists can do themselves:
Air pressure: the vehicle manufacturer provides at least two air pressure recommendations – one for light loads and another when fully loaded. Use an accurate pressure gauge and to ensure the vehicle’s tyres are at the correct settings.
Condition: Lumps, bumps, cracks and cuts are a sign your tyre may be dangerous and need replacing. Every tyre should be free of cuts, lumps or bulges. If you see anything unexpected, have it inspected by a professional
Tread depth: the legal limit for a car tyre’s tread depth is 1.6mm. Adequate tread helps keep the tyre in contact with the road, especially in the wet and reduces the chances of aquaplaning. The level of tread becomes imperative in the wet, where worn tyres contribute to 1 in 10 accidents in wet conditions.
Know your tyres
Many safety-conscious fleets instruct drivers to change tyres when the tread depth is between 2mm and 2.5mm. In the UK, only 16% of the UK’s blue-light (police, ambulance, fire service) fleets allow the tyres on their emergency vehicle fleets to go below 2.5mm of the tread.
Tyre health and the pressure of a tyre is even more critical to maximise performance and longevity and minimise fleet costs when fitted to the new breed of electric vehicles.
Plug-in vehicles are up to 30% heavier than equivalent petrol and diesel models due to the weight of electric batteries. This weight puts more strain on the tyres and vehicles take longer distance and time to stop.
Save money on new tyres
Correct tyre inflation is essential for tyres to deliver their optimum performance in terms of both grip, braking and fuel consumption. Fuel Card Services advises a monthly check of tyre pressures.
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