As vehicles frequently carry heavy loads, it's essential that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. If a tyre is under-inflated excess heat builds up within a tyre, which greatly increases the likelihood of a rapid deflation.
This is a major safety risk as it can cause loss of control and can also put other road users at risk.
Drivers should ensure that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, which can be found in the vehicle handbook.
Tyres are engineered to work in harmony with the vehicle's braking, steering and suspension systems. If a tyre is under-inflated it contains insufficient air to support the weight of the vehicle. This can greatly affect acceleration, braking and cornering, potentially making unsafe driving.
By keeping tyres properly inflated, drivers can travel further on each tank of fuel and reduce their CO2 emissions.
PREMATURE TYRE WEAR
A vehicle's load is supported in the shoulder area of the tread, therefore under-inflated vehicles experience rapid wear in this area. Driving on over-flated tyres results in higher wear in the centre of the tread. Keeping tyres inflated to the recommended pressure for the vehicle and load ensures a even wear rate, helping the tyres last longer.
Current UK law requires that the tyres must have a minimum depth of 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. Drivers found in breach of this could face 3 penalty points and a £2,500 fine. Adequate tyre tread depth is vital for vehicle safety. Insufficient tread depth can extend stopping distances even further in wet conditions. Breaking distance in wet roads of a tyre with only 1.6mm of tread depth is almost 12m longer than a new tyre from 50mph. It's simple to check your tread depth by using a 20p coin. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted into the tyre tread grooves, the tyre may not have sufficient tread depth and should be examined further by a professional.
Top Tips for Correct Tyre Maintenance
1. Use a reliable and accurate pressure gauge to check the pressure of van tyres at least once a month or before a long trip.
2. Check the pressure in all tyres not forgetting to check any spare tyre(s) as well.
3. Tyre pressure should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer's recommended operating pressures for the load being carried.
4. Check the pressure when tyres are cold or when the vehicle has travelled less than two miles.
5. When checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any cuts,lumps or bulges.
6. If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your vehicle to an approved fitting centre and speak to the experts
Condition of Tyres
1. Clean the dirt from the valves and make sure that caps are fitted to the valves on each wheel.
2. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread.
3. Look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts to the tread and sidewalls as well as any evidence of surface cracking or crazing. Any damage should be inspected by a tyre professional.
4. Repairs to van tyres must only be carried out by a tyre specialist, and must be done in accordance with the current British Standards.
5. The suspension alignment should be checked and corrected as necessary if the tyres show signs of excessive, uneven or irregular wear.
6. Any unusual vibration or air loss must be examined immediately by a tyre professional, as these could be signs of potential tyre failure.
Part Worn Tyres
Many drivers buy part worn tyres because they believe they offer better value for money. Legislation exists which permits the sale of part worn tyres subject to them meeting criteria. However this isn't always the case, drivers should look at the cost per mm of useable tyre and that part worn tyres that do not meet these legal requirements pose a serious safety risk to you, your passengers and other road users.
The Requirements under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1995 (reg.7.) for sell of part worn tyres are as follows;
1. The outer visual condition must be free of bulges, cuts or lumps.
2. Any repair must have been carried out in accordance with the BS AU 159.
3. Tyres must have passed an inflation test.
4. Current UK law requires that the tyres must have a minimum depth of 2 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.
5. Part worn tyres which have not been retreaded must clearly show the 'E' mark alongside 'Part-Worn' at least 4mm high.
Equally Van drivers and business owners have a duty of care to ensure vans and light commerical vehicles remain safe and legal. Carrying heavy loads or doing multiple drops in tough working environments can cause levels of damage beyond that of a car tyre. Since The Health and Safety Offences Act of 2009 business owners must ensure that they must carry out regular checks on vans to remain safe and legal. UK courts have greater authority to prosecute businesses and fine a maximum of £20,000 and individual drivers up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. If you believe you have been sold a part worn tyre that does not comply with existing legislation please contact your local trading standards office. Donnelly Group are a member of The National Tyre Distributors Association, which is a strongly proactive trade association representing and promoting the interests of the tyre wholesale, distribution and retail sectors of the automotive aftermarket industry.
To make an enquiry or request a quote to find out more about how you can get your Free Tyre Puncture Repair simply complete the form; contact a member of the Tyre Services team on any of the below telephone numbers or visit your nearest Donnelly Group dealership.