By John Maslen
Most motorists don’t give their tyres a second thought, but if you run a fleet, no matter how small, it pays to focus on the benefits effective tyre management can bring.
Cars and vans all have something in common, from Ferrari to Ford, from Bentley to BMW — they are all useless without their tyres.
They lie at the heart of how a vehicle performs and affect everything from ride comfort and noise to fuel economy, cornering, braking and acceleration.
Something as simple as tyre pressure can affect fuel economy by 10%.
Tyres are also essential for...
...safety, as they are the only contact between a vehicle and the road.
Few drivers realise that the size of the actual contact patch is only about the size of the palm of your hand.
Therefore, changes such as pressure and even tread depth can have a much bigger impact than drivers might think when they are looking at the whole tyre fitted to their vehicle.
Keeping tyres properly maintained is a legal requirement, but very few people know the legal minimum tread depth they need to maintain. A survey by TyreSafe, the organisation devoted to promoting tyre safety, found up to 80% of motorists didn’t know the minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm.
Just to help them remember, it is worth noting that the price of getting it wrong is a fine of up to £2,500 and three points per tyre on the driver’s licence.
But it’s not just drivers that will pay for mistakes, as poor tyre management can also cost a company significant amounts of money.
About 35% of a vehicle’s typical maintenance costs are spent on rubber. If a vehicle is driven hard, this can increase significantly.
Driving on tyres that are under-inflated by 20% — as little as... continued on page two >