Tyres are the parts of a vehicle in direct contact with the road, so it follows that they have a vital role to play in vehicle safety.
“Even the best braking system is only as good as the vehicle’s grip on the road,” comments Azhar Iqbal of Colne Tyre Centre.
Many fleets, therefore, perform tyre changes when the tread has worn from 8mm down to 2mm. It is illegal to use tyres with a tread of less than 1.6mm. However, as Azhar points out, changing tyres may also be a question of timing.
“Performance comes from a variety of factors, not just tread depth, and there are disadvantages to changing your tyres too soon.”
Safety, Cost and Compliance
Sound fleet management means knowing when the optimum time is for tyre changes.
“The three factors fleet managers must consider are safety, cost and compliance”
If, for example, a fleet has its minimum tread depth set high, such as the 3mm that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recommends then this will increase operational costs.
At the same time, failure to comply with minimum safety standards risks a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
“Safety must remain the chief concern of fleet managers and drivers,” cautions Azhar. “On a wet surface, with a 1.6mm tread, a car’s stopping distance is 200 metres. This is double that of a car with newly fitted tyres.”
Ultimately, then, it is a question of getting the timing right when it comes to changing tyres, and in choosing the right quality of tyre.
While allowing for safety considerations, changing tyres too quickly can make a big difference to a fleet’s running costs.
“Research indicates that changing a tyre with 3mm or even 4mm of tread remaining is equal to an extra tyre per vehicle every two years”
“Typically, tyres can account for as much as a third of a fleet’s maintenance budget, so adding to the cost of changing them is likely to have a significant impact,” warns Azhar.
There is also an environmental impact, with premature changing of tyres increasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
“It’s also about the manufacture of tyres, and the amount of materials and energy contributing to over-consumption of raw materials,” suggest Azhar.
Improving Tyre Management
“Clearly, achieving the right balance between safety, cost and compliance requires diligent fleet maintenance,” Azhar points out, “and being able to rely on good, proactive maintenance support.”
“Fleet managers and their drivers shouldn’t have to bear the burden of responsibility alone,” concludes Azhar. “This is where choosing the right specialist services counts.
For an additional read, please visit Is Low Tyre Pressure a Priority for Fleets?