Tread carefully, it’s tyre safety month
Annual campaign reminds motorists to maintain regular tyre checks with ACT
If your tyres could speak, what would they say about you? That’s the question UK charity TyreSafe is making us consider with its 2019 campaign.
As with any automotive vehicle, tyre maintenance on a truck is crucial – they’re the only point of contact the vehicle has with the road.
Tyre Safety’s ‘Look Who’s Talking’ video is a simple but clear message on the three key indicators of tyre safety, ACT. The acronym stands for Air Pressure, Condition and Tread.
Air pressure is the first thing to check. Under-inflated tyres can lead to excess stress on the tyre shoulder and uneven wear - adversely affecting acceleration, braking and cornering. It also causes greater fuel consumption than necessary. Over-inflated tyres can create wear down the centre of the tread, decreasing its gripping ability.
Our customers can opt for Scania TPM (tyre pressure monitoring), a safety system that alerts the driver if the tyre pressure drops in any of the vehicle’s tyres. This helps to constantly ensure optimum rolling resistance, which translates into better operating economy and reduced tyre wear. It also means that drivers don’t have to regularly step in and out of the truck to check tyre pressure.
Now it’s time to consider the condition of your tyre…can you see any cuts or cracks? Does it look slightly lumpy? If the answer is yes, contact your servicing branch or a tyre contractor as there is a chance that the tyre is not fit for purpose.
And lastly, tread - the area of rubber on the tyre’s circumference that makes contact with the road. As tyres are used, tread is worn off, limiting its effectiveness in providing traction. One of the biggest risks of a low tread tyre is that the tyre is more likely to aquaplane.
For trucks (vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes g.v.w), current tread depth legislation requires that they must have a minimum of 1mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre.
If you have a suspicion that the tread has been worn down below the minimum legal limit, try the 20p test. Simply take a 20 pence coin and place it between the ridges of the tyre’s tread. Check three points around the tyre - if at any point you can still see some of the penny’s outer band it means that the tyre is approaching the legal minimum tread depth.
To summarise, tyre evaluation should be a key-part of your daily driver checks. Drivers who are found with illegal tyres are now imposed with a £2,500 fine and three-point penalty, and more importantly have increased chances of being involved in an accident.
The benefits of regular tyre maintenance include improved fuel economy, increased safety in wet conditions, reduced CO2 emissions, optimum handling and tyres with a longer time in service.
So, don’t chance it - check it.
· Visit TyreSafety for more information on tyre maintenance