Fleet News

Tyre maintenance: Get tyre pressures back on the agenda

John Catling, chief executive at Wheelwright, looks at the challenges of tyre pressure checking.

Poorly-maintained tyres are the fleet industry’s dirty hidden secret. In a recent poll of Fleet News readers, a staggering 29.4% did not know how often their drivers checked their tyre pressures.

More worryingly, 17.6% said it was just once a year and 26.5% thought quarterly. At the other end of the spectrum, just 8.8% believe drivers check tyre pressures weekly and 17.6% selected monthly.

The tyre industry advises a monthly check, with tyres losing pressure at a rate of about 0.69 bar (one psi) per month. Unsurprisingly, there is a limited desire to undertake what is seen as a messy and unnecessary chore.

So, how do we get tyre pressures back on the agenda? The European Union mandates all new vehicles to be manufactured with tyre pressure monitoring systems from November 2014. But just because the technology is in place doesn’t mean that drivers will pay attention or fleet managers will see the information.

Figures from the Highways Agency suggest that more than 15,000 breakdowns on English motorways each year are tyre related; a significant cost to any business.

In addition, incorrect tyre pressure can compromise cornering, braking, vehicle stability and, in the worst-case scenario, lead to serious accidents. This should be a convincing argument for any fleet manager looking at their duty-of-care responsibilities.

Correctly-inflated tyres can have a significant impact on fuel consumption and emissions.
The biggest challenge is getting the driver to buy-in to the need to conduct regular checks. This is where innovative drive-over systems which measure pressure, weight and temperature in motion can really come into their own.

Removing the need for manual checks, the information can be analysed and sent immediately to the driver’s mobile phone, as well being copied to the fleet manager.

Tyres may not always be seen as the most important aspect of a fleet manager or company driver’s day; but there is a compelling argument to put them back at the top of the agenda.
 

 

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee