Fleet News

Tyres: Cost incentives will make drivers more ‘tyre aware’

THE National Tyre Dealers Association (NTDA) regards itself as the guardian of tyre standards.

It sees the tyre as the unsung hero of modern motoring, as it is a product so durable it can withstand thousands of miles of high speed motoring with a minimum of maintenance.

A spokesman said: ‘It is a product so sensitive it can transmit the tiniest characteristics from the road surface to the driver’s fingertips.

‘But despite these qualities, tyres are for the most part largely ignored. The only attention that the majority receive are when they fail an MoT or require replacement.

‘Tyres are safety-critical components, which require simple but regular attention. Promoting the importance of tyre safety is therefore an essential role of the NTDA.’

So what should fleet managers tasked with maintaining the safety of a fleet out on the road do?

Firstly, it is essential to spell out in writing to drivers the importance of checking tyre pressures at least every two weeks.

In addition they should give their tyres ‘the once over’ every time they get in the vehicle, to check they are inflated and to see there are no nails or other sharp objects in the tread. They should also regularly check the tread depth themselves.

Many drivers are disdainful of this kind of hands-on approach, but asking them whether they would prefer to get their hands slightly dirty once a week, or risk their lives usually drives the message home. If they pay for their own petrol or diesel, reminding drivers that running tyres below the recommended pressures will up their fuel bills provides an added incentive to become more ‘tyre-aware’.

In addition, many suppliers offer tyre inspection and ‘management’ services, which will help fleets keep an eye on the state of their tyres.

Among them is Kwik-Fit, which provides the service to a number of major companies, while it also provides a full tyre management service.

ATS Euromaster’s ‘Fleet Inspection System’ is capable of producing management reports based not only on the condition of tyres, but also on their efficiency and performance. As part of regular checks, ATS Euromaster technicians are able to perform services such as testing tyre pressures and regulating tyre usage, tread depth wear and removing illegal tyres.

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