Michelin’s new head of fleet is calling on fleet managers to take urgent action over tyre pressures after figures revealed company car drivers are worse than private motorists at maintaining the correct inflation.
Andy Fern, who took over running Michelin’s dedicated fleet team at the beginning of this month, says he was shocked to discover businesses and public sector organisations have a poorer record of tyre pressures than other drivers.
Results from pressure checks carried out by Michelin technicians at Fill Up With Air days throughout 2013 show 59% of consumers’ tyres were being driven at the correct pressures compared with just 46% of fleet drivers’ tyres.
Furthermore, 25% of fleet drivers’ tyres were ‘dangerously’ or ‘very dangerously’ under inflated compared with 14% of private motorists.
“These figures are surprising to say the least,” said Fern, who has worked at Michelin for more than 15 years and now heads a team of dedicated account managers who work closely with fleets.
“Less than half of the business drivers we checked had all tyres at the correct pressures, and a quarter were running on tyres dangerously under-inflated. It’s quite incredible when you think about it.
“We would expect business drivers to be much more aware of how important tyre pressures are to the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of their vehicle.
“It’s hard to say whether it is a case of individuals ignoring fleet managers’ advice, or if the messages are not being given out frequently enough. I just don’t know. Either way, these figures show there is still a lot of work to be done in this area.
He added that the results don't reflect the priority given to safety by many businesses, as well as the cost implications from higher fuel consumption running with inder-inflated tyres that would show increased wear rates and need replacing more often.
“I think there are more compressors at petrol stations than in recent years, and tyre centres like ATS Euromaster and Kwik Fit will check and correct pressures free of charge," Fen added. "There are no excuses and shouldn’t be any barriers to everyone getting this right.”
“If I could encourage all fleet managers to make one change for the second half of 2014 it would be to prioritise talking to your drivers about tyre pressures.
“Perhaps if employees were reminded more frequently about the multiple and substantial benefits of maintaining correct tyre pressures - improving safety, saving
money and reducing carbon emissions - they would be more willing to make sure it is part of their routine checks.”
|Correct tyre pressures - max 3psi under-inflation||59%||46%|
|Acceptable tyre pressures - max 7psi under-inflation||21%||26%|
|Dangerously under-inflated - between 8psi and 15 psi under-inflated||12%||20%|
|Very dangerously under-inflated - 15psi or more under-inflated||2%||2%|