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Fleets should adopt bluelight tyre policies, says Kwik Fit

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Kwik Fit is urging fleet operators to follow the example set by the emergency services and change their tyres more regularly.

Bluelight fleets change their tyres, on average, at a tread depth of 2.74mm – despite the legal limit being 1.6mm.

The findings of Kwik Fit’s study, which was a result of a Freedom of Information request made to every police force, fire and rescue service and ambulance service in the UK, found only 16% of the UK’s bluelight services allow the tyres on their emergency vehicle fleets to go below 2.5mm of tread before being changed.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The emergency services have the highest standards when it comes to safety and this is something all motorists should be trying to replicate. Checking tyre tread depth is often forgotten by motorists, yet it has a vital role in safety as our tyres are the only thing in contact with the road.”

Ambulance services have the strictest protocols, with 73% having a formal policy laid down. 82% of the ambulance fleets either mandate or recommend tyres are changed at a tread depth between 2.6mm and 3mm. This compares to 68% of fire brigades and 66% of police services having a formal policy, and 73% and 71% of the services enforcing or recommending tyres are changed between 2.6mm and 3mm respectively.

Previous research by Kwik Fit found that one in eight (12%) drivers never check their tyre tread depth on a regular basis. It is vital that motorists start getting into the habit of regular vehicle safety checks, similar to those carried out by the emergency services.

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  • bob - 07/04/2017 10:08

    Oh I wish!! For an industry that ties itself in knots over safety and duty of care this is one of the biggest driver frustrations. the UK weather has changed and we definitely get more bouts of extreme rainfall. We have a policy of tyres being sub 2.0mm before change is considered. Driving on our frequently flash flooded motorways on 1.9mm of tyre might be legal and economically prudent, but its not wise and its not duty of care!

  • Andy Neale - 07/04/2017 12:18

    Hardly a surprise that a company selling tyres recommends we should change them more regularly!

  • AMD - 07/04/2017 12:45

    How thoughtful and selfless of Kwik Fit (a tyre provider), recommending that fleet operators should change their tyres more often. Maybe if Kwik Fit were to offer to "go halves" on the additional cost then their suggestion may bear some weight?

  • Richard - 07/04/2017 13:28

    Kwik Fit will change your tyre even if it didn't need changing. I have never know a company to change tyres like them. If you go in for a puncture repair 99% of the time you will have to have a new tyre, even if the tyre can be repaired. Kwik Fit, we don't all drive Bluelight vehicles

  • David - 07/04/2017 13:28

    Yes this is OK - but Leasing companies do not usually authorise replacements until near the legal limit.

    • Gary - 07/04/2017 13:33

      I have a setup where we change at 3mm and a slight charge is incurred for this change based on the tyre cost. However its reducing risk as well as preventing the tyres becoming illegal.

  • steve.edwards@fleethire.co.uk - 11/04/2017 11:45

    I think there is a case for this as tyres at 2mm do loose traction compared to 3mm however it still never ceases to amaze me how many fleet drivers still drive on totally bald and dangerous tyres. there must be a distinct lack of road side checks by police now compared to a few years back.

    • Mr.Bean - 28/04/2017 10:04

      I agree 100%. As a leasing supplier we change tyres at 2mm, but its amazing how many have tyres changed at below 1.6mm. All this is down to poor staff training and lack of checks by the end user and employer. People can go on and on, but if the drivers don't check or understand the risks then we will never go any further. Also, blue light vehicles are at extra risk due to their high weight (ambulances) and high speed usage, so yes they should be done above 1.6mm. But also their vehicles get checked on a regular basis.

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