Almost half (45%) of drivers do not conduct regular pressure checks of their tyres, according to a Venson Automotive Solutions survey.
The findings highlight the need for fleet managers to evaluate the impact poorly maintained tyres have on the cost and efficiency of their fleet, as well as the safety of their business drivers, says Venson Automotive Solutions.
Furthermore, implementing an effective tyre management policy, adhered to by all, is key to meeting duty of care and containing fleet costs. “Ensuring fleet driver safety should always be at the top of the agenda for any business, but it’s easy to overlook how important regular tyre checks are,” explained Gil Kelly, operations director of Venson Automotive Solutions.
“These should be at the core of any tyre management policy, with staff trained to frequently carry out necessary checks, including tyre pressure, tread depth and damage.
“The provision of written reports by drivers - or the use of an online app, such as R2C’s digital driver pre-use check – detailing defects should be mandatory, alerting the fleet team or their fleet management provider of any issues.”
Kelly continued: “Once an issue is highlighted, appropriate action needs to be taken immediately, not after weather conditions give cause for concern.
“Fleet managers should ensure the company’s tyre supplier offers onsite tyre health checks on a regular basis. Grouping vehicles together for tyre health checks mean the tyre supplier can plan which tyres to stock, reducing the headache of vehicle downtime for fleet managers.”
Kelly wants to encourage businesses to employ proactive vehicle maintenance, which means the fleet manager understands where a vehicle is in its contractual period, the type of mileage it is doing and the type of driving it is being subjected to.
Kelly said: “If a vehicle is at the end of its contract, and its tyre tread is at 2mm, it’s not worth replacing it. But if a vehicle still has six months on its contract and is due to do a lot of miles, then a tyre change makes good sense.”
When it comes to knowing which brand of tyre to fit, Venson aims to balance quality with the best value by taking in to account the type of vehicle and historical data on driver induced damage or accidental damage, it said.
Kelly concluded: “Whilst it may be tempting to invest in winter tyres, our experience tells us that all season tyres are usually enough and negate the need for extra storage space and expense.
“All these considerations form part of a business’s tyre management policy, which will help manage a safe, efficient fleet. Fleet managers who put in place a well communicated and monitored tyre management policy will have the confidence that their drivers are always prepared.”
VENSON AUTOMOTIVE’S TYRE MANAGEMENT POLICY TIPS
- Implement regular tyre maintenance checks.
- Staff should be trained to carry out necessary checks to ensure tyres are fit for purpose and of a safe, legal standard.
- If you have a tyre supplier, have them provide onsite tyre health checks to help pre-plan tyre stock to carry.
- Don’t forget tyre pressure checks at different times of year and according to vehicle loads.
- Proactive vehicle maintenance means businesses can anticipate when best to change tyres, depending on the contract length and expected mileage of a vehicle.
- Fit all season tyres to avoid the hassle and expense of storing and changing winter tyres.