Calling Time On Underinflated Tyres

Venson highlights the importance of a tyre management policy that ensures the right tyre for the right vehicle

Following the results of a recent trial of new safety technology by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which found one in 12 commercial tyres were underinflated,[i] Venson Automotive Solutions is highlighting the importance of businesses having a comprehensive tyre management policy in place, with tyre safety and ensuring appropriate tyres are fitted to fleet vehicles, at the top of the agenda.

With businesses already under pressure to keep their fleets optimised and to carefully control costs, tyres are one area that can be a huge headache for fleet managers – not only in terms of the safety of company car and van drivers, but also to the associated costs of vehicle downtime due to tyre damage.

“The number of underinflated tyres caught by the pilot scheme undertaken by the DVSA is not only dangerous and a contributory factor in of hundreds of accidents each year[ii], but affects the performance of a vehicle, making it less efficient and more likely to be in need of repair and maintenance. Our whitepaper ‘Tyres: From F1 Motorsport to Fleet’ highlights the importance of the ‘right tyre for the right vehicle’ and how their selection should not be an afterthought,” said Simon Staton,  Director of Client Management at Venson Automotive Solutions.

Electric Vehicles have particular tyre needs and with the dramatic increase in the uptake that is currently being seen – the BVLRA predicted last year that the fleet sector will be responsible for 75% of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on UK roads by 2025[iii] – fleet managers need to be confident that their tyre management policy reflects those differences when it comes to selecting tyres for electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles tend to be much heavier than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles, due to their larger battery, which causes more wear on their tyres. Using ordinary tyres can shorten their life span but replacing them with especially designed tyres that have been manufactured to withstand the extra weight can help to reduce the vehicle’s energy consumption and so extend its range. As these tyres are more durable, it makes them more cost effective in the long term, despite the initial outlay being higher.

Simon Staton concluded, “With plans now being drawn up for a nationwide rollout of the DVSA pilot scheme, we urge fleet managers and businesses to conduct regular tyre checks, which should be one of the top safety measures that company car and van drivers can make. Following a good routine could not only make journeys safer and more pleasurable but will also help to ensure vehicle down time is kept to a minimum.”

Top 3 checks for tyre safety

  • Check tyres regularly for damage as well as ensuring tread depth is well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm.
  • Make sure your tyres are correctly inflated and match manufactures’ specifications.
  • Ensure wheels are correctly balanced and aligned to improve fuel efficiency and vehicle handling.