Fleet Attention to Tyres on the Rise
Kwik-Fit Fleet has reported a marked increase in tyre safety checks being requested by company operators, with the number undertaken increasing by 25 per cent during the past year. In 2006 the company carried out 200,000 tyre safety checks on company cars and vans, compared with 150,000 the year before. This year Kwik-Fit Fleet technicians expect to carry out a quarter of a million of these inspections.
Initial tyre checks typically result in about one-fifth of vehicles inspected requiring attention of some kind. On a national level this averages out at up to 800,000 vehicles potentially running on at least one unsafe tyre. Such tyres may be under or over inflated, tread may be the 1.6mm legal minimum, tyre wear maybe irregular, indicating a wheel alignment or vehicle loading problem; or the wall of a tyre may be damaged.
The importance of having sufficient tread should not be underestimated. According to Kwik-Fit Fleet, at 70 mph the stopping distance of a car fitted with a new tyre – with 8mm of tread – is almost 100 metres; with 3mm of tread remaining a car’s stopping distance increases to 150 metres; with 1.6mm of tread remaining a car’s stopping distance is 200 metres – double that of a vehicle fitted with a new tyre.
Head of Kwik-Fit Fleet Mike Wise said: “Tyres are the only part of a vehicle that are in contact with the road so it is essential that they are in tip-top condition. Ensuring tyres meet the legal requirements is a vital part of any corporate risk strategy, but the human aspect in terms of safety far outweighs the legislative situation.
“Companies must not be complacent. After the first check has been carried out a lower proportion of tyres need to be fitted during each safety check because the unsafe tyre problem is under control.