Venson Automotive Solutions publishes tyres white paper
Venson Automotive Solutions has published a free white paper on tyres for fleet decision-makers and company car and van drivers. The company states that “all too often price wins over vehicle use, age and mileage when it comes to buying and replacing tyres,” compared to the investment devoted to preparing vehicles for the latest connected technology.
The ‘Tyres: From F1 Motorsport to Fleet’ white paper also suggests that company car and van drivers are failing to regularly check their tyres which are often running on illegal tread depths, risking not only serious injury, but also a £2500 fine and three points on their licence per tyre. About 40 per cent of tyres across Venson’s leased and managed vehicles have to be replaced prematurely every year due to tyre damage, with a bias towards light commercial vehicles, which account for around 60 per cent of the company’s fleet.
The white paper explains that tyre manufacturers’ new multi-million pound research into intelligent tyres is increasingly helping to remove the responsibility of checking tyre condition away from operators and drivers, in turn significantly reducing the of risk putting vehicle occupants and other road users in danger because of sub-standard tyre conditions.
Gil Kelly, operations director, Venson Automotive Solutions explains, “Research for our white paper suggests that ultimately technology is likely to remove the responsibility for tyre condition checks away from drivers. Intelligent tyres will be able to self-manage and thus remove the driver from any care requirement. For now, however, the most intelligent thing fleet operators and drivers can do is ensure that tyres are manually checked on a regular basis.”
Tyre industry recommendations are to check for excessive and uneven tread wear, damage and pressure every two weeks. Checks should be made while the steering wheel is on full lock, to check across the whole tyre width which should be a minimum of 1.6mm. Even at this tread depth the stopping distance doubles that of a brand new tyre.
Venson’s investigation into the future of the tyre not only explores the arrival of the intelligent tyre, but how QR codes engraved on tyres may aid fleet tyre management, and potential solutions for heavier plug-in vehicles which are putting more pressure on tyres.
Gil Kelly concludes, “Tyres with a brain may seem a long way off but they are set to become a reality and will give the industry masses of information designed to maximise tyre longevity and reduce maintenance costs; music to the ears of any fleet manager. In the meantime though, it’s back to basics. While the pot-holed condition of the UK’s roads does no-one any favours, tyre damage is often due to driver induced errors, like kerbing tyres. That’s why it’s vital that fleets impress the importance of tyre checks on their drivers.”