Data from the recently concluded Safe Drive Campaign, conducted by Apollo Tyres in two locations in Thailand, revealed that less than 10 per cent vehicles being driven around in the country had incorrect inflation pressure. Of this 10 per cent, most were found driving with under-inflated tyres.
A simple “trick” – or perhaps we should say “cheating” or “fraud” – has been common practice in the European automotive industry, to the displeasure of environmental organisations: Place a car with excessive tyre pressure on a dynamometer and – voilà – lower fuel consumption levels and emissions are recorded thanks to the ‘optimised’ rolling resistance. Mitsubishi has conceded carrying out this practice in Japan with test data submitted to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. This time round it doesn’t affect, as in the case of Volkswagen and its ‘cheat’ software, millions of vehicles, rather ‘only’ 625,000 small cars, the majority of these off-take production for Nissan.
Caravan owners can benefit from an online pressure calculator released by UK safety organisation TyreSafe. The web form tool has been developed to ensure correct tyre inflation levels on the country’s half-million strong caravan fleet when they trundle out on their summer journeys.
Michelin has introduced a new automatic inflation system for commercial vehicle tyres. Michelin Auto Inflate is promoted as an “easy, wheel-mounted tyre management solution that allows fleets to automatically maintain optimal tyre pressure.” Auto Inflate is powered by the Halo tyre inflator developed by Aperia Technologies, a company established in 2010 by two Stanford University mechanical engineering graduate students.
A safer roads service that allows car, van and lorry drivers to quickly check their vehicle’s tyre pressures before resuming motorway journeys has been extended until the end of the year. The project was launched in April 2015 for an initial three month trial period, but was so successful – with more than 1,000 vehicles being tested a week – that the decision was taken to continue the scheme through to Thursday 31 December.
Michelin’s free agricultural tyre pressure calculator app is now available for iOS devices, giving even more farmers and contractors access to on-the-spot bespoke tyre pressure advice. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, the Michelin Pressure Calculator app instantly works out the most appropriate tyre pressure settings for desired load and speed on any farm tractor in just three easy steps.
The tyres on almost 2 per cent of cars tested by Michelin in Ballymena were classified as ‘dangerous’. Local news sources report that, at a recent free ‘Fill Up With Air’ promotion hosted by Michelin at Tesco, Ballymena, 158 vehicles had their tyre pressure and condition checked.
More than 60 per cent of vehicles driving on Cyprus are doing so with the wrong tyre pressures, according to a study produced by non-governmental organisation (NGO) “Reaction Youth for the Prevention”. Looking specifically at trucks, the situation is even worse with 90 per cent running on the wrong pressures.
Research commissioned by the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) suggests half of Britain’s motorists neglect vital vehicle maintenance checks including oil, tyres and lights. According to the association, this equates to 18 million drivers when you consider there are 36 million motorists on UK roads.
The survey by Trusted Dealers, the consumer facing website of the National Franchised Dealer Association, found that 32 per cent of drivers are unaware how often their vehicle should be serviced, with 6.8% per cent admitting they never undertake routine vehicle checks.
TyreSafe is promoting tyre safety on the school run following research carried out by one of its members, which found that more than 30 per cent of cars dropping off children at one Shropshire primary school were fitted with illegal tyres.
The ever-swelling ranks of TyreSafe gathered at St Johns Hotel, Solihull to launch the 2014 edition of Tyre Safety Month. Chairman Stuart Jackson, enthusiastically wielding an enlarged coin, demonstrated the well-established 20p test during his introduction of the “driving rain, driving safe” theme; the test is particularly relevant to this year’s tread depth focused theme of aquaplaning. In 2013 tyre pressure took centre stage, but with 2013-14 being the wettest winter on record, and October usually the wettest month of the year anyway, TyreSafe has chosen to present a core message informing drivers of the importance of tread depth in combating what is arguably the most spectacular and frightening road safety phenomenon – in addition to reinforcing other messages, such as pressure, Jackson adds.
Goodyear has reminded motorists that a tyre’s good label performance only apply when it operates at the correct air pressure. While more than 80 per cent of the company’s EfficientGrip Performance received an ‘A’ rating for wet braking and ‘B’ for rolling resistance, this result would look very different when inflation levels are too low. And then there’s the matter of safety….
Michelin has extended its agricultural tyre portfolio with new sizes for the AxioBib, MegaXBib and MachXBib ranges. The company says these offer the optimal solution for increasing profitability within agricultural operations at a time when increasingly large land areas are being worked and demands placed upon harvesters and tractors are growing.