7 tyre tips for a successful summer road trip in Queensland

What to do to make sure your tyres don’t harm your holiday

One of Australia’s favourite vacations is the road trip, and as the year progresses through spring and into summer more Queenslanders will be packing their vehicles with their belongings and heading out to explore. Whether travelling into the Outback or interstate, to get the best from them you must prepare well. Whatever you do, don’t neglect your tyres – they are in constant contact with the road, and you’ll need to be confident that they will come to your rescue whatever the circumstance.

Here are seven tyre tips to follow before you set off.

1.    Think about your journey

Consider what journey you are undertaking, the type of road surfaces you will encounter, the distances you will drive, and the conditions in which you might drive. If you plan to drive several thousand kilometres or are likely to encounter rough road conditions, ensure that your tyres have enough life in them. If in doubt, replace them. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

2.    Check your tyre tread

When it comes to tread, size definitely matters. The more tread you have, the more kilometres your tyres have in them, the more grip you’ll have on roads, and the shorter your braking distances will be. The minimum legal tread depth may be 1.6mm, but 3mm is generally considered to be the point where braking distances really start to lengthen.

3.    Check wheel balance and alignment

If your wheels are poorly aligned or incorrectly balanced, it will affect the performance of your vehicle and your tyres. Your vehicle will pull to one side, and your tyres will wear unevenly. You’ll also have a less comfortable ride, and driving will be harder work. Balance and alignment are crucial to your safety on the road. A simple test will ensure you aren’t putting yourself, your passengers and other road users in unnecessary risk.

4.    Don’t forget the spare

A common mistake is neglecting the spare tyre when you’re checking tyres before a road trip. Make sure it is suitable to use, checking tread and sidewalls for cuts and grazes. If you can take two spare tyres, do so – and make sure both are correctly inflated before you set off.

5.    Take a portable pump with you

As you progress on your road trip, you’re likely to travel through different road and weather conditions, and the air pressure in your tyres may vary. Check tyre pressures regularly, and correct them when needed. But what if you’re between petrol stations? A portable tyre pump takes little space and is a worthwhile addition to your road trip kit.

6.    Check your tyres pressures

Tyre inflation matters on the roads around Brisbane, and it matters on road trips.

Keeping your tyres correctly inflated is one of the simplest ways to keep them in good condition and safety on the road. Correctly inflated tyres suffer less damage, aid handling, and prolong tyre life.

A tyre pressure check should be part of your regular tyre routine, and you should always drive with tyres inflated at the recommended pressures unless you need to underinflate for certain terrains. If you do, don’t forget to re-inflate once you are through the obstacle.

7.    Never overload your vehicle

Whatever you do, don’t overload your vehicle. Overloading can cause tyres to overheat, and this can lead to sudden and unexpected tyre failure. You’ll find the maximum load rating on the tyre’s sidewall – don’t forget to check that your spare has the same or greater load rating.

And finally…

If you do suffer a breakdown or tyre problem that you cannot deal with, don’t leave your vehicle. Even though the next town may be close, don’t be tempted to walk. Get your phone out, and make a call. If you’re near Brisbane, call Darra Tyres. Put our number in your phone now (you’ll find it on our contact page). Be prepared for all possibilities, and stay safe on your road trip in Queensland.

If you’re planning a road trip this summer, make sure your black circles are as fit as you are. For the assurance of a professional tyre check,  contact Darra Tyres. We’ll make sure that your tyres and spare are in good condition so you and your family can enjoy your time on the road.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.