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Category Archives for "Tyres"

Tyre Repairs

Are Tyre Repairs Safe?

Which Repair Is Best When You Have a Flat Tyre?

It is most likely that a punctured tyre must be replaced. However, it may be possible to repair the tyre. If your tyre can be repaired, there are three common types of tyre repair that might be used.

Tyre Repair #1: Plugging

A plug is the simplest of tyre repairs and the fastest. When a technician makes this type of tyre repair, they create a plug with a small piece of leather, coat it in rubber adhesive, and plug the puncture with it.

As you drive on the repaired tyre, the heat created vulcanises the rubber adhesive and it hardens to seal the puncture. It is possible to make this type of repair without removing the tyre.

There is a downside, though. The plug must fit exactly, so a strangely shaped hole will be difficult to plug. The plug may work itself loose and the repair becomes ineffective.

Tyre Repair #2: Patching

Patching is an internal repair technique.

A square of rubber is backed with rubber adhesive and glued to the puncture on the inside of the tyre. The adhesive vulcanises as the tyre heats up during driving, and this hardens the repair. Because the tyre must be removed, this repair takes longer and is more expensive than plugging. However, it is also more stable.

Tyre Repair #3: A Plug/Patch Combination

A plug/patch combination is the strongest of the three types of tyre repair. It is sometimes called a mushroom repair and seals the puncture from inside to the outside.

A ‘tail’ is added to the rubber patch and threaded through the puncture hole to act as the plug. The tyre must be removed to make the repair, and while this type of repair is the most effective it is also the most complex. It takes longer than either of the other two types of repair and is the most expensive.

How Is a Combination Plug/Patch Tyre Repair Made?

Making a combination plug/patch tyre repair is a complicated process. It’s not like making a repair on a bicycle tyre! There are many steps involved:

  1. Remove the tyre and inspect

The tyre must be inspected thoroughly to make sure that it can be repaired.

  1. Mark up the damage

The damage is located and marked, and foreign objects are removed.

  1. Drill from the inside

The puncture hole is drilled from the inside to make it uniform.

  1. Drill from the outside

The puncture is drilled from the outside until no resistance is felt.

  1. Clean the area of damage

The area of damage is thoroughly cleaned to around 1cm to 2cm larger than the size of the repair patch using pre-buff cleaners and a repair scraper.

  1. Mark and clean internally

The repair patch is held on the inside of the tyre where it will be fixed, and the tyre is marked up around the patch. The area marked is buffed to around ½cm larger than the repair patch using a domed buffing rasp. It is essential that the area is flat.

  1. All dust is removed

All dust is removed, and the repair area is cleared of wire and fluffed cords.

  1. Vulcanising accelerator is added

A vulcanising accelerator is added to the puncture channel and the buffed patch area.

  1. Plug the puncture

The patch’s tail is threaded through the puncture hole.

  1. Pull the tail through

The tail is pulled from outside the tyre so that the patch sits tight and flush internally.

  1. Flatten the patch

The patch is rolled from its centre to its edges using a corrugated tyre stitcher. This removes air bubbles and ensures complete contact with the buffed interior of the tyre.

  1. Seal internally

The repair patch and plug base are sealed with an inner liner sealant.

  1. Remount

The tyre is remounted onto the wheel and inflated to its correct pressure.

  1. Finish off

To finish the repair, the plug is cut flush with the tread of the tyre.

Should You Repair a Tyre?

As you can see, there are three ways in which a tyre might be repaired. If you have a flat tyre, you must take it to a tyre shop to be inspected. The tyre specialist will tell you whether it can be repaired after first assessing the damage to the tyre. If a repair is made, you should remember that a repaired tyre is never as strong as a new or undamaged tyre.

If you are in Brisbane and have a flat tyre or a tyre that keeps losing tyre pressure, contact Darra Tyres today. Don’t be sorry, be safe.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Checking Tyres

Is Now the Time to Check Your Tyres?

What Is at Stake if Your Tyres Remain Unchecked?

A tyre check is easy to do. It takes no more than five minutes and ensures that your tyres are running at the right tyre pressure, that your tyre tread depth is legal, and that there is no damage that could make it unsafe to drive. Yet a tyre check is the most neglected of all vehicle maintenance routines.

Neglect to Check Your Tyres and You Ignore Your Safety

New tyres have around 8mm or more of tread depth. While the legal limit is a minimum of 1.5mm tread depth, we recommend that you don’t go below 3mm.

If you let your tread depth reduce to 1.5mm, braking distance can be as much as 50% more in wet weather than it would be with a tread depth of 3mm. That could be the difference between life and death – of you, your passengers, other road users and pedestrians.

It’s not only tread depth that compromises safety on the roads when you are driving. Bulges grazes, cuts and embedded items all affect the quality of a tyre. A damaged tyre is more likely to leak air, and it is more likely to suffer a tyre blowout – at high speed, a tyre blowout could be fatal.

Do you know what condition the tyres you are driving on are in? When was the last time you checked your tyre pressure? When did you last check your tyres for bulges on the inside and outside sidewalls?

Now Is the Time to Check Your Tyres

The condition of your tyres could change after only a few miles of driving. Embedded glass could put you in danger on your next trip. Yet most drivers never check their tyres, until they feel that their ride is a little bumpier than it used to be, or that the handling is not as sharp as it once was.

By this time, it may be too late. The chances are you’ll still put off that simple, five-minute check because you have ‘more urgent things to do’.

After a while, you become used to the longer braking distances and the worsening handling round corners. Until that one time your mind is elsewhere, and you drive the car like you used to when your tyres were in good condition. Like you should always be able to.

Then you lose your grip on a bend. You drive a little too fast, and brake a little too late. The only question to answer now is, will the blood on the road be yours or someone else’s?

If there is a golden rule you should remember it is this: now is always the time to check your tyres.

Let a Professional Check Your Tyres

While a tyre check is simple, the basic five-minute check may still miss technical problems with your tyres. Internal damage or degradation, for example. That’s why you should also consider a regular tyre check made by a professional. Specialists know all the danger signs, and they will recommend action that you can take to help your tyres last longer – such as tyre rotation, for example.

What if You Need New Tyres?

If you check your tyres and find that one or more have shallow tread or damage, don’t risk your life by continuing to drive on it. Replace that damaged tyre immediately.

You might be tempted to buy part-worn tyres to save money. But part-worn tyres are a dangerous, false economy because they are:

  • Older, and may be degraded by age
  • Will have suffered wear and tear, with damage to sidewalls or internally
  • Have shallow and inconsistent tread depths, affecting grip, handling and braking distance

Premium tyres are the best option. They could save you money on fuel, benefit from shorter braking distances, offer a safer, quieter drive, and last longer.

However, not all drivers have deep enough pockets to buy premium tyres. Which is why we also stock good-quality, affordable tyres.

If you have checked your tyres and found they need replacing, do so. Don’t leave it. You are only risking the safety of everyone on the road, and everyone in your vehicle. And when you do replace your tyres, you should always invest in the best tyres in your budget.

Please check your tyres now. If you don’t, you are taking a risk with everyone’s safety when you drive. One death on the road is one death too many. If you are in any doubt about the condition of your tyres and live in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres. We’ll discuss your needs, consider your vehicle and driving style, and make sure you invest in the best tyres in your price range.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

High Performance Tyres

Should I Buy High-Performance Tyres?

Is the Expense Value for Money?

High-performance tyres are made from softer rubber compounds than other tyres. They have been designed to provide extra ride comfort and greater handling capability at higher speeds. They benefit from innovative treads that are designed to increase grip on the road and when cornering.

Are High-Performance Tyres Right for You?

When you need to change tyres, you should buy tyres that match your driving style, your vehicle, and the roads or other surfaces on which you drive. You might be tempted to opt for high-performance tyres – especially if you do a lot of highway driving at speed.

If you watch Formula 1, you will have seen how high-performance tyres give extra grip. The softer compound makes the car stick to the track. The driver gets round the track negotiating bends and corners at high speed. However, during a race lasting a couple of hours or less they may get through two or three sets of tyres.

If you buy high-performance tyres, they will last much longer than those used in Formula 1. You won’t be melting rubber at such high speeds, and the rubber compound used on commercial high-performance tyres is not nearly as soft as that used on Formula 1 tyres.

If you want better handling, more grip and improved braking power, then high-performance tyres might be right for you. Before you make this decision, though, read the rest of this article.

What Vehicle Do You Drive?

As you might expect, if you drive a high-performance car you’ll probably benefit more from high-performance tyres. However, performance tyres are becoming more popular among drivers of other car types because of the advantages they offer – manufacturers are now producing performance tyres for smaller cars.

The Disadvantages of High-Performance Tyres

Before you rush to buy high-performance tyres, it pays to be armed with all the facts. While you will benefit from the improved grip, better handling and shorter breaking distances, there are some disadvantages, too. These include:

  • Performance tyres are more expensive

Like all tyres, the bigger the tyre you need the higher the price you’ll pay. You’ll also pay a premium for how high-performance the tyre is. A small high-performance tyre might cost around $130. A high-performance tyre that you could use on a racetrack might set you back as much as $2,000.

Generally, you should expect to pay around $230 for a high-performance tyre for a 15-inch wheel.

  • You’ll use more fuel

Better handling and greater grip come at a price on top of the tyre’s cost. That price is lower fuel economy. Your vehicle must work harder to combat the traction on the road, and that means using more fuel.

  • Shorter tyre life

The softer rubber compound wears quicker, and this means your high-performance tyres won’t last as long other tyre options. You’ll be paying more for a set of new tyres sooner.

Summing Up

High-performance tyres should help you stay safer on the road. You’ll benefit from better handling and surer braking. However, your initial outlay will be greater and there is a compromise between grip and fuel consumption. You are also likely to need to change your tyres sooner.

Before making your decision, contact Darra Tyres in Brisbane. We’ll discuss your needs, consider your vehicle and driving style, and make sure you invest in the best tyres in your price range.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Heavy Vehicle Tyres

The 14 Reasons Why Your Heavy Vehicle Tyre Is Dangerous

Ensure Your Vehicle Is Safe and Legal on Australia’s Roads

The tyre inspection is one of the most important jobs that a driver, operator or inspector does. If your heavy vehicle’s tyres are below the required standard, you are putting yourself and other road users at risk. How do you know what the tyre standards are for heavy vehicles? Do your drivers know the 14 reasons to reject a tyre?

National Standards for Heavy Vehicle Tyres

Since February 2014, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been Australia’s independent regulator for all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM). Its job is to ensure that heavy vehicles are safe and efficient on Australia’s road network. The regulations that it oversees include the standards laid out in the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM). It is in here that you will find the standards for heavy vehicle tyre checks.

Do Your Inspectors and Drivers Know the Heavy Vehicle Tyre Standards?

The NHVIM has been composed to provide a consistent approach to heavy vehicle standards across Australia. Its aim is to ensure compliance with standards, to improve safety, and to reduce vehicle downtime.

It wasn’t written by people with no experience, either. The regulator consulted with the industry and developed the NHVIM to provide inspectors and operators with standards that actually achieve what they set out to achieve.

For fleet managers, the NHVIM provides the criteria for heavy vehicle inspections. This includes all the reasons a heavy vehicle tyre should be rejected when inspected.

Here are all 14 of these reasons to reject a heavy vehicle tyre, with explanations where needed.

1.    Insufficient Tread

The law states that a tyre must have a minimum of 1.5mm of tread in a continuous band around the whole tyre. This tread depth must extend at least 75% of the width of the tyre.

Most tyres have tread wear indicators built into them, though these aren’t included when assessing a tyre’s tread depth around its circumference.

Good operators will replace heavy vehicle tyres sometime before they reach legal minimum tread depth.

2.    Tyres Don’t Match the Tyre Placard

Most vehicles have a tyre placard fitted to the door jamb. This shows the dimensions and air pressure levels that must be maintained. If there is no tyre placard, these details will be in the owner’s manual. A tyre that does not match these standards should be rejected.

3.    Tyre Damage

Deep cuts, bumps, bulges, exposed cords, chunking, and other signs of carcass failure.

4.    Regrooved Tyres

Only if it is stipulated on the sidewall of the tyre that it can be regrooved is regrooving permitted.

5.    Wider Than Mudguards

If the heavy vehicle tyre’s sidewall projects beyond the width of the mudguard when in the straight-ahead position.

6.    Non-Approved Modifications

If the tyre has been fitted with a non-OEM front wheel (i.e. rim and tyre) that has not been approved as a modification.

7.    Not Constructed for Unrestricted Road Use

8.    Illegal Retreads and Remoulds

Only tyres that are marked with ‘Retread’ or ‘Remould’ are capable of being retreaded or remoulded. The tyre should also be marked with its maximum speed (e.g. Speed Limited to 125 km/h).

9.    Illegal Speed Rating

The speed rating of all tyres must be no less than 100km/h or the vehicle’s top speed, whichever is the smaller. The exception to this is if the manufacturer has specified a lower speed rating.

10. Manufacturer’s Tyre Load Ratings Are Less Than the Vehicle’s Ratings

Any tyre fitted to a vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes is not suitable for road use if the tyre load ratings are less than the minimum ratings specified originally by the vehicle manufacturer.

11. Tyres Are in Contact

If dual tyres are fitted, there must be space between them. If they are touching, they must be removed and replaced.

12. A Tyre That Is in Contact with the Vehicle

If the tyre is in contact with any part of the vehicle – the body, chassis, braking, steering, frame, suspension – at any point of travel must be rejected.

13. A Tyre That Could Damage Roads

If cleats or other gripping devices could damage the road on which the vehicle is travelling.

14. Incompatible Tyres

A tyre that is not compatible to the rim to which it is fitted.

In Summary

When your drivers or maintenance staff check the tyres on heavy vehicles, it is essential that they check for all 14 reasons to reject a tyre. If you asked your drivers to write the list of 14 heavy vehicle tyre rejections now, do you think they could do so?

A simple tyre test will help your fleet’s vehicles to be safe and legal on Australia’s roads. When these tests show up heavy vehicle tyre frailties, contact Darra Tyres in Brisbane for the professional assistance you need.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Cheap tyres

How Can Fleets Get the Best Performance from Cheap Tyres?

Tyre Maintenance Tips a Fleet Manager Cannot Afford to Ignore

We always recommend that fleet managers buy the best-quality tyres their budgets allow. The cost is front-loaded. The benefits become apparent over time. Quality tyres last longer than cheap tyres. They are made with better components, and their design and manufacture benefit from years of expensive research and development. They are produced to keep your drivers safe on the road.

But what if your budget is tighter today? What if you must buy cheap tyres for your fleet?

In this article, I discuss how you can get the best from cheaper tyres.

Air Pressure Is Key to Cheap Tyre Performance

Your fleet’s tyres do a specific job. They carry loads on the road. Whether cheap tyres or a premium brand, if your tyres are not inflated correctly, they won’t be as effective.

Drivers should check tyre air pressures every day when the tyre is cold – before they load up and leave. The driver should know the load they will be transporting and inflate the tyre according to the load and tyre pressure recommendations.

If the inflation level is wrong, the tyre will wear faster. Remember, too, that the quality of air in the tyre makes a big difference to a tyre’s performance.

What Quality of Air Do You Pump into Your Tyres?

Especially for tyres carrying heavy loads, the quality of air pumped into them is crucial. And before you ask, no, air isn’t air! Just like instant coffee granules are not coffee beans, and not all engine oils are the same.

Air compressors deliver air that is riddled with moisture, particulates, and oil mist from the air coming into it. A pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit extracts nitrogen from this, ensuring that dry, clean gas is pumped into the tyre. If normal compressed air is added to the tyre, all the benefits of the cleaned air are lost.

The best way to think about this is to consider the oil that you put into your fleet vehicles. If that oil were full of impurities and particles, it wouldn’t take long for the engine to start degrading. The same is true of tyres. Put poor air in, and you’ll find they degrade faster. For example:

  • Oils (hydrocarbons) attack the rubber on the inside of the tyre
  • When this happens, air escapes through the tyre
  • The affected tyre requires more regular inflation

Moisture in the tyre has a different effect. It causes the tyre to expand. This is because moisture turns into vapour when heated, thus inflating the tyre when it is in motion. It is not unusual for tyre air pressures to increase from around 140 PSI when cold to more than 180 PSI when operating at speed. High moisture content in the air inside the tyre will cause the tyre to expand. This reduces handling ability and causes extra wear along the centre of the tyre.

The answer is to ensure that only high-quality air is used in cheap tyres. This will help the tyre to last longer and perform more effectively.

Summary

Whether you invest in premium brand tyres or are restricted to buying cheap tyres, how your tyres are maintained is a major determinant of your fleet’s tyre costs – which could be around 3% of your fleet’s total costs. Drivers should ensure that tyres are checked before leaving your depot. They should test for air pressure, and for cuts, grazes and bumps, and ensure that tyre tread is within legal limits.

Using quality air will help cheaper tyres last longer. Of course, using quality air in the highest-quality tyres is the very best solution.

For all your fleet’s tyre needs in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today. We’ll help you cut tyre costs while maintaining efficiency and safety.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Bubble Tyres

Why You Must Take Tyre Bubbles Seriously

Drive on Bubbled Tyres and You Risk Your Life

A road traffic cop in the UK stopped a car on a school run a few weeks ago. The reason was tyre bubbles. These huge bulges are a sign of major tyre failure. They are not normal, and are dangerous. Very dangerous. What causes tyre bubbles, and what should you do if your tyres are bubbled?

The Good News about Tyre Bubbles

First, the good news. If you have tyre bubbles, you’ll see them. You’ll also feel them when you drive.

Tyre bubbles are big bulges. They look a little like Marty Feldman’s eyes – popping out all over the place. If your drive has become shuddery instead of smooth, you may also have tyre bubbles.

The Bad News about Tyre Bubbles

Now for the bad news. You can’t fix tyre bubbles. They are a sign that the tyre is irreparably damaged. But it gets worse. A tyre bubble means that:

  • A slight impact could lead to a tyre blowout. You’ll need to avoid every single pothole, no matter how small.
  • A cut or hole can develop in the tyre at any moment.
  • Air is leaking – your tyre is going flat.
  • Cornering risks a blowout, too.

These risks are present because of how the tyre has been damaged.

How Do Tyre Bubbles Develop?

A tyre bubble forms because of internal damage to the tyre. When the internal components are weakened, the air pressure inside causes the sidewalls to bubble. Air escapes through the inner lining and becomes trapped between the inner lining and outer casing. Often, these bubbles form when the tyre is shocked – such as if you hit a pothole or kerb at speed.

They are also more likely on older tyres. This is because a tyre’s rubber compound breaks down over time (which is why most tyre manufacturers recommend changing for new tyres when your existing tyres are five of six years old, irrespective of mileage travelled on them).

We often find that tyre bubbles occur to tyres most commonly on vehicles that are frequently driven over rough roads, and also to tyres that are poorly maintained and inflated to the incorrect tyre pressure.

How Do You Avoid Tyre Bubbles?

To avoid tyre bubbles, you should always drive safely, within speed limits, and try to avoid driving at speed over potholes. You should also maintain your tyres well, and ensure you replace with new when they must be changed – whether it’s because of inadequate tread depth, degradation or age.

Checking Your Tyres for Tyre Bubbles

Tyre bubbles are not always as visible as the ones on the tyres of the car stopped in the UK. Those bubbles were up to three inches across and spread completely around the outer sidewall of the tyre. There were around a dozen of them. The tyre looked like it had a bunch of tennis balls buried inside it. This simple two-step routine will help you inspect your tyres for tyre bubbles:

  1. In the morning light, or with a bright torch, inspect your tyres for any changes.
  2. Use your hands to run around the inner and outer sidewalls, checking for small bubbles – they don’t become tennis ball-sized immediately. Your fingers are sensitive – you’ll feel bulges and bubbles quite easily.

While checking your tyres, take note of uneven tread, cuts and grazes, too. Uneven tread could be a sign that your wheel alignment needs adjusting or your wheels need balancing. Cuts and grazes and damage caused by sharp objects should all be inspected by a professional immediately.

What Should You Do If You Find a Tyre Bubble?

A tyre bubble is an accident waiting to happen. Don’t take the risk. As soon as you notice a tyre bubble, change the tyre for the spare tyre. Then, take the bubbled tyre to your nearest tyre shop as soon as you can. They will confirm if the tyre is bubbled and if it needs replacing.

Here in Brisbane, if you suspect you have tyre bubbles get in touch with Darra Tyres. Please don’t risk driving on substandard tyres. We’d prefer to see you in our tyre shop than in a hospital.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Investing in Solid Forklift tyres

Should You Invest in Solid Forklift Tyres?

Solid Tyres Could Provide a Solid Performance

Forklifts are the modern workhorse of most manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Forklift tyres provide full support for the loads they carry. Therefore, choosing the right tyres for your forklift ensures that it runs at optimum performance and remains safe in a busy workplace.

Should You Use Solid Forklift Tyres?

Unlike pneumatic tyres, which are filled with air, there is no inner tube or air layer that needs to be inflated in a solid forklift tyre. At present, solid tyres are only used for slow vehicles that carry heavy loads. For example, your car does not use solid tyres because they would place additional strain on the engine, brakes, suspension and axles. The technical reason for this is that rotating mass stores energy and therefore the heavier solid tyre would require more energy to start and stop.

However, in forklift applications, solid tyres may prove advantageous.

4 Advantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Resilience

Durability and resilience often make solid tyres the best choice for your forklift tyres. As they are not inflated with air, you do not have to worry about punctures or blowouts that would negatively impact your warehouse or factory’s productivity.

  1. Advanced Design

Solid tyres use advanced design and technology to ensure optimum performance for your forklift. Solid forklift tyres are manufactured from advanced materials, with tried-and-tested rubber formulations to improve handling and increase resilience in a range of environments.

Forklifts carry heavy loads, and as such, solid tyres have been designed to be durable, giving them a long life and making them difficult to wear down. Rigorous physical and chemical testing is often carried out to combat any problems that may be encountered in various work environments – so you have added peace of mind that all your machinery will be running when needed.

  1. Safety

Pneumatic and solid wheel rings can be used interchangeably. However, using an inflated tyre there is a greater chance that, on impact with obstacles, there will be serious deformation on the tyre. The compressed air could cause a bulge in the tyre if the carcass cord is fractured, creating a safety hazard.

With pneumatic tyres, there is also the danger of a ‘tyre crash’. If the wheel of the forklift is under high stress, there is the chance that it may come off, which can lead to dropped loads or the risk of an overturn.

  1. Performance

Picking the right tyres for your forklift is vital for the vehicle to maintain optimal performance. According to a Forklift Briefing Test, good-quality tyres can move up to 14% more pallets during a single shift. To maximise productivity on your forklifts you should start from the ground up and make tyres your first consideration. If you are working in an environment that has a high potential for tyre damage, solid tyres are your best option.

2 Disadvantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Discomfort

In general, there are no serious disadvantages to using solid tyres on your forklift. The only notable disadvantage is that there may be some slight discomfort for the driver compared to pneumatic tyres.

  1. Less Suitable for Outdoor Use

Solid forklift tyres can be used for light outdoor use. However, they are not recommended to be used outdoors for the long term or on rough terrain. Thus, if your forklift mainly operates outdoors or on rough terrain, solid tyres may not be the most practical and safe option for you.

Summary

Solid tyres are a great option for many work environments. However, you should pick your tyres for the task that they are needed for. Solid tyres have excellent resistance and are great for workplaces where your forklift may encounter sharp objects or nails. However, if your forklift will be running over rough terrain outdoors, pneumatic tyres would be a better option.

When was the last time you had your forklift tyres checked? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

New Tyres

Must New Tyres Be ‘Broken In’?

Staying Safe on New Tyres

New tyres will need a running-in period. You should be aware that your vehicle will feel different with a new set of tyres fitted. You may pick the same brand and style of tyres as those you are replacing, but older tyres perform differently to new tyres.

In this article, you’ll learn what the differences are, how long tyres take to break in, and how you can drive safely until your tyres are ready to be driven on ‘normally’.

What You Need to Know About New Tyres

You may have brought a new car or got a fresh set of tyres to replace old tyres on your current vehicle. Before you hit the road and enjoy your upgraded tyres, there are some things you should know. Like a new pair of shoes, a new set of tyres requires some breaking in.

New tyres go through a period of breaking in before they start performing at their best. To ensure you are driving safely, learn what makes new tyres lose traction and change the handling of your vehicle.

What Makes New Tyres Different from Older Tyres?

Several factors that impact a tyre’s performance are different in new tyres than older tyres. These include:

  • Lubricants

During production, tyres are released from their mould using a release lubricant. This lubricant will stay in the grooves of the tyres until it wears off through driving. Until this lubricant is completely gone, your tyres will have less traction – increasing braking distances and reducing handling efficiency.

  • Antioxidants

Your tyres may feel slick at first due to the antioxidants that are applied to the tyre during manufacturing. These help the rubber maintain its structure when exposed to different environments such as fluctuating temperatures and oxygen levels.

  • Tread depth

In Australia, new tyres come with a tyre tread depth of 8mm. If you allow your previous tyres to become worn down to the legal minimum (1.5mm), you will certainly feel the difference in your new tyres. Fresh tyres have stiff and deep tread that makes your car feel like there is a large cushion between you and the road. This sometimes results in something called ‘squirm’. Tyre squirm is when you feel excessive movement in your tyres when turning from the increased flexibility caused by fresh rubber and deep tread depth.

How to Drive with New Tyres

New tyres require a small adjustment in driving style until they are worn in. It is prudent to consider the first 250-300km as the ‘breaking-in’ period. During this time, you should take extra care while driving.

Drive gently, braking and accelerating smoothly. After this breaking-in distance, any substances in the tyres should have worn off. The tread depth will also have worn down a fraction. This ‘roughing up’ of new tyres helps them perform at their optimum level, improving traction and the handling of your vehicle.

Tips for Driving with New Tyres

Here are our four top tips to drive safely on new tyres:

  1. Stick to dry roads
  2. Drive at a reasonable speed
  3. Keep a suitable distance from the vehicle in front of you as your braking distances will be further than normal because of the lower initial traction
  4. Avoid accelerating quickly or braking sharply

Summary

Improve the long-term performance of your new tyres by driving smoothly until they are worn in. For the first 250-300km, avoid harsh braking or accelerating and allow the lubricants used in the manufacturing process to wear off.

Once they have been worn in, the new tyre’s tread will be optimised for safe braking and accelerating, and you can return to your normal driving style.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Summer Tyres

Summer Safety Checklist for Your Tyres

Tyre Safety in the Australian Summer

Australia is heading into summer and temperatures are soaring across Brisbane. With the hot weather comes extra responsibilities in maintaining your tyre safety. Here is our complete checklist for keeping your tyres safe over the summer.

Check Your Tyre Pressure

Proper inflation and tyre pressure are crucial for keeping safe in the summer and come with the added bonus of improving fuel efficiency, handling, and saving you money on fuel costs.

In the summer your tyre pressure should be checked regularly, preferably before use while the tyre is cold. A host of risks arise from poorly inflated tyres, such as:

  • Overinflated tyres causing uneven tyre wear, meaning your car will lose traction on the roads. In summer, the heat causes tyre pressure to increase. It is estimated that for every 5.5֯C (10֯F) the temperature increases, you gain around 1PSI of pressure in your tyres.
  • Underinflated tyres beginning to warp and, in turn, make your vehicle harder to handle.

The above risks increase the likelihood of having an accident on the road. Check your tyre pressure regularly and ensure that it is at the manufacturer’s recommended level.

Top Tip: The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure level is generally located on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door or front passenger’s door.

Inspect Your Tread Levels

It is essential that you have enough tread on your tyres. Having the correct tyre pressure will ensure that your tyre tread wears evenly. However, over time your tyre tread will wear. The legal minimum tread depth on tyres is 1.5mm. If your tread depth is any less than this your tyres are not considered safe – and you will be driving illegally. For the best tyre safety, we recommend that you change your tyres if the tread falls below 3mm.

Top Tip: You can use a 20 cent coin to quickly check the tread of your tyre. Place it into the grooves of your tyre and if the tread does not reach the bill of the platypus, there is less than 3mm of tread remaining on your tyre.

Protect Your Tyres’ Sidewalls

Hitting potholes and ‘kerbing’ your tyres can cause damage to your tyre’s sidewall. Your sidewalls absorb shocks and stresses that your tyres endure. When they become damaged, your tyres can become unsafe and your chance of having an accident increases. You should regularly inspect the sidewalls of your tyres for any visual damage. If you spot any damage, you should take your car to a tyre shop and have the tyres professionally inspected.

Top Tip: Avoid sharp debris and deep potholes when driving, and take extra care when parking next to kerbs.

Prevent Blowouts

Tyre failure presents a danger to you, your passengers, other vehicles on the road and pedestrians. Blowouts occur in tyres that have sustained damage from impacts and tyres that are worn down. In the summer weather, heat can make blowouts more common. Heat generation and retention in your tyres add additional stress and can increase your chances of a blowout, so it is important to regularly check and maintain your tyres for safety.

Summary

With summer approaching and extreme heat forecast for the next few months, it’s essential to make sure your car is ready for the change in weather. Ensuring tyre safety helps to keep you and others safe on the roads. Simple checks protect you from harm.

Regularly checking air pressure, tread depth, and the condition of your tyres’ sidewalls ensures that your car is running optimally. As well as keeping you safer, such checks save you money by improving your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Tread

The Easy Way to Check Your Tyre Tread Depth

Staying Safe on Brisbane’s Roads

All Australian drivers should know that driving on tyres with shallow tyre tread depth is dangerous. Driving with a tyre tread depth that is below the legal minimum is criminal. However, according to the Australian Road Safety Foundation, 40% of drivers do not know what the legal tyre safety standards are.

This article covers what the legal minimum tyre tread depth is in Australia, and a provides a quick hack so you can check your tyres easily and stay safe on Brisbane’s roads.

Australia’s Legal Minimum Tread Depth

The legal minimum tyre tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. This means that the tread across the entire width and circumference of the tyre must be at least 1.5 mm. If it is less than this on any section of the tyre, the tyre is illegal to drive on. With illegal tyres, your vehicle is illegal.

In Queensland, the penalty for not having legal tyres can put a big strain on your wallet. For one worn tyre, you can receive an on-the-spot fine of $110 and one demerit. With illegal bald tyres, you can be fined up to $220 and receive three demerits.

Not only can illegal tyres cost you money, but they can also cost you your life. Driving on bald tyres is dangerous and affects the traction and handling of your vehicle. Your tread depth affects the rubber on the road and stopping distances.

If you are travelling at 80km per hour on a wet road and brake on a new tyre (which will have a tread depth of 8mm), your vehicle will comfortably stop and have little risk of aquaplaning. If your vehicle has tyres worn down to 3mm of tread depth, it will still be moving at 30km per hour when the vehicle with new tyres would have come to a stop. It will then continue travelling for another 9.5 meters before coming to a complete halt.

How Long Do Tyres Last on Australia’s Roads?

The roads you drive on and your driving style will impact how quickly your tyre tread wears down. For example, if you are driving on asphalt, your tyres will last longer than if you do most of your driving on dirt or gravel roads.

In Brisbane, where we benefit from many sunny days, UV rays emitted from the sun wear down tyres faster than elsewhere. While there is no way to say for sure how quickly your tyre tread will wear, you should check them regularly to make sure they are above the legal minimum.

Checking Tyre Tread with the 20c ‘Coin Test’

Though the legal limit for a tyre’s tread depth is 1.5mm, we recommend that you bring you tyres in for a check when the tread depth is no shallower than 3mm. There is an easy way to check your tread depth, using a 20c coin.

Simply slot the coin in the tread vertically, and if the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, you have less than 3mm tread depth remaining. It’s time to get your tyres checked and changed if needed.

Summary

Tyre tread is crucial to your safety on the road. The more depth you have, the better the handling and the shorter the braking distance. If you allow your tyre treads to wear away to less than 1.5mm, you are breaking the law. You are also risking your safety, and the safety of other road users.

Use the 20c coin test today. If you can see that platypus bill, get yourself and your tyres to a tyre shop. Bring your vehicle to us here in Brisbane at Darra Tyres. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked. We’ll see you right.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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