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.
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,