Simple tips from experts to keep tyres in top shape
Although often neglected by fleet operators, tyres are a significant contributor to the costs of running vehicles.
“In this part of the world, if you see the investment for a fleet owner, apart from vehicles, the second largest investment is the tyres,” says Sreejith Nair, business development and technical manager at Apollo Tyres.
Proper care and maintenance can also be the difference between life and death on the road. With that in mind, fleet owners would do well to consider the following tips to keep tyres in top shape:
1. Checking tyre pressure
Checking inflation pressure every fortnight and ensuring tyres are properly inflated can improve their life by 30% and save 5-7% on fuel costs. For tyres fitted in pairs on either end of the axle, use an extension valve to monitor inner tyre pressure.
2. Safe driving
Reckless driving is rough on tyres. Going fast over potholes on the road or climbing on pavements can damage the sidewall or casing. To address this, fleet owners can consider investing in telematics solutions to monitor driver behaviour and ensure more safety.
3. Avoid overloading
Overloading is a common problem in the region and takes its toll on tyres. “Every truck, every bus, every van has a specified load that you can take. You should buy a tyre according to the load index that is specified by the vehicle manufacturer, or according to your application of use,” says Chirenj Chandran, business development director at Amin Tyre Care.
4. Wheel rotations
Carrying out regular wheel alignments, balancing at rotations at regular intervals is crucial. Periodic wheel rotations prolong tyre life and give you 10-15% more mileage. Rotations can be carried out among wheels of the same axle or between different axles, depending on the tyre pattern.
5. Quick repairs
When commercial vehicle tyres are damaged, don’t wait too long before getting them repaired, as the steel in them can rust if exposed to the atmosphere. “Once the steel rusts, it loses the adherence between the rubber and the steel so there can be a separation. We need to properly repair the tyre both from outside as well as from inside so that you plug whatever damage has been done locally,” Nair says.