2 August 2019

Fleets can reduce running costs by encouraging drivers to care for tyres

Businesses could extend their tyre replacement intervals and take advantage of greater efficiency savings if company car and van drivers were encouraged to take increased care of their tyres

That's the claim of tyre manufacturer Michelin, which has launched a new campaign based around 'four simple steps' designed to help fleets reduce running costs by extending tyre life, improve uptime, and cut their environmental impact.

The campaign is prompting fleet managers to remind drivers to:

  • Check tyre pressures at least once a month. Michelin says that tyre pressures were frequently overlooked with more than 50% of car drivers, according to the Department for Transport, running on tyres below recommended pressures. Additionally, in 2017 there were 384 car accidents in Britain, according to tyre safety charity TyreSafe, linked to illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres. Tyre condition has a significant impact on a vehicle's steering, handling and braking, with under or over-inflated tyres increasing fuel consumption and causing wear and tear.
  • Pay close attention to wheel alignment, as poor tracking could cause a vehicle's handling to be altered, compromising safety. If tyres come into contact with solid objects, such as kerbs or potholes, or if a tyre is suffering from uneven wear, it is important to have the wheel alignment checked by an expert.
  • Check tyre tread depths as they have a direct impact on the performance and safety of a vehicle. By law, tyres must have at least 1.6mm of remaining tread depth, measured across the central three-quarters of the tyre and all the way round.
  • Adjust driving habits and avoid uneven road surfaces to keep tyres in good condition. Excessive braking, acceleration, or constantly stopping and starting can cause tyres to wear much faster, meaning more trips to a fast-fit centre for replacement.

Peter Wood, Michelin key account manager, said: "Running on tyres just a few psi below the manufacturer's recommended pressures will reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency on every journey. The combined savings for fleets could be significant.

"Although wear and tear isn't completely avoidable, employees can adjust their driving habits to keep tyres in good condition."