Warning issued over truck tyre pressures

One in five HGV tyres are above or below the correct pressure, which poses risks to safety, efficiency and rubber longevity, new research has found.

Data collected by Continental Tyres has revealed that about one in every five truck tyres is operating outside of the correct tyre pressure window. The statistic, based on anonymised results from tyre inspections undertaken by Conti360° Solutions service providers, reinforces the need for operators to routinely check their tyre pressures to maximise the safety and the longevity of their rubber.

Tyres that are either under or over inflated can pose a significant risk to the safety of the driver and that of other road users. An underinflated tyre is more susceptible to picking up damage from rough terrain and potholes. Running with insufficient air can lead to excessive sidewall flexing, which can result in a blowout. Fuel efficiency will also be impacted, as low pressures increase a tyre’s rolling resistance.

An overinflated tyre can cause uneven wear and impact a vehicle’s grip and handling characteristics. Too much air can also make the tyre more prone to avoidable damage as their comparative stiffness can make them less able to absorb the impacts of kerbs and potholes.

“Vehicle safety, reliability and efficiency are so closely linked to the operation of correctly inflated tyres,” said Tony Stapleton, head of fleet sales at Continental Tyres. “It’s vital that fleet managers and technicians are aware of the dangers associated with under or over inflated tyres and take steps to mitigate the risk by performing regular visual inspections and by checking pressures.”

Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe chair, added: “Tyre checks are a fundamental element in road risk management for all HGV operators, fleet managers and their drivers. Failure to ensure the largest and heaviest vehicles on our roads are running safely and on safe tyres is a grave concern and wastes money.

“Managers and directors should also be aware of their duty of care and of their responsibility under current legislation if an incident leads to death or injury due to failure in their operational policies and fleet management procedures. There are plenty of support solutions for HGV and commercial operators of every size, including the latest breakthrough technologies – there is no excuse for poor tyre maintenance.

“We ask all to ACT – think Air pressure, Condition and Tread – to reduce their risk on our roads.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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