Ever wondered what the big deal with tyre pressure is? Or how you even measure it? We’ve compiled a helpful guide on what you need to know about tyre pressure – why it’s so important to monitor it and how to do it.
Why Tyre Pressure Matters
Many road users, are not aware of just how important tyre pressure is, but there are numerous reasons why you should pay attention to it. Ensuring your tyres are operating at optimum efficiency could not only save your life, but also make your vehicle more fuel efficient.
1. Road Safety
This first and perhaps most important reason is road safety. A report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that vehicle factors played a role in 1 in 8 fatal collisions in the period 2008 to 2012. Of those fatal collisions, defective tyres were the most significant factor, representing almost two thirds (64.1%) of all vehicle factors identified. So, for the safety of your drivers and other road users, please ensure your tyres meet safety standards.
2. It’s the law
Aside from your safety and the safety of other road users, it’s an offence to drive with worn or damaged tyres. The Minister for Transport has introduced a new Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) offence for road users who drive with worn or damaged tyres on Irish roads. As of April 2016, two penalty points and a fixed fine of €80 can be issued to any motorist who fails to ensure their tyres are in good working condition.
3. Fuel Efficiency
Regularly checking the tyre pressure of your commercial vehicles is one of the easiest solutions to improve the fuel efficiency of your fleet. Under-inflated tyres can waste fuel by 0.3% for every 1.0 psi drop in pressure. So, making sure your tyres are properly inflated and have a good grip will help reduce fuel consumption.
Now that you understand how important it is to monitor your vehicle’s tyre pressure, you may be wondering what’s the optimum condition of your tyres and how to measure it.
To be operating at maximum efficiency, your tyres should be:
Free from any defects.
Have a thread depth of 1.6mm
Be properly inflated
To ensure that these requirements are met, it is advisable that your tyre pressure is checked every two weeks. Special attention should be paid when embarking on long trips. Below is a step-by-step guide to checking your tyre pressure.
How to find the size of your tyre
It’s very easy to find the size of a vehicle’s tyre. A quick inspection of your tyres will reveal the manufacturer’s name and type of tyre followed by a code e.g. 225/55 R16. This code tells you the size of your tyre, which is important as it determines the tyre pressure required.
Example: 225/55 R16
225 is the width of the tyre in millimetres.
55 is the aspect ratio or tyre profile.
16 is the diameter of the wheel rim in inches.
How to find the correct pressure requirements
For each car and make tyre pressure will vary. Even front and rear tyre pressure is different. It is crucial to know this as over or under inflating a tyre can result in a serious accident. The optimum inflation level can be found on your door panel or search the inflation level for your tyre size.
Both over and underinflation can be seriously dangerous. Under inflating a tyre places greater pressure on the vehicle by increasing braking distance on wet surfaces, which can cause sudden tyre pressure brake while driving. While over inflating can lead to faster wear of the car suspensions and worse grip.
Checking the tyre depth
Your vehicle’s safety and performance, particularly in wet conditions, are reduced as your tyres wear. So, it’s important to check your tread depth. You can check your tyre’s tread depth by simply running a €1 coin along the centre of the wheel. If the gold part of the coin is not visible, then the tyres tread are above requirements. However, if it is visible your tyre could be approaching the minimum legal requirement and you should get them checked by a professional.
So, if your commercial vehicle is in need of a service, our experienced team are here to help. Our extensive facilitates can accommodate both light and heavy commercial vehicles. So, don’t delay with your commercial vehicle maintenance. Get in touch with us today.