By RAM Tracking on 20 Dec 2023

Importance of Tyres: Tread, Pressure, and Fuel Savings

Businesses are always looking to save on costs, especially in getting value out of items purchased however there are false economies and in some instances a danger to leaving tyres on for too long. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) having under two millimetres of tyre tread depth increased from 30% in 2019 to 40% in 2023. Whilst it is legal to have tread above the 1.6mm mark, in reality the costs of leaving tyres on with low tread are a false economy to the business. 

1. Tread Depth and Safety:

Tread Depth and Braking: The tread depth of a tyre is paramount for road safety, particularly in wet conditions. According to guidelines from the Department for Transport (DfT), tyres with a tread depth below 1.6mm are deemed unsafe and significantly increase the risk of aquaplaning. Studies indicate that tyres with inadequate tread depth can increase the risk of incidents by up to 20%.

Reduced Stopping Distance: Research conducted by tyre testing organisations like TyreSafe suggests that tyres with a tread depth below 3mm can extend stopping distances by as much as 30% on wet roads compared to new tyres. This longer stopping distance presents considerable risks, especially during emergency braking scenarios.

Traction: Maintaining adequate tread depth enhances traction, enabling tyres to grip the road effectively. The British Tyre Manufacturers' Association (BTMA) states that tyres with the correct tread depth can reduce the likelihood of skidding by up to 50% on wet surfaces.

2. Fuel Efficiency:

Rolling Resistance: The Energy Saving Trust in the UK highlights that tyres can influence fuel efficiency by up to 15%. Worn-out or under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, compelling the engine to work harder and consume more fuel.

Optimal Pressure: A report from the Department for Transport (DfT) underscores that properly inflated tyres can enhance fuel efficiency by up to 3%. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is vital for minimising rolling resistance and maximising fuel savings.

3. Importance of Regular Maintenance:

Monitoring Tread Depth: According to the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations in the UK, commercial vehicles must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference. Regularly checking tyre tread depth ensures compliance with safety regulations and mitigates the risk of incidents.

Checking Tyre Pressure: The Highways England emphasises the significance of proper tyre inflation for road safety. Their research suggests that under-inflated tyres are a leading cause of tyre-related accidents, contributing to numerous fatalities and injuries annually in the UK.

Tyres are a critical element of vehicle safety, performance, and fuel efficiency. Maintaining adequate tread depth and optimal tyre pressure is essential for ensuring traction, reducing stopping distances, and maximising fuel savings. Regular tyre maintenance, including monitoring tread depth and checking tyre pressure, is crucial for enhancing road safety and complying with UK regulatory standards.

To keep a record of your vehicle to ensure it's roadworthy, (a legal requirement), it's best to have something in place. Out tracking system includes vehicle checks as part of the system whereby the drivers perform a regular check of the vehicle as stated in this article in line with the DVLA's rules here.





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