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Unecessary Tyre Damage Is Costing Fleets Dearly

27 Aug 2009 13:44

One in five tyres (20 per cent) fitted to vehicles operated by major leasing fleets are being replaced early, owing to tyre damage which can often be avoided.

These statistics have been published by ATS Euromaster following a detailed review of the tyre replacement cycle across two of its major fleet customers, totalling more than 100,000 lease vehicles.

The study revealed that the average remaining tread on tyres removed through damage is 4.8mm, leaving 2.8mm of tread left on the tyre and still enabling it to be changed ahead of the legal limit. With 1mm of tread equivalent to approximately 4,000 miles, these damaged tyres are only achieving 55 per cent of their potential life. Across a sample fleet of 25,000 vehicles, this damage is costing over £440,000 each year in wasted mileage potential.

Commenting on the findings, Steve Bury, Head of National Car at ATS Euromaster explains: “Just three causes of tyre damage account for a staggering 81 per cent of the tyres we replace prematurely. This includes punctures (31 per cent), sidewall damage (27 per cent) and drivers exceeding the 50mph / 50 mile limit on deflated run-flat tyres (22 per cent).”

“In many cases this damage could be avoided, and we are actively encouraging fleet managers to cascade this information back to their company’s drivers, along with three simple steps to help reduce damage. It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” he adds, “as longer tyre life means reduced cost, downtime, hassle and fewer tyres being disposed of prematurely, which in turns benefits the environment.”

In response to the findings, ATS Euromaster is actively working with customers to educate fleet managers in how to significantly reduce the potential for tyre damage. Amongst the advice are three top tips:

1. Choose where you park carefully to avoid the risk of punctures. Don’t park near a skip, where sharp debris is often spilled and take care around industrial estates. Similarly, broken glass has a tendency to collect close to the kerb on busy residential streets, where road sweepers clean infrequently due to parked cars.

2. Be aware of the risk of kerbing your tyres when turning at a junction and leave a sufficient gap between the tyre and the kerb when parking. Kerbing causes premature wear to the sidewall at the tyre’s weakest point.
3. If your car has run-flat tyres and the pressure monitor warning light illuminates, have the tyre checked immediately. If you keep your speed below 50 mph and seek professional advice within 50 miles, there is a chance the run-flat tyre can be repaired*.

Other reasons highlighted by the study for tyres being replaced early included tyre damage making the casing uneconomical to repair (five per cent), irregular wear (three per cent), often through flat-spotting and misaligned steering, tread damage (two per cent) and blow-outs (two per cent).

*Subject to approval by the tyre manufacturer and close inspection by the ATS Euromaster tyre technician.  All repairs to run-flat tyres are performed in line with the British Standard for tyre repairs (BSAU 159).

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