Tyre failures account for approximately 30% of the breakdowns that we attend at the roadside and we believe that many of these could be avoided. Below are some tips to help you look after your tyres and avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
THE KEY POINTS FOR HORSE BOX OWNERS ARE:
- Inspect your tyres for damage and wear before you set out on your journey.
- Ensure tyre pressures are regularly checked and inflated to the correct pressure.
- Carrying a serviceable spare that can be removed can often reduce delays and avoid extra cost.
GIVE YOUR TYRES A HEALTH CHECK!
Worn tyres are dangerous and illegal and it is essential that you comply with tyre legislation.
CHECK FOR TYRE DAMAGE
Make regular visual checks of the condition of your tyres for signs of damage and wear. Look closely for cuts, cracks and bulges which can cause punctures, pressure loss or the steel cords in the tyre to rust.
CHECK YOUR TYRE TREAD
Reduced tread means less grip. The current UK minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre width and around the circumference of the tyre, but it is advisable to replace your tyres before they reach this advanced stage of wear. Tread wear indicators are small pieces of rubber which can be found set in the grooves. When the tyre is worn to the legal minimum, the indicators will be level with the tread and the tyre must be replaced immediately. Making sure your tyres are legal is your responsibility – an illegal tyre risks a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre.
CHECK YOUR SPARE
Examine your spare to ensure it is serviceable if required in an emergency. Look for any sidewall damage and ensure sufficient tread depth is available to be legal and safe.
Check the pressure on the spare on a regular basis and make sure that it is accessible and removable if needed. Not having a serviceable spare can cause delays during roadside breakdowns and can result in extra cost.
CHECK THE WEATHER CONDITIONS
Wet or dry weather affects the performance of your tyres. Wet weather and worn tyres are a dangerous combination. Add ice or snow and roads become even more hazardous. In wet weather a worn tyre with the legal minimum of 1.6mm takes up to twice as long to stop as a new tyre with 8mm of tread. And did you also know that travelling at 60 mph through just 3mm of water on a rainy day the tread on your tyres would have to clear over 2 gallons of water per second!
CHECK YOUR LOAD
Your tyres bear the whole weight of both your vehicle and its load, including any unit you may be towing. Overloading has the same effect on tyres as under inflation, causing premature tread wear and loss of pressure.
CHECK YOUR PRESSURES
A tyre must be inflated to make it suitable for the purposes to which the vehicle is being put. Driving with the wrong tyre pressure can cause many problems – irregular wear, dramatic reduction in road grip, heavy steering, as well as raising your fuel consumption. It is most important to carry out regular pressure checks – these can be found in your manufacturer’s log book.
LOCAL TYRE DEALER
If you are unsure about the condition or the amount of wear on your tyres always seek advice from a professional and visit your local tyre dealer. It could save you time and money in the long run.