Fleets warned over tyre safety checks
21 March 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
Fleet managers have been told to make sure they have an effective tyre management policy in place, after a survey of drivers revealed 45% do not carry out regular pressure checks.
Venson Automotive Solutions, which carried out the survey, says its findings highlight the need for fleet managers to evaluate the impact poorly maintained tyres have on the cost and efficiency of their fleet, as well as the safety of their business drivers.
The fleet management company says a good policy is key to meeting duty of care obligations and containing fleet costs.
Operations director Gil Kelly said: "Ensuring fleet driver safety should always be at the top of the agenda for any business, but it is easy to overlook how important regular tyre checks are.
"These should be at the core of any tyre management policy, with staff trained to frequently carry out necessary checks, including tyre pressure, tread depth and damage.
"The provision of written reports by drivers - or the use of an online app, such as R2C's digital driver pre-use check - detailing defects should be mandatory, alerting the fleet team or their fleet management provider of any issues."
Kelly said that once an issue is highlighted, appropriate action needs to be taken immediately, not after weather conditions give cause for concern.
He added: "Fleet managers should ensure the company's tyre supplier offers onsite tyre health checks on a regular basis.
"Grouping vehicles together for tyre health checks mean the tyre supplier can plan which tyres to stock, reducing the headache of vehicle downtime for fleet managers."
According to Kelly, businesses should employ proactive vehicle maintenance, which means the fleet manager understands where a vehicle is in its contractual period, the type of mileage it is doing and the type of driving it is being subjected to.
He said: "If a vehicle is at the end of its contract, and its tyre tread is at 2mm, it is not worth replacing it.
"But if a vehicle still has six months on its contract and is due to do a lot of miles, then a tyre change makes good sense."
On the subject of which brand of tyres to fit, managers are advised to balance quality with the best value by taking in to account the type of vehicle and historical data on driver induced damage or accidental damage.
Kelly added: "Whilst it may be tempting to invest in winter tyres, our experience tells us that all season tyres are usually enough and negate the need for extra storage space and expense.
"All these considerations form part of a business's tyre management policy, which will help manage a safe, efficient fleet.
"Fleet managers who put in place a well communicated and monitored tyre management policy will have the confidence that their drivers are always prepared."