A Guide To Tyre Pressure For Trucks
27 Aug 2019
Maintaining correct tyre pressure is important for any vehicle, but the larger the vehicle, the more important this becomes. Whilst on the road, each HGV driver is responsible for maintaining their own tyres. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has issued a Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness: Commercial Goods and Passenger Carrying Vehicles which is available for you to print at home. Keep a copy in the cabin of your lorry for reference.
Although it can be time consuming to keep on top of tyre pressures in large fleets of lorries, it is absolutely necessary. Ensure that every driver in the company is aware of how to check and inflate their tyres – this will help to avoid road traffic accidents.
Underinflated tyres are less economical as more fuel is needed to propel the vehicle forward. They also make the roads less safe, as underinflated tyres are more prone to blow outs, and can also increase response time significantly – especially in adverse weather conditions.
Track fuel economy
Fuel economy is a huge issue for any professional driver, especially those who carry a heavy load. High air pressure can warp tyres and cause quick wear – two factors that contribute towards expenses on your vehicle.
When tyres are inflated to the correct level, the truck is likely to have less of an environmental impact and get better mileage. This means that you will be able to make savings on fuel costs.
Maintaining good tyre pressure saves lives
Incorrectly inflated tyres can be extremely dangerous due to an increased risk of blow outs, extended response time and a lack of grip in adverse conditions. The size and weight of heavy goods vehicles means that the compressed air inside some truck tyres has a force equivalent to 12 tonnes. This means that a piece of flying tyre will have the same impact as being hit by a lorry.
The stakes are high – and as a result of this, if drivers are found to be driving on illegal tyres, they can be fined up to £2500 and have 3 points added to their licence per tyre.
Implement a HGV safety checklist
By law, HGV drivers are required to do a daily walkaround check before each journey they undertake. The checklist states that drivers should check the tyres but doesn’t specify how or to what length. Drivers should check for the correct tyre pressure, for punctures and for tread depth. Taking the time to do this each day has the potential to save lives – so it’s extremely important.
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