For this months blog I am just going to ramble on a bit about tyres, how important they are in the modern world and also about how important it is to look after your tyres so they will in turn look after you.
Tyres are often perceived as a consumable item, those black and round things that we have to replace every year or so, but tyres are in fact a feat of exceptional modern engineering, and they also play a vital part in us living the lives we do today.
Tyres and… chips…
Take a look at the humble potato–pretty much a staple item in our diets every day, whether enjoying them in a Sunday roast or a treat of a fish and chip supper, the potato wouldn’t be on your plate if it wasn’t for the role that tyres play in getting them there. From when the farmer prepares his fields in early spring to the time they are ready for harvesting the equipment he uses is predominantly pulled around the field using a tractor which has big tyres on it with treads that are specially designed to be able to pull the equipment around with out causing damage to the field.
When the potatoes are ready for delivery to the farmers markets or supermarkets they would usually be transported there in trucks, these trucks of course also have big tyres fitted to them, usually with slightly different tyres on the steering axle compared to the tyres on the driven axle to make sure the truck handles properly on its journey.
When loading and unloading at the supermarket, more often than not a forklift truck will be used, these forklifts also rely on tyres to keep it moving, these tyres can either be pneumatic (filled with air) or in some cases solid-literally solid rubber tyres with no air in at all.
Now lets look at the trip the customer makes to the super market, load the kids into the car (or jump on the bus) and it’s the tyres that are relied on to roll the car down the road to the shops. Once at the shops its time to get the kids out of the car and put baby in the pram, and you’ve probably guessed by know that this pram probably has tyres on it, more often than not these tyres are pneumatic-air filled- just like the tyres on the tractor, truck or car/bus that has got us to this point!
If your shopping trips are anything like mine, they usually involve the kids asking if they have got enough birthday money or pocket money left to buy the little lego car they have seen in the toy section, this little lego car of course has 4 little round and black tyres on it!
In fact, in terms of units produced annually, Lego is the biggest tyre manufacturer on the planet!
As you can see, tyres play a vital part in our lives and indeed the economy, allowing business to transport their goods and deliver their services.
Safety and performance
Good tyre maintenance is absolutely critical in making sure that tyres perform to their best and get whatever vehicle they are fitted to their end destination or to carry out their role safely. The following tyre care tips are aimed mostly at car, van and 4×4 drivers but are also relevant to farmers and truck operators etc.
Tyre Care Tips
1. Check pressures
The most basic but probably the most important tyre maintenance job is simply to check the tyre pressures, this is a job that ideally should be done once every 2 weeks, using an accurate gauge and always setting to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. At any point, a car tyre only has a contact patch with the road surface that is roughly the same size as the palm of an adult hand, if the tyre pressure is incorrect, this contact patch reduces, ultimately resulting in a loss of grip.
In some cases with tyres that are dangerously underinflated, the tyre can build up a lot of heat which can accelerate the wear of the tyre and also in extreme case cause a sudden and total deflation of the tyre.
Tyre valves and dust caps play an important role in keeping air in the tyres, missing caps should be replaced straight away, and any damaged or perished valves replaced.
2. Visual Tyre Check
It is also important just to simply have a visual check of the tyre, any cuts or lumps/bulges in the sidewall should be inspected by a professional immediately, its all to easy to drive through a pot hole or scrape a kerb whilst parking and cause damage to a tyre.
3. Vehicle maintenance
Keeping your vehicle in good mechanical shape can also help keep tyres in top condition, a car with slightly worn bushes, bearings or suspension for example can quite quickly cause rapid tyre wear and have a negative effect on the vehicles handling.
Regular alignment checks are also important, an incorrectly aligned vehicle will have an adverse effect on road handling and even fuel economy.
TyreFinders Free 10 Point Safety Check
Call, email, or simply drop into any TyreFinders garage and we will happily carry out a free 10 point safety check. This includes tyres (of course), plus wear/condition of exhausts and consumable levels:
- Tyre Tread/condition
- Tyre Pressures
- Windscreen Wipers
- Screen Wash
- Visual check underneath vehicle