Why you need to check your fleet's tyres now
Business November 14, 2022
Choosing the right sort of tyres for your vehicle is more important than many realise.
For fleet managers who are dealing with a range of vehicles and budgets on a daily basis, it’s easy - and understandable - to lose sight of this.
While it’s tempting to opt for the lowest cost option, there are several factors that should be considered with every vehicle’s tyres.
The research you put in will have a direct impact on the lifespan of your tyes - and your fuel efficiency.
Higher-grade tyres may cost a little more upfront, but can in fact save you and your business money in the long-run.
How do I look after my car’s tyres?
Having the correct tyre pressure helps improve safety, handling, fuel efficiency and extends tyre life. It can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 4%.
Because tyres naturally lose a little air pressure over time it's worth getting into the habit of checking them every month, or even every time you fill up at your local Z or Caltex station.
You can find your car's correct tyre pressure either on the inside of the driver's door, in the handbook, inside the fuel cap, or with Z’s handy online pressure checking tool. Don't forget to make sure your spare wheel or space saver wheel is inflated to the correct pressure too.
Careful driving (including gentler braking, cornering, and acceleration) should slow the wear of your treads. Also, make sure your wheels are aligned - this is critical to driver safety and it’s a simple task for a mechanic to tend to.
How do I know when it’s time to change my car’s tyres?
Most cars will only need new tyres every four to six years, especially if you’ve opted for premium tyres. However, it’s important you keep an eye on your tyres to monitor their tread and look out for signs of damage.
Signs of damage include fraying rubber, cracks and gouges. Older tyres are more susceptible to damage and can 'blowout' more easily, which is very dangerous.
Why is tread important?
A tyre’s tread affects the amount of grip on the road, which is imperative for safety. The legal limit for tyre tread in New Zealand is 1.5mm, but most experts recommend changing your tyres when the tread level drops below 3mm.
Checking tyre tread depth is easy and only takes a few minutes. You can use a tyre tread depth checker/gauge yourself or go to a local garage and get them to check it for you.
How do I know what size and type of tyre my car needs?
To ensure safety, it’s vital you fit your car with the type and size of tyres recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. It’s also important to avoid mismatching - all four tyres should be the same type, and new tyres should be bought in pairs at least to ensure balance and proper handling.
To find your tyre size designation, look on your existing tyre’s sidewall. You’ll see a mix of numbers and letters, which together, indicate the dimension, structure, load capacity and speed rating.
Need more help?
Talk to your local tyre retailer and discuss the options appropriate to your vehicle. There are many different types to choose from, including low-budget, mid-range, high-performance and all-weather - as well as mud, sand and snow options.
A good rule of thumb is to opt for the highest-quality tyre you can afford for your business. This brings several key benefits, including:
Increased fuel economy
Tyres account for between 20 and 30% of your car's total fuel consumption. The more efficient they are, the less fuel you'll use when driving. The best way to improve your fuel economy is to look for a tyre that has a low Rolling Resistance. Simply put, a car fitted with low-rolling-resistance tyres will require less force to roll down the road, so they’ll be more fuel efficient than standard tyres.
Premium tyres have increased durability, which means you don't have to buy new tyres as often, making better financial sense in the long-run.
Less road noise
Premium tyres are designed to be quieter which makes for a better and safer driving experience.