For anyone who makes a living transporting courier loads across the city, nothing is more important than keeping your vehicle (or fleet) maintained and in good working order. Making the ‘daily walk around’ a habit is the best way to ensure you’re staying on top of any potential issues – and one of the most essential things you should be checking is the state of your tyres.
Tyre Inspections Done Right
A cursory glance and a casual kick to the rubber as you get in your van to deliver your daily courier loads is definitely not the way to carry out your inspection. The condition of your tyres affects not only your van’s performance and fuel economy, it also plays a huge part in terms of safety on the road. So just what should you be looking for?
Check the Tread
When a vehicle is being used to transport courier loads, wear and tear happens far more quickly than in a private vehicle, due not only to the miles travelled, but also to the fact that it’s carrying heavier weights. Checking the tyre tread regularly is vital to ensure optimal safety and traction on the road, and if you neglect this, you risk a blow out – which can prove disastrous. Checking the depth of the tread is easy when you know what to look for: if the shallower horizontal ‘tread wear indicators’ are close to being flush with the deep lateral grooves, you’re heading into dangerous territory and it’s time for a replacement.
Maintaining the correct pressure (aka PSI) is important for the optimal performance and longevity of your tyres. Manufacturers are required to provide the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) so there’s no excuse for not knowing what it is. A good tip is that you’ll get a more accurate PSI reading in the morning, when temperatures are cooler. Incorrect inflation not only leads to increased fuel usage and reduced economy, it also contributes to excessive wear – meaning you’ll need to replace more often.
A PS on PSI
Another factor to bear in mind is that, if you’re carrying heavier courier loads, the pressure will go down so if you have to travel a long way with a full van you should regularly check your PSI levels. Perhaps make it a rule to do this every time you fuel up so you remember. It’s a very good idea to carry a handy pressure gauge in your toolbox, which will save you from having to use the service station ones and means you can do it at any time.
For anyone who’s not clear how and where to find the recommended tyre pressure, it can be in one of several places. It might be inside the door of your vehicle, in the owner’s manual, within the glove compartment or on the back of the fuel cap door. There are also multiple online tools you can use to check the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Keeping your tyres in tip top condition doesn’t have to be a chore. Make the checks a part of your daily routine to give you total piece of mind that your vehicle is transporting your courier loads as safely as possible.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier loads in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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