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ARI Fleet UK warns of true cost of driver tyre negligence

The company, formerly Fleet Support Group, says that poor driver care and maintenance is responsible for the premature replacement of a quarter of tyres on vehicles that it manages.

ARI in the UK last year replaced a total of 33,861 tyres on vehicles under its management. Although more than 20,000 tyres (59.47%) were replaced as a result of ‘normal wear and tear’ and more than 5,200 (15.64%) were replaced due to unrepairable punctures, a total of 8,429 tyres (24.89%) were replaced due to “damage”, including as a result of under or over-inflation and blowouts.

Richard Minshull, head of operations, ARI Fleet UK, said: ‘Tyre care is a vital part in prolonging tyre wear and getting maximum value from a set of tyres – and that is very much down to drivers.

‘If uneven tyre wear is spotted early, then steps can be taken to ‘pull’ the tyre back into line. If drivers fail to undertake routine tyre checks and consequently, evidence of undue wear and tear is ignored, then the life of a tyre can be reduced by half or even two-thirds in some cases and that costs businesses money.

‘Industry surveys keep telling us, as do our customers, that cost control is their number one priority. However, the biggest cost facing companies is drivers and too often managers and directors are failing to implement measures to manage them effectively. This then translates into driver abuse of vehicles of which tyres is one of the most obvious examples.’

ARI Fleet UK has also highlighted the other side-effects of poor driver care of tyres, including the impact on fuel consumption. Driving on tyres which are just 10psi under the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure can increase fuel consumption by 2.5%.

And there’s the issue with driver safety, with Minshull explaining: ‘Aside from breaking the law regarding vehicle roadworthiness, negligence about tyre faults increases the risk of companies coming into contact with criminal and civil prosecutions as a consequence of drivers being involved in road crashes.’

He concluded: ‘The regular checking of tyre tread and pressure and overall condition should be a key feature of all corporate risk management policies and procedures. The failure of drivers to check tyres, at least monthly and ideally every time they fill up with fuel, could have disastrous consequences.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.