Tyre checks vital before fleets return to road, says Michelin
Motorists and fleet managers should ensure essential safety checks are completed before allowing little-used cars or vans to return to the road.
As lockdowns start to ease across the UK, Michelin is warning that tyre maintenance neglected during recent months must be addressed.
But longer-term changes to annual mileage due to post-pandemic commuting patterns also underline the need for regular tyre checks, it says.
Michelin is advising drivers to:
- Set tyre pressures to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Visually check all tyres for bulges, cuts, excessive cracking or other damage or unusual signs.
- Move the vehicle to expose the part of the tyre that has been in contact with the ground and carry out the same visual checks. Flat patches can create internal weakness, which can lead to failure in use.
- Check tread depth. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm around the entire circumference of the tyre in a band making up 75 per cent of the tyre’s breadth.
- If in any doubt, or if you believe a mounted tyre has been significantly underinflated for a long period of time while in storage, seek professional advice.
Brian Porteous, technical manager for car, van and 4×4 at Michelin UK, added that as flexible working and homeworking become more common, mileage will drop and tyres will last longer and be more open to age and the long-term effects of minor damage.
As such, motorists should ensure that tyres which have been in use for five years or more continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. Any tyres in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tyres, should be replaced as a precaution – even if they still appear serviceable and have not reached the legal wear limit.
Porteous continued: “There will also be longer periods between servicing, so more than ever drivers have to take responsibility for inspecting their tyres regularly – for the sake of their safety and their wallets.”