Van operators warned of detriments of overloading
That's the finding of the latest VOSA effectiveness report, which showed that the LGV overloading prohibition rate by traffic enforcers increased from 66.9% in 2008/09 to 72.7% in 2009/10.
In response, leading tyre safety organisation TyreSafe says that unless operators compensate for carrying heavy loads by increasing their tyre pressures to the recommended levels, their tyres will wear out quicker, their fuel consumption will increase and their safety may be compromised.
'Overloading in itself is a serious safety hazard which operators must address, but even if they are carrying legal loads, they should ensure their tyres are adjusted and inflated to the correct pressure,' said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. 'If tyres do not contain enough air for the load being carried, they are much more likely to experience a rapid deflation which can result in a terrifying accident. There are also other significant downsides such as longer stopping distances, reduced stability, increased tyre wear and higher fuel consumption.'
To help van owners and operators understand their responsibilities towards tyre car, TyreSafe has launched a new dedicated van tyre safety section on its website. The site includes a selection of hints and advice as well as a free downloadable van tyre safety leaflet. To view the site or download the leaflet, visit: www.tyresafe.org
TyreSafe has also issued its top tyre pressure tips:
1. Use a reliable and accurate pressure gauge to check the pressure of van tyres at least once a month or before a long trip.
2. Check the pressure in all tyres not forgetting to check any spare tyre(s) as well.
3. Tyre pressure should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer's recommended operating pressures for the load being carried.
4. Check the pressure when tyres are cold or when the vehicle has travelled less than two miles.
5. When checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any cuts, lumps or bulges.
6. If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your vehicle to an approved fitting centre and speak to the experts.