100 per cent of B’s vehicles and 76.8 per cent of A’s had at least one under-inflated tyre.
On average, tyres were under-inflated by 10 pounds per square inch (PSI). The worst tyre recorded was 51 PSI below what it should’ve been.
99.5 per cent of B’s and 80 per cent of A’s vehicles showed differences in inflation across axles.Whilst the majority of issues were with under-inflated tyres, over-inflation was also common.
Reduced vehicle handling and stability: According to the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, there were 39 fatal accidents due to vehicle defects in 2014. Of these, 22 – a full 56 per cent – were caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.
Reduced fuel efficiency and premature tyre wear: Michelin research found that UK motorists are wasting £246 million a year on fuel because of under-inflated tyres. Our own spot-check showed that A and B were losing 1 per cent fuel economy for every 3 PSI of under-inflation.
Higher emissions: Thanks to higher fuel consumption, vehicles with under-inflated tyres will generally pump out more carbon dioxide. The same Michelin research put the total at over 538,000 tonnes of excess CO2. By neglecting tyre pressure an organisation can negate its own efforts to be green elsewhere.
Driver education should always be your first option: Investigate your fleet, share the findings, and explain what these mean in reality. This approach is already making a difference for the clients we work with.
Perform fleet-wide checks at regular intervals: We put these at three-month intervals in the maintenance plans for some of our clients.
Investigate the constant advances in technology: There are now devices that can monitor the pressure of a vehicle’s tyres and report the numbers back to the driver in the cab. This sort of technology can be linked up with telematics, so that tyre pressures for the entire fleet can be monitored remotely. This might seem like an expensive option, but when considered against the money wasted on extra fuel and repairs, it could end up saving money for your organisation. We calculated a potential annual saving of over £218,000 for organisation A’s fleet. That’s around £145 per vehicle.
Nitrogen: Tyres filled with nitrogen lose pressure more slowly. While this doesn’t reduce the risk completely, it does slow it down.