When you drive a van, there are a set of questions you always need to know the answer to. Where are you going? What are you transporting? Will the customer be in? Is your cargo safely secured in the back for the van?
These are the day-to-day questions you’ll ask, but you need to add another to that list. How are the tyres?
With all the miles you will put into a van, the tyres really should be your chief concern. They are the only thing connecting you to the road. They influence your stopping distance, your ability to steer and even your fuel efficiency.
Here’s what you need to know about checking your tyres:
The law is the same for van tyres as it is for car tyres. They must have a tread depth of 1.6mm. It is obviously not ideal to be running a van at the limit and it will impact your ability to brake and steer. It will be especially noticeable in wet conditions.
It is regarded as good practice to change your tyres when they have 3mm of tread left. It’s really important to remember to check your tread regularly. When you are moving a heavy load with a lot of stop-start braking, the last thing you want to be concerned about is if your tyres are up to the job.
Checking your tyres is more than just checking for tread and damage, it’s about maintaining the right pressure in them. Running under-pressurised tyres will greatly increase your fuel usage, your stopping distance and wear out your tyres quicker. In the same way that over-pressurised tyres will affect your steering and driving style. Running the tyres at the pressures they were designed for is the best way to get maximum life from them, increase your fuel efficiency and improve your driving experience.
Buy Efficient Tyres
All tyres are rated on their fuel efficiency. The rating runs from A, as the most efficient, to G for the least efficient. Buying as high up the scale as your budget will afford will save you fuel costs later on.
Driving a van should not be a stressful experience, making sure you have safe, legal and efficient tyres will help to make your journey as smooth as possible. Making a tyre check a part of your pre-driving routine will help you in the long run.