If you are running any kind of haulage business your profit margins may be tight and you are probably looking at any way of reducing your overheads. If there is one area in which you may be making an extremely false economy, however, it is with respect to the safety of your vehicles’ tyres.
Tyres are the only point of contact between your lorry and the road. They are the only reason your vehicle stays on the road and allow you to control movement and bring the mighty machine to a halt.
For such a vital part of your truck, the tyres are unfortunately prone to damage – and damage that might be caused by a whole host of factors. Some of the most common are:
- impacts caused by potholes in the road or striking the kerb;
- excessive wear to under-inflated tyres;
- corrosion; and
- many other reasons.
The tell-tale signs
One of the leading tyre safety organisations in the UK, Tyre Safe, explains how the particular patterns of wear each tell a story of what has been happening and what is likely to have caused the wear.
Every picture tells a story and this is important since it helps to underscore the effectiveness of regular inspections and taking the opportunity to correct faults before they become sufficiently dangerous to risk a blow-out when you are on the road.
Inspections need not take a long time and require relatively little effort. Inspect the pressure of the tyres regularly and check for irregular wear or other damage. Bulging side walls, for example, are a further tell-take sign that early remedial action is required.
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) reports that the faulty condition of tyres is one of the leading reasons for heavy good vehicles failing the annual MOT inspection. Sadly, the signs are that such a record does not appear to be improving from one year to the next.
Regular inspection and simple maintenance of your tyres is important not only as a means of keeping you and your vehicle safe for other road users, it may also be a matter of concern for your truck insurance.
For instance, if your lorry is involved in an accident resulting in a claim on your policy the state of maintenance may be called into question if the tyres are subsequently found to have been worn or defective. A failure to maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition – including the tyres – may even result in your insurance being invalidated. This might prove extremely expensive.
If you have any questions relating to vehicle maintenance and the validity of your cover you may want to contact us at Isis Insurance Services where we undertake to answer this and other enquiries about your insurance.