TyreSafe is reminding van drivers about the need to ensure they conduct regular tyre checks and to consider how much load is being carried in a new ‘Britain Works on Tyres’ safety campaign.
Overloading is the most common offence identified at DVSA roadside checks and can result in fines of over £800. Overloading also accounts for 70% of prohibitions on LCVs.
Overloading not only might interrupt a van’s business, it’s also dangerous. If the van is heavier than it was designed for, it’ll be unstable and puts extra stress on the tyres. The excess weight changes the tyre’s shape, leading to a build-up of heat when it’s being driven. When that happens, the tyre can have a catastrophic failure.
A van’s maximum permissible weight is detailed in the handbook, along with the tyres’ appropriate load index. This is a two or three-digit code which relates to how much weight it can safely carry. You should always ensure your tyres have the right load index for the van.
Tyre pressure must also be correctly adjusted for the load. It’s not only safer but reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Tyre pressures are usually displayed inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate on the front door sill. While those are being checked, attention should also be paid to the tyres’ general condition. Most vans encounter encountered the odd pot hole or bump in their travels, and these can seriously damage tyres. Each tyre should be inspect for lumps, cuts or anything out of the ordinary, which, if discovered should be inspected by a professional.
"We’re grateful to the DVSA for sharing its data and case studies with us and underlining how overloading is far too common on our roads. TyreSafe hopes that by sharing this message with van drivers we can help affect a change in attitude among them to consider their safety, and the safety of others, on the roads as their first priority. Tyres need regular maintenance.”