Too many dud tyres in Dbn

Bridge­stone Tyre Check finds un­ac­cept­ably high lev­els of un­der­in­fla­tion and worn tread

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY -

BRIDGE­STONE’S long-run­ning Tyre Check project has re­leased data from its re­cent sur­vey held in Dur­ban. The event was the fifth of its kind to be un­der­taken in KwaZulu-Natal since 2007. Bridge­stone’s team of tyre spe­cial­ists set up shop in the car park of the Bal­lito Life­style Cen­tre, and sur­veyed 1 000 tyres on 250 ve­hi­cles.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the re­sults were not en­cour­ag­ing,” said Bridge­stone gen­eral man­ager of mar­ket­ing, Tony Burns. “The sur­vey showed that tyre con­di­tion and main­te­nance are at their low­est lev­els in Dur­ban since we started the Tyre Check sur­veys eight years ago.”

Tyres sur­veyed by the Bridge­stone team are recorded as “fine” if they are within an in­fla­tion pres­sure band of 180 kPa to 290 kPa. Tyres with higher in­fla­tion pres­sure are recorded as over-in­flated ex­cept where they are in ac­cor­dance with the ve­hi­cle’s man­u­fac­turer spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Four per­cent of tyres in the Dur­ban sur­vey were over-in­flated. Tyres which are be­low 180 kPa are clas­si­fied as un­der-in­flated, and di­vided into three cat­e­gories de­pend­ing on how low their pres­sures are. In Dur­ban, nine per­cent of tyres were found to be “low”, two per­cent “very low” and three per­cent “dan­ger­ously low”.

“This is the high­est per­cent­age of tyres we have yet seen in the ‘dan­ger­ously low’ cat­e­gory at a Tyre Check event,” Burns com­mented. “Usu­ally it is less than one per­cent. The pre­vi­ous high of 2,4% was also recorded in Dur­ban, in 2014.”

The Bridge­stone Tyre Check team also checks for tyres which are worn be­yond le­gal lim­its or have dam­age that makes them un­safe. Usu­ally, fewer than eight per­cent of tyres are iden­ti­fied as need­ing re­place­ment. In the Dur­ban sur­vey though, fully 18% of tyres were either un­safe or due for re­place­ment, the high­est per­cent­age seen in a Tyre Check sur­vey since 2008.

“The pic­ture painted by the Dur­ban sur­vey raises two con­cerns,” Burns com­mented. “Firstly there is wide­spread ne­glect of tyre main­te­nance, with nearly one in five mo­torists not check­ing tyre pres­sures reg­u­larly enough,” he ex­plained. “Se­condly, there is a sub­stan­tial num­ber of ve­hi­cles driv­ing on dam­aged or worn tyres, in­creas­ing the risk of blowouts or loss of con­trol in wet weather,” he added.

He re­minded mo­torists to check tyre pres­sures at least ev­ery two weeks us­ing an ac­cu­rate tyre gauge and to in­spect each tyre while do­ing in­fla­tion checks. “Reg­u­lar tyre checks can help driv­ers im­prove tyre life and fuel econ­omy,” he ex­plained. “Also driv­ers will be able to de­tect tyre dam­age or wear prob­lems be­fore they af­fect driv­ing safety,” he con­cluded.

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