IF your company owns a light commercial vehicle (LCV), you know the demands it is subjected to every day. Keeping such vehicles working and roadworthy in every kind of weather is crucial for a business, and the right tyres play a leading role.
If tyres are chosen and maintained properly, your business can easily avoid frustrating and costly downtimes that badly impact the general productivity and incur additional repair costs.
UK tyre dealers 123spareparts.co.uk and giga-tyres.co.uk point out that as LCV tyres are usually exposed to heavier loads and more prolonged running than regular passenger cars, they need to be tougher.
That’s why they require a reinforced structure and special compounds that provide better longevity and extra load-carrying properties. Therefore, according to the experts, such tyres must be chosen with every working situation in mind.
Why proper LCV tyres are a prime safety factor
Being used for business means that commercial vehicles are driven not in the same way as passenger vehicles and downtimes simply aren’t acceptable. For this reason, light truck tyres that are usually used must have an uncompromised grip on both wet and dry roads and superior safety properties.
Braking, cornering, and steering in constantly changing weather conditions depends on the quality of your vehicle’s rubber shoes which are the only contact points with the road to ensure the safety of the vehicle and everything in it.
An unsuitable or simply worn tyre isn’t able to provide a reliable grip in wet or icy conditions and raises the risk of aquaplaning. Poor steering response makes it more difficult to control the vehicle and increases the risk of an accident.
What to consider while choosing LCV tyres
A key to a good choice is foreseeing the worst possible conditions the tyres might face during their life cycle. While buying, you should stick to the manufacturer’s original specifications which can be found either in the car’s manual or on the driver’s door pillar.
- Unlike regular passenger cars, the light commercial vehicles benefit more from the radial type of tyre (check for the letter ‘R” on the tyre sidewall) which are more rigid due to multiple belted layers (plies) of polyester and steel. This, however, introduces harsher cornering and handling. The heavier the load the vehicle carries the bigger ply number must be. 6-ply LCV tyres or those with the reinforced structure are good for smaller vans while bigger vans like Ford Transit and similar ‘boxes’ may require 8-ply tyres.
- As long as they are comparatively new, all-season tyres are usually good enough for the UK roads, but if you know that the vehicle will drive a lot on wet, snowy, or icy coastal roads, winter tyres are always better. Letters ‘M’ and ‘S’ on the sidewall mean that the tyre meets the mud and snow standards.
- Stick to the original size or discuss upgrading with the professional, but never opt for tyres that are smaller than the original size designated by the manufacturer.
- Load index. Choose tyres according to the original load capacity (in kg) specified for the vehicle. Never opt for a product with a lower load index.
- Speed rating. The speed marking on the sidewall points to the maximum speed the tyre can operate at. Never buy tyres with the speed rating lower than the vehicle’s original specification.
- Read the EU fuel efficiency label for the tyre. Tyres are graded from A (with the lowest rolling resistance and, thus, the best fuel-efficiency) to G (the less fuel-saving).