Category Archives for "Commercial Tyres"

Car recalls and smarter tyres in Brisbane

Important news for drivers in Queensland

It’s been a while since I wrote a news blog, but recent industry news is both important and exciting. Important for your safety, and exciting for both safety and the driving experience. Let’s start with the safety news first, which affects both vehicle and tyres in Brisbane.

Car recalls you mustn’t ignore

I don’t know how car manufacturers can release mass-produced cars that are unsafe. They spend so much on research, development and testing. Here I am, warning about not one manufacturer recalling vehicles, but two.

BMW recalls i3 extended electric models in Australia

If you own a BMW i3 with a fuel tank, you could be driving Brisbane’s streets in a potential fire box. The i3s that were sold between July 2014 and November last year are the ones that are at risk.

The problem is a weak fuel ventilation line. It could rub against the car and rupture. If this happens, fuel could leak. And leaking fuel equals a high possibility of fire. If you own one of these models or know someone who does, call the BMW dealer now. Not tomorrow morning, and not next week.

Volkswagen recalls Golf small cars because of wrong tyre specs

As if Volkswagen haven’t had enough bad publicity in recent years, they just recalled all the Golf small cars sold in Australia between 2016 and 2017. The reason is that they’ve been fitted with the wrong tyre placard.

The tyre placard tells you about the tyre ratings for your car. It details speed, inflation, and load maximums. This tyre guide tells you about the best tyre pressures for your car, too. Get these wrong, and you’ll be using more fuel than you should. Your drive will be less comfortable. But, most importantly, you could be risking tyre damage and a blowout. (Brush up on how to bring your car to a safe standstill and how to change a tyre after a blowout.)

Again, if you own a Golf small car which was sold from the beginning of 2016, get hold of the Volkswagen dealer now. One phone call could save your life.

Okay, let’s move on to something a little more uplifting.

The future for tyres in Brisbane is smart

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how tyre development is set to rival Star Wars science fiction. It’s getting closer.

Goodyear has presented the world with its vision of tyres of the future. Its concept tyre, the Eagle-360, was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. And what a tyre it is!

It looks more like the Death Star from Star Wars than a tyre. And get this load of features:

  • Magnetic levitation
  • A sponge-like groove design that softens on wet road to resist aquaplaning
  • Centrifugal force ejects surface water
  • A layer of foam increases contact area with the road
  • Active technology allows the tyre to move as needed and automatically avoid hazards
  • Your car will face front, while steering left and right!
  • Automatic speed adjustment

This tyre is completely connected to your car and can sense, decide, transform and interact. It will connect with other vehicles, too, alerting them off road and weather conditions, and other hazards. With this information, the tyre will adapt ahead of time as it proactively prepares for the road ahead.

And what about tyre wear? Well, the tyre takes care of that, too. Sensors detect how much wear is being cased and alters tyre position to extend mileage and minimise fuel consumption.

This thing could put me out of business! Mind you, it’s a few years away yet…

Commercial vehicle tyres are already smart

Michelin truck tyres are adding radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to its retreads. With this technology, fleets can manage their tyres better, increasing life, reducing fuel consumption, and improving safety. It’s been rolled out to 260 fleets and 36,000 commercial vehicles across the United States.

Maybe those futuristic spheres aren’t so far away, after all.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of tyres for all types of vehicles Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and discover the Darra advantage that benefits so many other fleet managers.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to make commercial vehicle tyres last longer

Tyre management strategies that will inflate your bottom line

Commercial vehicle tyres are one of the highest expenses your fleet incurs. A good tyre maintenance program will help your drivers avoid blow-outs on their trucks. A good tyre management program will help your fleet tyres last longer. And when tyres last longer, your costs fall, and your profits increase.

In this article, we discuss the causes of wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres that should inform your fleet tyre maintenance and management program.

Who is responsible for the tyre management program?

The choice of tyres and how they are used will depend on the specifics of your fleet’s operations. It requires a good knowledge of driver routes, loads, and driving styles. Motorway work is different to inner city driving. On-road is different to off-road. If a truck is turned around between one driver and the next without a break, tyre wear is different again.

The person best placed to examine how tyres in the fleet are affected is the fleet manager. By testing over a long period, they will be able to design a suitable tyre management and maintenance program that extends tyre life. The data collected will include:

  • Total mileage
  • Wear and tear
  • Tyre costs
  • Cost per mile
  • Warranties

What causes wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres?

Shortened tyre life is caused by a range of factors that lead to irregular tyre wear. Taking action to shrink irregular wear and tear will help to reduce fleet fuel costs and extend tyre life. Here are the leading causes of irregular wear and tear on truck tyres:

·      Overloading

Your tyres bear all the weight of the truck and its load. A common mistake is using tyres that haven’t been manufactured for the load transported.

To ensure that you buy the correct tyres for the loads being transported, divide the maximum weight of the vehicle and its load by its number of tyres. If the vehicle and load are, say, six tonnes and it is supported by four wheels, you’ll need to buy tyres with a load rating of 1.5 tonnes.

·      Improper inflation

Improper inflation reduces tyre life and decreases safety. Overinflated tyres wear in the centre. Underinflated tyres wear on the shoulders and can damage sidewalls, with structural damage following.

Daily air pressure checks will ensure tyres are inflated correctly and get your drivers to check for damage to the tyres before, during, and after every trip.

·      Poor tyre rotation

Front tyres tend to wear most on their shoulders. Rear tyres typically wear first at the centre. A good tyre rotation policy can save your life and protect your tyres.

Rotating tyres is a time-consuming operation, so work out the optimum times to rotate without increasing costs. Most fleets coincide tyre rotation with regular service programs.

·      Improper alignment and balance

Misaligned and poorly balanced wheels are a major source of tyre wear. Balance weights can become dislodged or slip, causing the truck to run out of balance. Check alignment and balance at regular intervals.

·      Poor storage practices

How and where your trucks are parked will also impact tyre life. Oil, grease, fuel, water and other solutions degrade tyre rubber. If parked in one spot for too long, tyres can develop flat spots.

Park your trucks on a cool, dry, contamination-free surface.

·      Poor driving

The poor driving technique is another major factor in commercial tyre longevity. Cornering sharply, driving too fast over poorly surfaced roads, and braking heavily all contribute to tyre wear. Signs that a driver needs re-educating as to driving style include regular damage to sidewalls, denting, scratching, and bald patches.

How to increase the life of commercial vehicle tyres

As well as taking precautions against the specific causes of wear and tear we’ve mentioned above, you should also ensure that your truck tyres are cleaned regularly. Each time the vehicle is washed, clean the tyres thoroughly to remove debris, chemicals, mud and fuel.

Ensure that your tyre maintenance and management program doesn’t neglect the inside tyres.

You can also extend tyre life with an effective retread program. Providing the structure of the tyre is sound, there is no limit on how many retreads can be made. However, you should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of retreads as part of your tyre management program.

Keep an eye on costs

An integral part of a fleet tyre management program is cost maintenance. Your records should indicate the cost per mile and include a scrap tyre analysis. Keeping these records will help to decide on which tyres are best for which application, as well as highlighting problem routes and drivers that need to improve their technique.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of commercial vehicle tyres for a variety of fleets in Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today on +61 07 3333 5510 or (by Skype or on our contact form) and discover the Darra advantage that benefits so many other fleet managers.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane: what’s the best tyre choice for safety and value?

Should you spend more for premium brand tyres in Brisbane?

Drivers in Brisbane have a huge range of tyres to choose from. For most, the final deciding factor will be price. But is there a big difference between premium, mid-range, and budget tyres? Why do premium brands cost so much more than budget tyres? And how should you decide which are the right tyres for driving your vehicle in Brisbane?

Premium brand tyres in Brisbane

Premium brand tyres are the names you’ve heard of: Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental and so on. They may look the same as other tyres – round and black – but they can be expensive. So why do premium brand tyres cost so much more than their budget tyre equivalents?

When you buy premium tyres, you’re also paying for the vast amount of research these companies undertake. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on engineering tyres and developing new rubber compounds. They conduct safety and endurance testing, and evolve their tyres to perform in all types of road and weather conditions – that’s a huge plus on Brisbane’s roads.

When tested, premium brands consistently perform better than their cheaper rivals. You benefit from the better grip, increased driveability, and shorter braking distances. Premium brand tyres tend to outlive budget and mid-range competitors. They give better fuel consumption with lower fuel bills. The tyres are longer-lasting, so you don’t need to replace them as often.

If you drive a lot of miles, and at faster speeds on motorways, then when you replace your tyres an investment in premium brand tyres is likely to pay you back in the long run. The old saying tends to be true… “Buy cheap, pay twice…”

Mid-range tyres

Between the cheapest and most expensive tyres, you’ll find mid-range tyres, which are often manufactured by premium brand names. Often, these tyres are produced under a different name. They’re not manufactured to quite the same standard as premium brand tyres – the rubber used may not be the latest compound, for example.

These tyres usually offer good value to drivers who use their car daily and drive conservatively. You’ll get better fuel consumption and less wear than from a budget tyre, and benefit from a lot of the latest technological advances made by premium brands.

Budget tyres in Brisbane

Budget tyres could be a great purchase. And they might not be. The rule of thumb when you’re buying tyres is the same as when purchasing anything else – you tend to get what you pay for. However, this doesn’t mean that budget tyres are a ‘no-no’.  Some budget tyres offer great value, and it depends on the driving you’ll be doing and what your vehicle is used for.

For example, if you drive at slower speeds in town, travel shorter distances, or want tyres for a second car that is only used from time to time, budget tyres could be the ideal solution. And, if cost is an issue, buying a new budget tyre is a better choice than a brand name that is worn or damaged.

How do you choose the best tyres for driving in Brisbane?

When you need new tyres, there are several factors to take into consideration. These include:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Driving style
  • Road conditions and the type of road you’ll be driving on most
  • Budget

Bring your vehicle into our Brisbane tyre shop. Before recommending which tyres will be the best value for you (in the short and long term), we’ll ensure that the tyres are best for your driving style, use, and pocket. Our clients return time after time because we make sure they get the best value tyre that keeps them and their passengers safe on the roads in Queensland.

If you want to talk tyres, contact us on +61 07 3333 5510 (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) to get expert advice at our Brisbane tyre shop.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane – Tyre development to rival Star Wars science fiction

Tyres in Brisbane –  Self-inflating and self-grooving tyres are around the corner

I sometimes sit and wonder about the future of driving, cars, commercial vehicles, and, of course, tyres in Brisbane. The way that the automotive market has changed in even the last twenty years or so has been remarkable.

Cars used to be big and square. They’re now smaller and sleeker, and yet have more space for passengers and luggage. Steering commercial vehicles used to require Popeye-sized muscles. The dashboard used to consist of only a speedometer and a temperature gauge. Sit at the steering wheel of a modern vehicle, and you could be in the cockpit of a Jedi starfighter.

Now, companies are racing to be the first mass-producer of driverless vehicles. Though I have to confess the latest ‘no-hands parking’ functionality will be a godsend to many, I do wonder if such automation will remove the enjoyment of driving for many. Will there be a point when drivers say “enough is enough”, or will technology continue to shape our driving experience? And what is the future for the car and commercial vehicle tyres (especially here in Brisbane)?

In this article, I look at what the automotive and tyre industry might have in store for all of us.

The digital age is going to deliver better performance

Vehicles are going to get faster. They’re going to become greener, deliver more kilometres per litre and become more interactive, but with less driver interaction.

The digital age has already delivered engines that are monitored by a hundred and one sensors. A mechanic no longer pops the bonnet and spends ten minutes looking around your engine and listening to it in physical examination. He plugs it into an all-knowing digital analyser, which pinpoints an issue in seconds.

When you’re driving, you benefit from external sensors that help you reverse in tight spaces, alert you if you get too close to the vehicle ahead, and ring alarms the moment your tyres touch a white line. Like I’ve already said, car dashboards are like something out of Star Wars.

There’s a lot more to come, and developments are going to come thick and fast.

The new age of the supercar is here

Auto magazines are already predicting that supercars that can travel at more than 300 km per hour will be in production within four years. These cars will have just four cylinders as standard. Ford’s EcoBoost Mustang reaches around 230 km per hour, costs around US$25,000, and is already helping Mustang break sales records in the United States.

Supercars with smaller engines, offering better fuel consumption and faster top speeds will be standard in a few years. Perhaps not everything the average petrolhead wants to hear, but definitely the direction of the market.

Lighter cars equal lower fuel bills

The world is going green and lean, and this philosophy is the direction in which vehicle manufacturing is travelling. Carbon emissions are reducing, but the use of carbon fibre is increasing in the production of cars and commercial vehicles. It’s robust and stiff, and it’s lightweight, too. This weight advantage is going to help fuel consumption and performance. Manufacturers are developing carbon fibre parts to replace steel and aluminium used today. By 2020, the automotive industry will be the world’s largest consumer of carbon fibre, which will help to further reduce carbon emissions.

Hybrid cars will become the norm

Battery and engine management advances have helped manufacturers produce hybrid engine cars that will soon be the norm. Fuel economy is going to sprint forward, and roads are going to become quieter – I drove a hybrid recently and thought the engine had cut out at every light!

Reduced driver interaction

We’re already starting to get used to cars that make decisions for us. Cruise control has been around for a while now, and newer technology like distance control is becoming more common. How far can this technology take us? Self-driving vehicles are around the corner, and cars like the Tesla Model S and BMW 7 Series already have technology that self-corrects performance for different road and weather conditions – drivers don’t even know their decisions are being made for them.

Greater vehicle interaction

Where drivers will be relieved of much of their current in-vehicle responsibilities, vehicles themselves will become more interactive. They’ll start talking to each other.

There’ll come a time, and it could be very soon, that vehicles alert other vehicles in bad road conditions, heavy traffic, bad weather, and so on. Your vehicle’s Sat Nav system will update its route in real time, as all this information from other road users is downloaded and crunched at superfast speeds.

The future for tyres in the new age of driving

If you think all the above is exciting stuff, then listen to what could be in store for the rubber between you and Brisbane’s roads.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how commercial vehicle tyres just took a giant leap forward. We can expect more advances over the next few years. You’ll see new tyre compounds, and tread patterns will evolve for greater safety. Road handling capability will increase, but that’s not all. Here’s what tyre manufacturers have got up their sleeves:

  • Chips located inside the tyre will connect the tyre to the engine like never before. Just like vehicles will talk to each other, tyres will talk to the vehicle.
  • The Tyres will evolve with the road conditions underneath, altering their air pressures to give better traction.
  • Tyres that renew their tread grooves – retreading could be a thing of the past.
  • Tyres that self-inflate.
  • Airless tyres that offer a smoother and safer drive.

Within a decade, the tyres we use on the roads in Brisbane could be a galaxy away from today’s models. It might sound a little science fiction, but we really could be driving on tyres that are safer, greener, perform better, and last longer. Or maybe we won’t be driving on them, but merely sitting in a car that transports us from A to B without the need for driver interaction.

Whatever the future for cars and commercial vehicles, tyres will evolve, too. Tyre manufacturers are spending billions of dollars every year to bring tomorrow’s tyres to you today.

Whatever your tyre needs – high performance, better handling, longer life – contact us today (by Skype, or on our contact form) or phone us on 3333 5510 and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane. You’ll find the latest tyres with the most modern technology are on our shelves.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck

Commercial vehicle tyres –  What causes a commercial vehicle tyre blowout

If you’ve ever suffered a blowout while driving your car, you’ll know how scary it can be. If a blowout happens to a commercial vehicle tyre, the result could be fatal.

In this article, I’ll look at why commercial vehicle tyres might suffer a blowout and how you can reduce your risk of accidents while on the road.

Why do commercial vehicle tyres blowout?

Commercial vehicle blowouts mostly happen for one of four reasons:

  • Excessive speed
  • Poor tyre maintenance
  • Defective tyres
  • Wrong tyre placement

Driving speed is a factor that only you can regulate while you’re on the road. If you plan to drive long distances at high speed, then always make sure your tyres are inflated correctly. Of course, if you’re driving at excessive speed, an accident caused by a blowout will be deemed to be your fault.

A good tyre maintenance regime will help you detect tread wear, incorrectly inflated tyres, and damage to sidewalls. These are the major factors that contribute to blowouts of commercial vehicle tyres. Poor maintenance equals an increased risk of a blowout. And poor tyre maintenance that leads to an accident is your fault.

With a good tyre buying and maintenance programme in place, you’re more likely to notice tyre defects. We’d all like to think that we’d never get sold a defective tyre, but like all products, there is always a risk of a batch being produced with defects. The manufacturer might recall a particular model. It’s your responsibility to return the defective tyres and replace with the correct ones. If there hasn’t been a recall, any accident that has been caused by the tyre will be the responsibility of the tyre manufacturer.

If you’ve placed the wrong tyre in the wrong position on your truck, or if the tread depths aren’t correct, or the tyres are mismatched, the chances of a blowout are increased – and any accident is most definitely your fault.

As you can see, responsibility is dictated by negligence. When you’re on the road, don’t be negligent about your tyres and your truck.

The five-minute truck stop check

Whenever you take a break from driving, whether for a bite to eat or other reason, before you pull away and get back on the road, take five minutes to do a quick safety check. It should include your tyres, brakes, under the cab, and lights:

·      Lights and reflectors

Turn on the lights, walk around your truck and make sure that all your lights are in working order – including your trailer lights and indicators.

·      Under the cab

Use a torch and get close to the ground. Look right underneath the truck and check for signs of any leaks. A drip could be the sign of a big problem further down the road.

·      Brakes

Check the airlines and brakes before you pull away. Look for rust and oil. If you’ve made this check a regular habit, you’ll know exactly what to look for. What looks out of the ordinary usually is. Don’t ignore your sense of hearing, either. Often the first warning of failing brakes is the one you hear.

·      Tyres

Run a gloved hand over each tyre. Use the torchlight to make a closer inspection if you feel anything unusual. Make sure you check the sidewalls for tears and balding. If you’re in any doubt about the state of your tyres, call us here at Darra Tyres (07 3333 5510). Our mission is to keep you safe on the roads. You won’t find a more committed tyre service in West Brisbane.

Don’t become the next victim of a tyre blowout

This simple five-minute truck stop check could be the five minutes that save your life, and the lives of other road users. You never know what has happened to your tyres on the roads in the time between your pre-trip check and the first stop, and between stops.

If your truck tyre does blow out, especially on a big rig, you’re likely to lose control of the vehicle – if only for a few seconds. A tyre blowout and the few seconds immediately after is all it takes for a dangerous incident to evolve into a serious accident. When an accident involves a big truck, the probability of serious injury and death is magnified. Five minutes is all it takes to reduce the chance of this happening to you. Of all the good habits that I know, the five-minute truck stop check might just be the best.

Whatever your tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – It’s time to profit from the benefits of tyre sensors

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring system) decreases fuel costs and increases safety

In 2012, one of the world’s top tyre manufacturers, GT Radial, announced the findings of a survey that opened the lid on the real cost of underinflated tyres. It found that Australian motorists driving with underinflated tyres are wasting around 20c per litre of fuel.

In the mining, industrial and fleet industries, commercial vehicle tyre and fuel costs are the two highest costs. Helping your tyres last longer and cutting fuel costs will directly improve your bottom line.

In this article, you’ll learn why manual tyre checks aren’t enough to ensure fleet safety and reduce costs. I’ll examine the benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Finally, I’ll tell you how a TPMS works.

The five disadvantages of relying on manual tyre checks on commercial vehicle tyres

As I discussed in my last article, “How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck”, maintenance and manual checks at each stop are essential. These checks will detect damage to the tyre. But they won’t ensure that a tyre is working at its peak while you’re driving. Here are five reasons why manual checks aren’t enough to ensure your commercial vehicle tyres are performing at their peak, increasing safety, and minimising fuel consumption:

1.     Manual checks only confirm tyre pressure when parked

When a truck is parked, especially if it’s for an extended break, the tyre pressure will not be the same as when it’s running on the road. Unsafe tyre pressures could be missed.

2.     Manual checks can be inaccurate

Mistakes in manual pressure readings are not uncommon. And manual checks don’t take internal air temperatures into consideration. The result is that the tyre could be incorrectly inflated.

3.     Manual checks are infrequent

Despite advice from tyre experts, commercial vehicle tyre pressures are not checked as frequently as they should be. It leads to increased wear and tear and decreased tyre life. The result is higher tyre costs.

4.     Manual checks miss slow leaks

A damaged tyre or valve could produce a slow leak that goes undetected during manual checks. On the road, this could prove fatal.

5.     Manual checks don’t adjust tyre pressures accurately

The correct tyre pressure is dependent upon the internal temperature of the tyre. Manual checks can’t measure this. The outcome is that tyres could be inflated incorrectly.

The five benefits of TPMSs

A TPMS works on the move, providing real-time information about tyre pressures and temperatures. It adds to the effectiveness of regular manual tyre checks. It also provides the driver with an immediate warning of running problems that could also lead to engine damage.

A TPMS reduces fuel costs, increases tyre life, and reduces the time that vehicles spend in maintenance.

Automated tyre pressure and temperature checks made by a TPMS will:

1.     Reduce poor performance of manual checks

A TPMS is continuous, automated, and accurate. Human error is reduced, and the scans made by TPMSs are accurate to within 1% or 2%.

2.     Decrease fuel consumption

Every tyre which is underinflated will increase fuel consumption. GT Radial research concluded that a tyre running at a pressure just 5PSI below its recommendation could use 10% more fuel. Proper tyre inflation minimises fuel consumption.

3.     Increase tyre life

Improper inflation is a direct cause of increased wear and tear on tyres. A TPMS monitors tyres efficiently and effectively, helping to make sure they don’t fail before their next service.

4.     Reduce downtime

A TPMS eliminates errors and reduces the time it takes for manual tyre checks to be made. Because your tyres are working at the correct pressures, you’ll suffer fewer problems. The result is that downtime will be hammered.

5.     Improve road safety

Drivers will operate more safely, responding to tyre pressure changes as they occur. It reduces the risk of blowouts and accidents.

How does a TPMS work?

A TPMS is easy to install. A sensor is screwed into the wheel or rim or sometimes screwed directly into the valve. This sensor measures tyre pressure and internal air temperature.

The measurements are constantly made, and transmitted wirelessly to an in-cab monitor. The monitor can be configured to signal alerts at pre-specified ranges.

Fleet managers can then download data to the management PC. The software is used to produce charts and graphs. It enables easily identifiable tyre performance issues, which can be used in driver education as well as informing about tyre maintenance schedules. This information can also be used to make better commercial vehicle tyre purchasing decisions.

Isn’t it time you invested in a TPMS?

If you haven’t already, it may be time to invest in a TPMS. Tyre and fuel costs aren’t going down in the long term. A TPMS is easy to install, easy to use, and provides real benefits to commercial fleets. Automatic, real-time data helps your driver adjust driving style and increase tyre life.

Tyre problems are identified immediately, instead of at the end of a long-haul trip.

A TPMS doesn’t negate the need for manual tyre checks. But it does add an extra level of commercial vehicle tyre security that will help fleet managers achieve important aims:

  • Improve road safety
  • Increase tyre life
  • Decrease fuel consumption

Whatever your fleet tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane – Is it safe to drive with mismatched tyres?

Tyres in Brisbane – Make sure your tyre change is made for safe driving

When your vehicle’s tyres in Brisbane are replaced, it pays to go to a tyre specialist. That’s what the following story shows – a nightmare that I wouldn’t have thought could be true. Unfortunately, it is, and it makes me wonder how many other cars are in a similar dangerous state.

Even car dealerships make mistakes with tyres in Brisbane

I was discussing tyres at a barbie a couple of weekends ago when a friend said that she was experiencing poor control. She had twice felt her back-end slip on the camber of a bend that morning before arriving at our place.

As soon as I examined her car, I knew the reason her driving was suffering. She’d had three new tyres recently. That’s three. Not two or four, but three. It turns out that she’d taken her car for a service, and the dealer had replaced the tyres that they said needed replacing. And it turns out that not all car dealerships know that you should never switch out an uneven number of tyres.

Not only had the dealership changed only three tyres, they’d also changed them for a different size! The three new tyres were P195/65/R15, and the one that they left was P195/60/R15. (For an explanation about tyre sizes, see our tyre blog “How to choose the best tyres for Queensland roads and save money”.)

Is it dangerous to drive on mismatched tyres?

As my friend had experienced, mismatched tyres can produce poor vehicle handling. If all your tyres are the same make, model and size, you’ll be able to maintain them for longer with a good tyre rotation policy. Uneven tyres equal uneven steering and uneven braking. By rotating regularly, wear should be evener.

What’s the best strategy for changing tyres?

Ideally, you should replace all four tyres at the same time. It’s also best to replace like with like – the same manufacturer and the same amount of wear. It creates an even balance to your vehicle and improves handling, especially when you most need it – on wet roads, around corners, and in heavy traffic.

For most people, changing all four tyres simultaneously is an expensive proposition. Especially if only one tyre ‘needs’ replacing – for example if you’ve had a blowout. It’s unreasonable to expect you to go to the expense of changing all four tyres for the sake of a single flat.

What if you can’t afford to replace all four tyres?

If you can’t afford to replace all four tyres at the same time, then you should replace in pairs – and on the same axle. Replace with the same style, size and make as your remaining tyres. If this is impossible, speak to us and we’ll suggest a suitable alternative as close to the dimensions and tread design as possible. Most importantly, we’ll match performance, speed and load ratings, and traction characteristics.

And if your remaining tyres have a little wear and tear?

If the remaining tyres haven’t had much wear on them, then you may get away with replacing only the flat. If you do this, then select a tyre that’s the same make, size and type as the tyre on the opposite end of the same axle.

Another solution may be to buy retread tyres – a suggestion that some tyre buyers might consider being preposterous (having been taught by their fathers and grandfathers that retreads are dangerous), but a solution that could save hundreds of dollars on a set of four new tyres.

Always change your tyres with a strategy of safety first. Contact us today on 07 3333 5510 and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Cut_your_heavy_vehicle_fuel_consumption_with_Bridgestone_tyres

Cut your heavy vehicle fuel consumption with Bridgestone tyres

Reduced fuel costs and lower emissions are a win/win for fleet service

Here at Darra, we’re always looking to help our clients stay safe and reduce costs. A couple of weeks ago, we posted about fleet tyre services that reduce fuel costs. Today we’re looking at the new additions to Bridgestone’s Ecopia tyre range that has got our juices flowing since they were introduced. Not only do these Bridgestone tyres reduce costs, but they’re also good for the environment, too. That’s a big win/win… and we love the double wins!

Tried and tested Bridgestone tyres

Since its introduction in 2013, Bridgestone’s Ecopia range has proved its credentials. It has now added four new sizes to the range, covering both drive and trailer. This means that Ecopia tyres can be used by up to 95% of the drive and trailer market. In an interview with tradetrucks.com, Andrew Moffat, the MD responsible for sales of Bridgestone tyres in Australia and New Zealand said:

“The key factor here is that we are consistently seeing fuel savings of up to six per cent. This reduction is beneficial to both operators and the environment.”

We couldn’t agree more. The industry is coming under increasingly strict regulations in a world that are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. If green is the way to go, then Ecopia tyres are certainly proving their worth.

Ecopia’s low resistance leads to lower fuel consumption

The design of Ecopia tyres helps to reduce resistance on the tarmac. This helps haulage and trucking companies to get more mileage and reduce fuel consumption. The knock on benefit is a huge cut in CO2 emissions.

In a market where your customers are likely to have their own carbon targets and want to promote their own green credential to their customers, being able to offer a fleet that uses less fuel and stamps a smaller carbon footprint is another positive toward clinching the next big haulage contract.

A good track record with Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone is the world’s largest tyre manufacturer and one of the largest suppliers to Australia’s automotive industry. They’re certainly one of the most popular manufacturers here at Darra.

We’ve been supplying Bridgestone tyres for years, and this expansion of the Ecopia range is going to benefit our fleet and heavy vehicle customers.

A tip from heavy vehicle tyre customers is to put in place a good tyre maintenance program to reduce your fuel consumption costs. This will also make sure that you, your drivers, and other road users benefit from better safety on the roads. Give us a call on 3333 5510 to find out more, or to get a quote.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin and The team at Darra Tyres

Square_Tyres_Pommy_phenomenon_or_loss_of_tyre_pressure

New Tyre Size – Square Tyres, What will Pommys Think of Next?

6,000 miles on a flat

I’m guessing when the Pommies say “It could only happen in America” they don’t think about any of the strange events in Britain, like an airplane landing on a square tyre. That’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago at Heathrow when an Airbus A380 flying from Hong Kong landed at Britain’s busiest airport after suffering a loss of tyre pressure in Hong Kong.

Here at Darra we thought we had worked with every tyre going. But we guarantee we’ve never seen a square tyre. Whatever vehicle we’ve fitted with tyres – be it crane tyres, earthmover tyres, commercial tyres, fleet tyres, and so on – we have never, ever, not once, fitted a square tyre.

So what did happen to the A380 tyre?

The pilot received a loss of pressure warning as he was taking off from Hong Kong, but chose to ignore it. (That’s either a very brave call, in which case he must have been an Aussie pilot. Or a very dumb call, in which case the British Airways pilot might very well have been Pom, I guess!)

One airline pilot ventured that the tyre may have detached from the wheel on landing. He said, “The tyres are pressurised to around seven times that of a car tyre. Once depressurised the tyre will have ‘flatted’ while the aircraft was braking and once it did so it would then rotate through 90 degrees to another part of the tyre and then do it again — hence the four flats you see.”

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)  spokesperson said that it had never seen anything like it before. However, the CAA and other pilots didn’t seem overly concerned about the problem square tyre. One even said, “Is it dangerous? No. To lose one is no big deal.”

Don’t risk loss of tyre pressure on the road and never try out this new tyre size!

Though the thoughts of the CAA and other pilots might seem nonchalant, you can kind of see their point: the plane did have 17 other tyres to rely on. Having said that, we wouldn’t suggest that you risk having a loss of tyre pressure. Most road vehicles only have three other tyres to carry them through a journey safely, losing one is going to be mighty dangerous.

If you’ve ever seen a square tyre before, we’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, stay safe and have your tyres checked regularly. Give us a call today on 3333 5510 to guarantee you don’t suffer a Pommy blow out. We’d rather you use our mobile service than be caught out while you’re working or travelling.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

The team at Darra Tyres.

Are Michelin the world’s biggest producer of tyres? No Lego is…

Are Michelin tyres the biggest tyre company in the world? Apparently not, it is Lego who produce the most tyres!

If the image is correct then Lego is the largest producer of tyres in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me given the amount of lego that we have in boxes at home.

I don’t think anyone growing up in Australia wouldn’t have been exposed to Lego’s tyres in some form.

At Darra Tyres we don’t stock Lego Tyres, however we do stock just about every other tyre imaginable and if it’s not in stock then we will know where to get it. We also have a massive range of second hand tyres as well.

Give the team a call on 3333 5510.

Regards,
The team at Darra Tyres

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