28th July 2017
Michelin warns fleets on cost of driving on under-inflated tyres

Michelin is warning businesses that the cost of driving on under-inflated tyres has risen over an 18-month period, in line with the cost of fuel. In June 2017, average pump prices in the UK reached 116.4 pence per litre for unleaded and 117.4 pence per litre for diesel – an increase of 13.9 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively since 1 January 2016*.

Tyre pressures have a direct impact on a vehicle’s fuel economy, with under-inflation increasing both fuel usage and carbon emissions, whilst also posing serious safety risks to motorists and other road users.

Jonathan Layton, Michelin’s Head of Fleet, explains: “Driving on tyres just a few psi below the manufacturer’s recommended pressures will reduce a vehicle’s fuel efficiency on every single journey. As fuel costs rise, the impact of this under-inflation is pushing running costs higher.

“A lot of fleet drivers routinely monitor their average fuel consumption via the dashboard display, and many will even be aware of small differences between journeys. Just imagine how much UK businesses could save if drivers paid as close attention to their tyre pressures as they did to their mpg readout.

“Maintaining accurate tyre pressures is a small but simple step to improving fuel efficiency, maximising vehicle safety and reducing carbon emissions,” he adds.

UK data collected by Michelin over the last 10 years shows that, on average, at least 60 per cent of motorists drive on under-inflated tyres, and half of those are at dangerously under-inflated levels (more than 8psi).

As well as increasing fuel bills, under-inflation makes a vehicle’s steering less precise, increases stopping distances and leads to a higher risk of aquaplaning. It also reduces a tyre’s endurance capabilities, making it more prone to damage and possible rapid deflation.

Michelin testing has shown that a tyre which is 20 per cent under-inflated will typically return 20 per cent less mileage before needing to be replaced. That means a loss of 5,000 miles on a tyre which offers a potential mileage of 25,000 miles.

Tyre pressure check advice

Michelin advises motorists to check tyre pressures – including the spare – at least every month and before any long journeys. Pressures should ideally be checked when the tyres are cold, meaning they have not been used in the last two hours or have covered less than two miles at low speed.

27th July 2017
Tyre Wars - When is the best time to change tyres on your vehicles?

New research is splitting the tyre industry on when is best time for fleets to change rubber, after Michelin claimed that premature switches could hit businesses both in the wallet and environmentally.
The French manufacturer found that changing tyres with 3mm of tread left - almost double the current UK legal minimum of 1.6mm - could cost European drivers an extra £6.9bn a year in additional tyre purchases and extra fuel consumption through increased friction on the road surface.
Michelin also claimed that changing tyres too early would result in an extra 128 million tyres a year being used, causing an additional nine million tonnes of CO2 emissions through increased friction on the road and extra tyres being manufactured.
The firm likened changing tyres early to throwing away shoes because they needed to be cleaned, or putting a half full tube of toothpaste in the bin. In addition, Michelin said it could not see a correlation between a decreased tread depth, down to minimum of 1.6mm, and increasing accident rates
However, Continental - a company that has long campaigned for the tread depth limit of tyres to be upped - disagreed with Michelin's views on the grounds of road safety.
"A number of tests over decades proves without a doubt that the wet braking characteristics of summer tyres and the snow grip of winter tyres reduces disproportionately with tread depth of les than 3mm and 4mm respectively," a spokesman for Continental told BusinessCar. "Therefore, for safety reasons, we have been recommending for years to change summer tyres with tread depth of 3mm and winter tyres with tread depth of 4mm."
The spokesman added: "Continental continues to recommend a tyre change before reaching the legally mandated minimum residual tread depth of 1.6mm because the influence of physics on numerous safety-relevant tyre characteristics cannot be denied."
However, the idea of changing tyres at 3mm was branded as "ridiculous" by one fleet manager, with Andy Hyatt, transport and fleet manager at Ashford and St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation, telling BusinessCar he asks the leasing company responsible for his vehicles to swap rubber when 2mm of depth is left "as by the time they've got their stuff together it's down to 1.6mm anyway."
He added that if he were to change tyres at 3mm, 2,000 - 3,000 miles worth of usable read would be wasted and suggested that the legal limit should be upped to 2mm. "At 2mm, people will push their luck and change at 1.6mm. At present people, people chance a change at 1mm and that's dangerous," he added.
Michelin's advice of replacing tyres early goes against that of fast fitter Kwik-Fit too, which earlier this year urged fleets to follow the lead of UK emergency services by changing tyres well before the 1.6mm threshold.
According to results of a Freedom of Information request made by Kwik-Fit, 73% of the UK's police, fire and ambulance services change tyres when between 2.6mm and 3mm worth of tread is left. Of the 95 units that responded to the Fol request, 73% have a formal tyre change policy in place, while the remaining third have an accepted practice on when to switch rubber.
Falken Tyre also advises changes at 3mm. However, Matt Smith, UK director of the company, told BusinessCar tread depth isn't the only thing to take into account when choosing the right time to switch and urged fleets with concerns to visit a tyre centre for a safety inspection. "Tyre safety is not merely about tread depth and consumers need to consider other factors to maintain their safety. These include tyre age, how they are stored and using the appropriate tyres for the vehicle and conditions," he said.
A number of factors need to be considered when deciding to replace tyres, a spokeswoman for Goodyear told BusinessCar, although the company recommended that tyres should be changed when the law dictates.
Michelin conceded, however, that factors other than tread depth play their part and called for an overhaul of the way new tyres are tested in light of its findings.
At present, tyre safety is ranked when the rubber is brand new, but the company called on the industry to conduct tests with worn tyres as well: "There is no consideration given to how their levels of performance will change over time. Michelin is now raising this issue - the fact that the only factor for safety is tyre performance not tread depth. Michelin is calling on industry test bodies and consumer organisations to start comparing and testing tyres when they are worn to the legal limit."

Business Car - June 2017

Issue 271

24th July 2017
Our product is so much safer - Holt JCB fined £67,000 following injury to worker


Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 10:20

JCB dealer prosecuted after vehicle wheel falls on employee resulting in broken bones in his feet

JCB dealers Holt JCB Ltd have been fined after the wheel of an industrial vehicle fell on to one of their workers at a site in Port Talbot, South Wales.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 8 April 2016, an apprentice had been tasked with changing air-filled tyres with foam tyres on a machine intended for use at a recycling site.

While carrying out the changeover, a wheel weighing more than 400kg fell on the man leaving him with broken bones in both feet.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company did not have any handling equipment for wheels, had not assessed the operation and had not trained workers on how to handle wheels.

Holt JCB pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Manual Handling Regulations 1992 and were fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,929.70.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Richardson said: ‘This incident could have been prevented if the company had used a mechanical wheel handler costing less than £700. Measures such as this would have been apparent had the task been properly assessed.’



14th June 2017
Motorists prioritise safety over vanity, says Goodyear


Motorists prioritise safety over vanity, says Goodyear

Tuesday 30th May 2017 | 0 Comments


Drivers chose safety (36 per cent) as the most important reason to have an innovative feature on a car, rather than whether the feature looks good (2 per cent) according to a survey from Goodyear Tyres.

Practicality ranked second highest (34 per cent), whilst vanity dropped to the bottom of the priority list, with just 2 per cent of drivers admitting that having a feature in their car is important to them because it looks good.

1 in 10 (10 per cent) of drivers claim having the latest technology in their car is of most importance to them and when asked to rank features in order of importance, 13 per cent chose their SatNav, 4 per cent opted for cruise control and autonomous capability and 9 per cent admitted they couldn’t live without their Bluetooth device.

With so much hype around new technologies in the motoring world, Goodyear Tyres decided to find out what technological advances are most important to motorists in the UK.

The tyre manufacturer asked drivers to suggest one feature they would invent for their dream car and has combined the suggestions into a full concept vehicle. The result, a fully autonomous concept car, including:

1.     Steering wheel sensors. Monitor driver’s vital health signs and detect any serious decline in health. Car’s autonomous mode takes over and drives to a place of safety when it detects an emergency.

2.     Bio-car. An engine that runs solely on household waste.

3.     Remotely control the entire car from your phone. Features: auto de-frosting windscreen, pre-heated steering wheel, pre-set SatNav.

4.     A car that transforms in to a sleep pod and working space.

5.     Connected car. HUD Wi-Fi connected to the car’s engine management.

6.     Braking related stop lamps. Dimmable to coincide with the pressure applied when stopping.

7.     Eagle-360 tyre. A tyre that has sensors embedded within the rubber to communicate information about the road and weather conditions to the car. In turn, the connected autonomous car could share that info to the cloud and onto other self-driving cars.

Speaking about the concept car, Kate Rock, spokesperson at Goodyear Tyres, comments: “It seems the dreams and wishes of British drivers are not that far away from the realities we are seeing emerge in the automotive world. Perhaps unlike past tastes that focused on how the car looked, todays driver preference appears to focus more on practical and safety features. As cars become increasingly tailored towards the needs of everyday drivers incorporating new technologies, maybe this concept car won’t be that far away from those we will drive in the not too distant future.”



10th April 2017
An interesting read - Top reasons for MOT failure

Scott Hamilton, Managing Director of comments: "Our data shows that the main failure categories are lighting and signalling, including faults such as failed bulbs and misaligned headlights; brakes; tyre damage, as well as tyre wear; drivers view of the road, including windscreen damage, windscreen wiper faults, windscreen washer not working and missing, or faulty mirrors.
"The good news is that our research shows the majority of MOT failures can be fixed quickly and cheaply by motorists, before they book their vehicle in for an MOT. Many of these faults can be picked up by regular maintenance and can be detected by the owner, by a very simple walk-around inspection of the car.
"If motorists take some time to check their vehicle over before undergoing an MOT, they can save money and improve the chance of their vehicle passing first time. However, many of our service providers offer a Vehicle Health Check free of charge. If they tick this option on our site, we can get local service providers to check the vehicle and help increase the chances of passing." now works with 4,000 dealers, garage and workshop partners nationwide. Only Authorised Repairers provide quotes for work, after a thorough vetting process and only genuine parts are used on all customer vehicles. Service books are stamped and a 12 month guarantee on all parts and labour is provided.
Top Reasons for MOT Failure, the UK's leading price comparison site where service providers quote for MOT, has analysed a total of 29,640,484 MOT records from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA - 2015) to identify the reasons for failure for the vehicles undergoing their first MOT.

Reason for Rejection Quantity Percentage
Lamps, Reflectors & Electrical Equipment 80,026 19%
Brakes 59,133 14%
Suspension 53,322 12%
Driver's view of the road 47,662 11%
Tyres 42,193 10%
Exhaust, Fuel & Emissions 32,893 8%
Steering 29,101 7%
Seatbelts & Restraint Systems 22,824 5%
Body Structure & General Items 22,566 5%
Reg Plates & VINs 17,655 4%
Road Wheels 10,520 2%
Items not tested 8,812 2%
Towbars 2,827 1%
Driving Control and Speed Limiters 206 0%

27th March 2017
Tyresafe launch a new campaign to remind drivers to be tyre safe when driving with children

TyreSafe, the UK's tyre safety charity, is launching a new awareness campaign aimed at all those who drive with children on board; Child Care - Tyre Care.

Children can clock up around three hours a week in the car with their parents and around 96 hours per year with grandparents at the wheel. Friends, childminders and guardians may also be regularly transporting kids of all ages to nursery, school, clubs, parties and other activities.

Worryingly, more than one in four carers may be driving with illegal or poorly maintained tyres.

With the message ‘Child care - Tyre care' the posters, leaflets and animation advise how drivers can carry out general tyre maintenance themselves. Alternatively, drivers can ask a tyre professional to ensure their tyres' air pressure, condition and tread depth are safe and legal.

The Home Safely on Safe Tyres campaign highlights the importance of tyres in keeping drivers and their young passengers safe while on the roads. It also emphasises to all drivers entrusted with child care that it is their responsibility to check the condition of their car's tyres.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: "With child care responsibilities spread among different people, many of whom will be driving their young charges to and fro, it's important that everyone in that care network regularly makes sure their car's tyres are safe.

"Car tyres are the only part of the car in contact with the road, which makes their maintenance essential for road safety. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or guardian, checking your tyres once a month is crucial for keeping yourself and your passengers safe on the road. Let's make sure we get them home safely on safe tyres."

Check out the full article on the TyreSafe website

1st March 2017
Air-Seal Products keeps Rosie puncture free!

In March 2015 we posted news of Mike DeNoma's 352 mile trek in the 6633 Ultra race, using a bespoke buggy designed and built by SJH Projects. A few months earlier a Pembrokeshire grandmother Rosie Swale Pope began a solo run across the United States of America globe to raise awareness of cancer with a similar buggy, also installed with Air-Seal Products tyre sealant.

Now aged 70, Rosie Swale Pope has completed the solo run, which took the former yachtswoman from Tenby over two years to complete.

27th February 2017
Air-Seal Products wins again!

Paul Severn races in the SXS championship, these are Polaris type buggies on steroids.
As you can imagine with the type of ground these buggies are raced over they are prone to picking up punctures.
Paul approached us looking for a solution to stop any punctures and to keep him on track to win the championship in the 1000cc class.
Having successfully installed our sealant Paul finished the last race of the season puncture free and indeed won his class and the overall championship.

Paul is now looking to this season to install further product in at least 18 wheels now he has advanced to the next class of racing.
We at Air-Seal products wish Paul all the best for this year and the season ahead.


9th January 2006
Increase in tyre prices - we can decrease your tyre cost

Several leading tyre manufacturers have just increased their prices by up to 10% and also limited production of larger tyre sizes are resulting in a delayed delivery.

Use our tyre sealants and we can increase the tyre life by up to 20% and save you from replacement costs for your existing and new tyres.

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