If you drive a van, the chances are the van drives your business. If your company owns one or more vans, you’ll already be aware of how important these workhorses are for enabling your business to work smoothly. You’ll also know that it’s vital to keep them well maintained throughout the year, since any downtime will affect productivity, and potentially customer satisfaction. The condition of your van directly effects your bottom line.
Which is why our latest article takes a look at a very important aspect of maintaining your working vehicle: van tyres. Why? Simply because if you choose the right van tyres (no matter if you have just one vehicle, or a fleet of them) they can not only boost your business’ productivity but – over time – help to reduce downtime and running costs.
Your vans needs special tyres
Known in the automotive business as “light commercial vehicles”, vans are rightly respected as the ultimate versatile workhorse. Not only are they capable of carrying weighty, cumbersome loads, there are many variants and conversion options for almost every conceivable business requirement.
The standard panel van base model can be adapted for so many requirements, including from on-road refrigerators to mobile police cells. And no matter the usage, the one thing they all have in common is that these vehicles don’t just sit around on driveways looking pretty. The hard working van is out on the road – pretty much all the time.
So, when it comes to van tyres, what do you need to bear in mind before you make your final purchasing decision? Working with Continental Tyres – one of the world’s leading premium van tyre manufacturers – we’ve put together five essential things to consider.
1. Managing heavy, uneven loads
While it’s true that fitting bulkheads and load straps will help to stop your van’s cargo from moving uncontrollably, an issue arises if the driver has to do a lot of deliveries throughout the day. Cargo can end up being unevenly distributed, or simply too heavy in the first place. No matter the situation, cargo weight and its distribution throughout the van will affect the vehicle’s handling. And while an experienced driver may be able to feel and compensate for it, ultimately it’s the tyres that will keep the van on the road.
This is why the tyres’ structural strength is so important. For best results, choose radial tyres, because these are reinforced with “plies” for extra strength – belted layers of polyester and steel. Depending on your van, and the heaviest expected payloads you’re moving, opt for either 6 or 8-ply radial tyres.
2. Tyre safety means driver safety
No matter what type of vehicle you’re driving, moments will arise when you have to slam on your brakes and stop quickly, safely. On dry roads this shouldn’t typically be a problem, but if the road is wet – quite a common occurrence given the British weather – the quality of your tyres will be the difference between braking safely or having a collision.
That’s why choosing well-designed tyres that are built with high-quality compounds will allow you to grip wet roads better. It’s this grip that provides drivers with shorter stopping distances, and minimises the chances of aquaplaning.
But if you’re driving a van, you also need to factor in heavy, often uneven loads, all of which will affect braking in wet weather conditions. Fitting good tyres to your van – like those made by Continental – could make a significant difference in situations like this, helping you to protect not only your employees and other road users, but your cargo too. Consider Continental’s Vanco™ Contact 2 tyres.
3. Getting better fuel economy
Even if you’re self-employed and only run a single van, the chances are that it’s out all day racking up the miles. Your fuel costs are important to your bottom line, and tyres play a significant role in minimising this expense. That’s why it’s worth considering tyres with low rolling resistance, which can contribute to saving money of fuel, like Continental’s Vanco™ Eco.
4. Reduce your tyre wear rate
While it’s obviously tempting to fit less expensive tyres, this is a short-term view that could ultimately end up costing you more over time. Why? Because cheaper tyres – with their low-grade compounds – don’t last as long as those that premium tyres are made from (when compared to an exact like-for-like driving experience). And this wear issue is exacerbated by the high mileage vans go through year round, resulting in a double-whammy:
- Quicker wear means more frequent tyre changes and administrative hassle, resulting in
- Increased vehicle downtime, and that equates to lower productivity.
5. Coping with winter and keeping your business going
Do you know what winter tyres actually are, and why they should be fitted? Most UK van owners haven’t even heard of them, and many that have mistakenly believe they’re for driving in snowy conditions. While it’s true that winter tyres do provide better grip when there’s snow on the ground, it’s not actually the main reason for fitting them.
In fact winter tyres are designed for use when the weather gets cold – at 7°C or below. That’s why drivers on mainland Europe switch their tyres at the start of the winter season – so that they have much better grip in the cold.
Winter tyres are made from a different type of compound to those used for summer tyres. They’re made from are more malleable material, which makes them much better at gripping cold, wet roads when the temperature has dropped – something all British drivers can relate to following the winter we’ve experienced so far.
And – just occasionally – when it does snow in the UK, even a light smattering is enough to send the country into chaos, with everything coming to a sudden halt. Unfortunately, the summer tyres most people use all year round just can’t provide the grip needed to drive safely when it has snowed. But with winter tyres, drivers can usually carry on safely, or at least travel to safety.
With winter temperatures forecast to fall again, as well as an increased chance of snow, vans fitted with winter tyres are going to fare much better than those that aren’t. It’s why winter tyres are especially important for businesses that need to remain mobile, no matter the weather.
And then there’s tyre pressures to consider
If your tyres are going to perform at their best you’ll need to ensure that you regularly check and (if appropriate) adjust their pressures. If the pressures are too low, your tyres will wear down much faster, and this will result in you using much more fuel than you need to. There’s also the risk of destabilising your vehicle, which will make it noticeably harder to control when braking, and when you take corners. To help ensure that your van stays on the road, try to maintain the correct tyre pressures, and remember to adjust them when carrying heavy, full loads.
Premium van tyres
Premium tyre manufacturer, Continental, provide van drivers with an unrivalled range of high quality tyres. With their huge investment in research and development, van drivers know they’re buying a quality product that’s designed to not only last but keep them and their cargo safe.
Speak to Asda Tyres for professional van tyre advice
With so many important factors to consider when choosing tyres for your van or van fleet – such as payload, mileage, terrain and vehicle usage – it makes sense to seek impartial, expert advice from trusted tyre professionals. Contact Asda Tyres before your next commercial vehicle tyres purchase, and we’ll help you find the right ones for your needs. Click here to live chat to one of our experts, or to find your nearest fitting station.