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Van / Light Commercial

van tyresLets start with one of the growing sectors of commercial ownership, the motor home user.

Recommendations

Since 2003, the ETRTO has recommended that tyres produced especially to fit motor homes be marked CP as opposed to C for van tyres. The use of metal valves is strongly recommended.

Because of the way they are used, motor homes should always use the specified tyres.

Check the tyre pressure at least once a month and before a long journey! If the vehicle is parked for a long time, do not leave the tyres under-inflated, always make sure the pressures are correct before moving off again. The biggest destroyer of motor home tyres is UV radiation, e.g. from sunlight and being left outside all year round.

Have the condition of the sidewalls and tread, valves and rims checked before the travelling season starts. The maximum load of the tyre must not, for any reason, be increased above its limit ie the tyres load rating must be respected.

Inflation with nitrogen does not eliminate the need for frequent checks of tyres pressure and overall condition.

How to tell the white van man what tyres to fit? Would I even try to go there, do I value my life trying to contradict the opinions of the road warrior, opinions carved into his brain through thousands of road miles and many pints of larger over the weekends. Now for the rest of you, those who don’t profess to know it all, a little bit of information is not a dangerous thing.

Probably the most important bit of tyre sidewall information for White van man is Load index as this tells him that the tyre he is using is up to the job of carrying the load he has on board safely and he has a allowance made for a little extra. If yes, then the law or the roads should not be a problem for him. Cheap tyres then will only give him bad mileage and grip, oh and something to moan about. Better tyres on the other hand while they will cost a little more initially will return more savings in the long run in the form of mileage, grip, braking, less road noise and an overall safer driving experience with less frustration and a happier van man.

Winter tyres are also available for most popular vans and commercials and where temperatures drop consistently below 7C fitting of winter tyres is advisable and in some countries its the law that they must be fitted by a certain date. All tyre companies recommend that you fit a complete set of cold weather tyres. Fitting only one axle with cold weather tyres could give rise to poor vehicle stability as the standard tyres will slide more easily.

The ambient temperature has an effect on the inflation pressure of tyres. The lower the temperature drops, the lower the measured pressure will become. To compensate for this we inflate the cold tyre pressure by 3psi. As tyres constitute the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road, extra care should be taken to ensure all aspects of the tyres life are covered i.e proper fitting and removal, has the valve been replaced, has the wheel been balanced, has a valve cap been fitted and has it been inflated to your correct pressure.

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