How To Buy Tyres For Your Van
When your van needs its tyres replaced, it can sometimes be a bit daunting choosing from the vast range of options available. Whilst some tyres are designed to improve fuel economy or comfort while on the road, others will be useful at maintaining a heavy load. No matter what purpose your van is for it’s important to understand how to select the best van tyres, so here’s a guide to help you get started:
When To Replace Van Tyres
It is essential to check tyres on a periodic basis in order to keep your van safe and roadworthy at all times. The key things to look out for when checking your tyres are making sure that any wear on the tyre isn’t uneven, that all your tyres are pumped with air to the right capacity, or generally for anything that appears to be out of the ordinary, such as bulges or cracks.
It’s also important to ensure that your tyre tread doesn’t get too low. If the tread has worn down past where it should be, the handling of the vehicle can potentially be less responsive. This can lead to a delayed stopping time and severely reduce any grip control. Ensure that your tyres have a tread of at least 1.6 mm around to be considered legal, as anything less than 3 mm may not be safe.
Here’s a more exhaustive guide to the current law regarding car tyres.
What To Consider?
The first thing to consider is whether your vans/van was bought new or used. If a vehicle was new, it may be best to buy the same brand of tyre that are presently used on your van, however if you’ve decided you want to start looking into a different brand or variety, there are a few things to think about.
Ideally all four tyres on your van should match, in order to maintain the best handling and the safest ride. This means that when replacing one or two tyres, they should always be identical to the other set. If all tyres need to be replaced, it’s only then that a different brand or variety could be used.
As tyres can be very expensive, it’s important to know that a high priced tyre doesn’t necessarily mean best value. It’s true that a more costly tyre may actually last longer and increase fuel efficiency in the long term, however if you’re on a budget, a partially used tyre in an excellent condition could actually work out as better value for your van. It’s always best to shop around before deciding.
What Do Tyre Labels Mean?
To make things easier when purchasing your new van tyres, there has been a label system put into place. This is especially helpful to fleet members who make tyre purchase decisions on a regular basis for numerous vehicles. To help raise fuel economy and lower environmental emissions, the EU tyre labelling rules offer a great deal of information regarding the performance of individual tyres. It’s a useful tool to help select the correct tyres for a specific vehicle and a great way to compare various patterns and brands so be sure to make use of it.
Tyres are rated to show how fuel efficient they will be for your vehicle, for example, a tyre with an ‘A-rating’ will be most fuel efficient, whereas a tyre with a G-rating will be least efficient.
Noise tends to be rated using bars. One bar signals a quiet ride so it’s best to look out for these designs when choosing for your own van. As well as quiet tyres, labels also display a rating for wet grip. A-rated tyres will brake best in wet road conditions, whereas G-rated tyres will have a longer braking distance.
Damage That Can Occur With The Wrong Van Tyre
Changing tyres means considering size. A tyre must be able to hold the weight of the van, as well as any heavy cargo it might be carrying, so it’s never wise to under size.
Heavy loads will place a greater demand on your van’s tyres so important to get the specifications right. Most manufacturers specify reinforced tyres as without the extra support, the tyres may heat to an unsafe temperature and are more susceptible to failure. Here’s a load index to help you out too.
A tyres size will have more of an impact on your van than changing its height. Buying a tyre that is too large for your vehicle may make your speedometer read slower and vice versa if you purchased a tyre too small for your van. It may also lead to a false increase or decrease in odometer mileage overtime.
Besides the overall size, tyre diameter is also important. To maintain accurate speed, a van’s tyre should be within a three percent diameter of an original tyre. Using an over sized tyre with a tall diameter may cause a slightly slower rotation and slower speed and using a low profile tyre with short diameter, could cause the tyre to rotate faster and increase speed. This, in time, could potentially cause a problem with the van’s calibration and anti-lock brake system. It also may hamper the ability to prevent skidding.
The difference between car tyres and van tyres
Buying van tyres is similar to buying car tyres, in that both come in a wide variety of brands and a range of sizes, however cars tend to be a lot more forgiving than vans overall. Vans lead a much harder lifestyle transporting heavier loads and carrying out multiple drop offs. They also experience longer drives and tougher environments such as building sites, whilst sitting within tight regulations to not compromise safety or performance. Cars on the other hand deal with much lighter loads in smaller distances and most likely would leave you in a better situation with accidents in the snow
or through aquaplaning.
Therefore buying tyres for a van shouldn’t really be approached in the same way and in the end, understanding the best tyres to buy will not only help you increase handling and fuel efficiency on your journeys, but it’ll also keep you and others safe on the road.
Laura writes for The Van Discount Company who sell a wide range of vans, including specialised vehicles such as curtain side vans for sale and top selling brands like Vauxhall vans, Renault traffic vans and Ford vans. They also provide low rate van finance options.
10 Nov 2016