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Any fleet manager will tell you that apart from fuel costs, insufficient tyre maintenance accounts for the greatest operating expense. According to the latest research by the TMC ( The Tyre Maintenance Council), a tyre under-inflated by as little as 10%, will have its tread life reduced by up to 15%. You do the math - that’s a good R150 loss on every R1000-tyre. Not to mention the dangers of badly inflated tyres. Under-inflated tyres run primarily on the edges which causes uneven wear and ultimately weaker response times for steering, braking and accelerating. It is the leading cause of all tyre failure related accidents.When deflation drops below the 20% level, mileage (tyre wear) is reduced by as much as 30%, fuel consumption increases by 3% and over-flexing of the sidewall produces excess friction between the metal strands and surrounding rubber. This can generate enough heat to create heavy air-loss at least and a blowout at worst.

Alternatively, over-inflated tyres cause excess road contact in the centre of the tyre and the reduced traction also causes steering and breaking problems as wells as increased wear on the vehicle’s suspension. Altogether, incorrect tyre pressure causes nearly 80% of all tyre failure accidents and is responsible for 75% of all blowout-accidents

A properly inflated tyre wears evenly across the surface providing maximum traction and control. And you’ll save money with the prolonged tyre-life.



“You can hardly put a price to the excessive losses incurred during down-time,” explains Ronald Derbyshire who is responsible for managing Denron’s huge industrial fleet. “A flat tyre on a big truck costs you at least an hour or two, that’s R400 or more a shot. And it’s much more on the earth moving equipment. You must remember, when one of the front line machines grinds to a halt, everything else also comes to a standstill. The whole production line stops. Work out the losses on that one.”

And that’s without all the “hidden costs”. As Ronald explains, his trucks don’t carry spares for security reasons so when there’s a flat tyre, he has to bring in another R4000 wheel from the depot with a bakkie/pic-up – another two hours lost together with the transport costs. “At first I thought this stuff was expensive until I made some sums and saw how much it saves you on downtime..

It’s a one hundred present improvement,” he laughs.



Many people don’t realize that air can escape through the miniscule pores of a rubber tyre. Tyres are made up of variety of elements compounded by heat. The intense friction caused by contact with the road and subsequent re-introduction of this heat level causes a disintegration of the various elements the tyre is made of. Air then escapes from these molecular fractures created in the rubber compound. PS2 was specifically designed to not allow any air to escape through the pores in rubber tyres.



Remember – heavy-duty tyres are subjected to roughly 300 revolutions per km which allows for a tyre to press down onto the tarmac some thirty million times every 100 000kms (some 33 return trips from Johannesburg to Cape Town). It is imperative that those moments of contact occur evenly and consistently so the tyre can maintain the same shape throughout its life. Even slightly worn treads could make a decisive difference. A mere 30kPa variation in a dual tire assembly creating only a 21mm difference in circumference, will cause the “smaller” tyre to be dragged along by the larger one for an astonishing 3.9 metres of every kilometer traveled. And a 30kPa deflation is easily incurred. Wheel pressure even on a stationary vehicle can drop that much in a month.



A recent survey shows that as much as 30% of South African truck drivers rely on inadequate garage facilities to pump their tyres even though most garages are not equipped with strong enough compressors. As much as 85% of them didn’t know the correct tyre pressure for their vehicle. Many maintenance managers and crew members will happily send off a tyre inflated at 630kPa that should be pumped at 700kPa. It’s like burning money. But even if you have a particularly astute manager, it’s difficult to check on the state of the tyres if the vehicle is pushing an 18hour shift.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 06 April 2015 17:22 )