Bus tyre: Safety, care & maintenance essentials

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Bus tyre is designed differently than conventional cars to cope with the payload of the vehicle thereby installing the usual car tyres on bigger/commercial buses compromises safety to a great extent.

Tyres on buses and lighter commercial vehicles are built for a hard life, carry heavy load and manage multiple drops. In short, they’re made for tough working environment such as construction sites. As a critical vehicle component, its important carrying regular checks on vehicles to ensure tyres are safe and legal. Check out a few care and maintenance essentials for a bus tyre!

Minimum tread depth

When tread depth’s a concern, laws subjected for buses and LCVs are similar to the usual cars according to which minimum 1.6mm tread across the three quarters around the entire tyre’s circumference is crucial. Proper maintenance is critical for the stability and safety of the vehicle as well as driver thereby ensuring effectiveness of the brake, manoeuvrability and speed. Tyres also affect the vehicle’s suspension system to safely carry the load so that’s another reason to ensure they remain in perfect shape.

Basic assessment like correct inflation mightn’t sound much but enough to make a bigger difference. This is because pressurised air inside the bus tyre would support vehicle’s weight and commercial load. Tyre tread depth for such vehicles are heavier than normal cars vital for overall safety. The additional weight also increases the stopping distance so it should meet safe and legal standards.

The specific requirements

It’s obvious that normal car tyres aren’t for buses and larger commercial vehicles. If you’re at a doubt, better consult a tyre veteran or retailer who’s likely to recommend the most appropriate tyre as per the vehicle’s built and technical specifications.

Tyre condition

Valves must remain clean off dirt, dust and grit whereas the valve caps must fit appropriately to each wheel. Carefully inspect the wheels to remove stones and other objects that might’ve embedded in the tread. Especially eye for possible bulges, lumps or cuts at the tread and sidewalls. Steering alignment must be adjusted if front tyres indicate uneven or excessive wear.

Pressure

As buses frequently carry heavier load, proper inflation and pressure is critical. Similarly, an under or overinflated tyre heats up quicker which increases the likelihood of rapid deflation or imminent burst in worst-case scenario. Such tyre failure pose a major risk causing the driver to lose control as well as put other motorists at peril.

Maintenance tips

  • Use an accurate and reliable pressure gauge to check bus tyre pressure at-least once a month or before taking a long trip.
  • Make sure the pressure and tread depth is according to the manufacturer’s recommendation to carry the load appropriately.
  • Carefully monitor pressure only when the tyres are cold as well as travelled less than two miles.
  • In case of any confusion or uncertainness, take the vehicle to an approved fitting centre and consult with experts.

Conclusion

Tyres are important for overall safety of vehicle, driver and other motorists as defective or underinflated wheels contributes to fatal injury and even deaths.