With spring having arrived and the end of the year in sight, many families will already be thinking about annual holidays and getting planning underway. Those with a plan will also be thinking about the way they will get to their holiday destinations and about the family car that will get them there safely.
One of the most vital parts of the car is undoubtedly the tyres. It is these four items that literally carry the load – the weight of the car, the holiday gear and the family. It is also often the last thing consumers want to spend money on just before a big family holiday.
The minimum legal tread depth on South African tyres is one millimetre across the entire circumference of the tyre. Spots on a tyre could wear down un-evenly so the tread in some places could be over one millimetre and other places it could be less than one millimetre, depending where you measure it. It is extremely important to check if your tyres meet the legal requirements of thread depth. Unfortunately, this small safety margin is one that is often ignored by up to 40% of all South African drivers, probably because of the cost involved in replacing tyres, something that is not often budgeted for, says Standard Bank UCount Rewards programme and their partners in road safety, Tiger Wheel & Tyre.
Joe du Plooy of Tiger Wheel & Tyre, points out that the risk of travelling with worn tyres can be magnified by the costs which could be incurred if a driver is even involved in just a minor bumper bashing.
“Insurance assessors can reject a claim if tyres are worn on the basis that a vehicle is not roadworthy. A motorist could therefore find himself having to pay for the damage incurred on two vehicles. The potential cost of an event of this nature should be considered against the cost of buying tyres when a driver notices that the tread on the tyres are becoming worn.”
“Standard Bank acknowledges that tyres are one of the main components required for a roadworthy vehicle. It can also be a costly exercise and an added expense, often not budgeted for. It is for this reason that UCount Rewards have joined forces with Tiger Wheel & Tyre says Fayelizabeth Foster, Head of UCount Rewards at Standard Bank.
“We believe that by swiping a qualifying Standard Bank personal debit, cheque or credit card at our Participating Rewards Retailer, Tiger Wheel & Tyre, our members can collect rewards points on your purchases at Tiger Wheel & Tyre which allows for a saving and help reduce the cost of keeping their car tyres in good condition. Our members can also redeem their rewards points at Tiger Wheel & Tyres. We believe that a safe car is a gift that benefits the entire family, especially when the family car tackles the long road to holiday destinations.”
Before embarking on your holiday, Tiger Wheel & Tyre recommends that the following checks be conducted to ensure safe motoring:
- Tyres including the spare tyre should always be inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Over-inflated tyres erode quickly at their centre, while under-inflated tyres wear quicker on the outsides. Under-inflated tyres also overheat easily and can cause tyre bursts, leading to road fatalities.
- Wheel balancing and alignment should take place every 10 000 kms, after you hit a pothole or obstacle or before every major trip. This not only improves the handling of your car, but also extends the tread life of your tyres.
- Consider filling your tyres with nitrogen instead of air. With nitrogen, tyres run cooler, which means they last longer. Tyres running on nitrogen don’t lose pressure as quickly as tyres inflated with air. Inflating your tyres with nitrogen can extend tyre life by up to 20%.
- Heavy loads put extra strain on your tyres, so if your car is jam-packed with luggage, make sure you increase the tyre pressure. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended tyre pressures for “heavy loads” before you pack your car.