Overloading your vehicle, be it a car, van or truck, has exactly the same effects as under-inflating the tyres.
Recently, we have seen a glut of vehicles, particularly vans, coming in with tyres worn on the outside edges – suggesting that they’re under-inflated. Checking the pressures, we’ve found that they aren’t technically under-inflated but are under-inflated for the weight they are carrying. Poorly distributed weight in a van can also cause this.
Michelin, being Michelin, recommend that drivers check their pressures once a month. Clearly, this is overkill. They do, however, accurately point out some of the problems that under-inflation can cause other than tyre wear:
Road holding – under-inflated tyres reduce road holding capacity significantly. A corner that could be taken at 62MPH with a tyre pressure of 29PSI could only be taken at 54MPH at 15PSI.
Aqua Planning – this is far more likely to happen with under-inflated tyres.
Braking – tyres under-inflated by 15PSI can increase braking distances by 5 metres.
Fuel Consumption – 15PSI under-inflated tyres could increase fuel consumption by 6%.
It’s also an offence which could get you fined up to £2,500 for tyres being significantly under-inflated.
We recommend that van drivers put an extra 5 or 10PSI of pressure in their tyres to compensate for extra load. All drivers should keep their eyes out for tyres looking squashy and for signs of wear on the outside edges.