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13th April 2018
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Don't deflate the van tyres for winter
Van users are being advised not to follow outdated advice on winter driving. Steve Clarke says: "There is a long-held view that reducing tyre pressures will increase grip on awkward surfaces. This might be all right for driving over desert sand, but it is certainly not safe for winter driving." As marketing manager for The Fuelcard People, part of Fuel Card Group, he has been working with van users for years and knows the challenges they face.
"Some drivers believe that reducing tyre pressure increases traction," said Steve Clarke. "It simply is not true, unless temperatures fall far below anything we might expect in Britain. Instead, compression just means that the tyre is sitting on a larger layer of melted ice or snow, increasing the likelihood of sliding, skidding and aquaplaning. As any of the motoring organisations will readily confirm, best practice for winter driving is to ensure that tyres are always inflated according to manufacturers' recommendations."
He points out that, apart from the safety implications, having correctly inflated tyres can cut fuel consumption by as much as 3%. The Fuelcard People suggests that this should head any list of winter driving advice for van users to follow.
"The little things become more important when it is cold, dark and wet," said Steve Clarke. He recommends checking the level and concentration of screenwash, to ensure that cooling systems are topped up with anti-freeze, and having vans' electrics checked.
"At this time of year," he adds, "it makes sense to carry a can of de-icer and a scraper. You might have the van under cover overnight, but can you guarantee the same protection wherever you park during the day? You should already be carrying a first aid kit, but throw a blanket, some bottles of water and a few long-life snacks into the cab. Overworked recovery services will take longer to reach you, so you might even want to include a book for while you are awaiting rescue."
The Fuelcard People, part of The Fuel Card Group, deals with the concerns of fleet managers every day. It helps them with emissions monitoring and fleet management, as well as finding them the best refuelling deals through a range which includes commercial rate fuel cards valid at BP, Co-Op, Emo, Esso, Gulf, Shell, Texaco, Q8, Jet, Gulf, Spot, Murco, Morrisons, Tesco, Pace and Moto filling stations, as well as on the Diesel Direct (Keyfuels), MyFuel and UK Fuels networks.
6th December 2013