According to the Road Haulage Association, around 240,000 vehicles are now parked up in Great Britain with no work due to the high number of factory and store closures because of the coronavirus fight. This means that 46 per cent of the UK’s trucks don’t travel every day, as they would normally do.
Michelin has issued special guidance for haulage companies and own-account operators, parking fleets for extended periods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
No tyre is designed to carry the weight of a parked truck or trailer indefinitely, so it’s essential operators follow guidance to ensure vehicles can be quickly returned to service when freight volumes return to normal, and without the need to replace tyres unnecessarily.” – said Rob Blurton, Michelin’s most senior technical field engineer in the UK and Ireland.
Preparing vehicles – 14psi is a key measure
To prepare a vehicle for extended parking, Blurton advises all tyres should be inspected for visible damage (such as cuts or bulges) and abnormal wear, and cold tyre inflation pressures checked for all tyre positions.
If the pressure checks reveal tyres under-inflated by up to 14psi, check for any visible cause and if nothing is found, the tyre should be inflated to the recommended level following the standard methods of safe working. If under-inflated by more than 14psi, arrange for the tyre to be demounted and inspect the interior for signs of internal damage, such as mottling and creasing. If mounted in a twinned configuration, the twinned assembly should also be demounted and inspected. Operators should also ensure each valve is fitted with an appropriate valve cap.
During extended parking
Every four months a vehicle should be driven around the yard where possible – or if space is at a premium and assets cannot be moved, the tyres should be rotated a quarter turn. However, before any truck or trailer is moved, check visually for signs of under-inflation and if a tyre is deemed to require attention, follow the same guidance as previously stated.
Re-entry into service
Before commissioning any vehicle back into operation, check the cold tyre inflation pressure of all tyres and adjust in line with the tyre manufacturer’s guidance.
The very notion of parking assets for extended periods is unfamiliar for most operators, with the exception perhaps of heritage vehicles and those used seasonally, such as gritters and snow ploughs. However, these are important steps and will help to protect the condition of the tyres and ensure they remain ready to get back to work.” – Blurton says commenting on the advice.