Damage and Wear
Tyres can suffer from damage and premature wear for a variety of reasons. Below are some of the most common types found on van tyres.
In this condition, the tyre will be showing more signs of wear on the shoulders compared with the centre of the tread. This is likely to have been caused by either under-inflation or overloading and can significantly increase the chances of suffering a sudden rapid deflation. When under-inflated, excessive heat builds up within the tyre, especially on long or high-speed journeys, causing the tyre to fail. You should try to find the cause of under-inflation and resolve it. Start by checking the pressure, then look for any punctures, faulty valve caps or faulty valve stems.
Tyres suffering from this condition will show wear that is more pronounced in the centre of the tread compared with the shoulders and is likely to be caused by over-inflation. The tyre pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold and adjusted to the correct levels using an accurate gauge.
Impact / pinching
In this condition, the tyre may not show any signs of impact damage on the sidewall such as cuts or grazes, but will have a localised bulge or blister on the sidewall. This is usually a serious deformity which occurs because of an accidental rupture to one or more cords in the casing ply. This may have been caused by a severe impact with an obstacle such as a kerb, pot hole or stone, or through the sidewall being pinched between the rim and an obstacle. This type of damage is most likely to occur when the tyre is under-inflated or the van is overloaded.
The cords of the tyre may become exposed through cuts or other damage. If the cords can be seen then the tyre is both unsafe and illegal and must be changed immediately. When checking the sidewalls to inspect for damage, drivers should remember to make all efforts to inspect the inner sidewall of the tyre as well as this may also be suffering damage.
Download our handy guide to Van tyre safety (PDF, 500k)