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Essential tyre advice for van owners


Businesses of all sizes around the world – from one man bands to multinationals – rely heavily on vans. It’s little wonder that there are more and more of them on the roads every day – including yours.

And if you happen to be a small business owner, you probably agree that it’s your van that drives your enterprise forward. Mobility is key to keeping your business going, and driving profits forward. Your van is essential for increasing productivity, and ensuring your customers are satisfied. Making sure your van – or as is sometimes the case, vans – stay on the road is of vital importance to you and your business.

And the key to avoiding downtime – that annoying period of time when your van or vans are in the workshop – is vehicle maintenance. You get that, sure. But have you given enough thought to your van tyres, and the critical role they play in keeping you on the road?

In our latest tyre advice article, the Protyre team help you gain a better understanding of just how crucial the choice you make about the tyres you fit on your vehicles really is, because what you end up deciding influences a lot more than you might at first imagine. Read on.

All vans need to be fitted with specialist tyres

Vans – AKA LCVs, or light commercial vehicles –  are the ultimate in versatility. Not only is the standard panel van capable of carrying awkward, heavy loads, they also serve as the base model for endless vehicle variants and conversions for every conceivable business need. What unites them all is that these vehicles don’t just sit around all day on driveways, looking pretty. No, they’re out and about on the UK’s roads, typically working all day every day. As a consequence, that means your van will rack up very high mileage – and with that, a lot of demands on its tyres.

Working with Continental, one of the world’s leading premium tyre manufacturers, we’ve compiled a list of five essential insights that van owners need to consider when buying new tyres for their vehicles.

Knowing what you want will determine what you really need

How and what you typically use your van for will determine what sort of tyres you need to purchase. Factors like your average payload, how far you usually travel, whether your drive often means travelling on uneven or unpaved roads (such as building sites, for example) and what level of comfort you need should all influence your decision making.

Fitting suitable tyres that match how your vehicle is typically used means your van will perform at its optimum best. Not only that, you’ll be safer too, and – crucially for small business finances – you’ll end up spending less overall on tyres, as well as minimising tyre-related downtime.

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Make sure your tyres have enough structural strength

Sounds obvious, but though they may look similar, van tyres are not the same as car tyres. They differ in a number of ways, primarily because van tyres are designed to carry much heavier loads, run at higher inflation pressures, and to generally be more robust. And as a result, there are different types of tyres available to choose from, providing van owners with varying load carrying capabilities.

Firstly, there are van tyres described as Extra Load (XL) or Reinforced (RF). These are based on car tyres, but have been reinforced so that they can carry heavier loads, and run at higher inflation pressures. Alternatively, there are tyres designated as ‘C’, specifically designed for use on vans and light trucks. These tyres have been specially developed to carry far heavier loads, and can also be used in twin fitments.

Whichever van tyres you choose, it’s always wise to make sure you check the manufacturer recommendations for your vehicle, consider your van’s usage, and ensure the tyres you select are definitely fit for purpose.

Choosing the right tyres will help keep you and your van safe

There’s no denying it. No matter what vehicle you’re driving – car or van – there will always be times when you need to slam on the brakes quickly and stop safely. And while this isn’t usually an issue if the road’s dry (unless you’re tailgating), if it’s wet when you’re driving – not an uncommon phenomenon on UK roads – the quality of your tyres can make a critical difference.

Premium van tyres – a good example of which is the ContiVanContact™ 200 from Continental – are manufactured from high quality advanced compounds, and have specially designed tread patterns that offer superior grip on wet roads. Crucially, better grip means shorter stopping distances and a lower risk of aquaplaning, whatever light commercial vehicle you’re driving. It’s indisputable that choosing a tyre with the best wet braking rating significantly improves your driver safety. Click the button below to search through Protyre's wide range of Van Tyres.

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Now factor in heavy, often uneven loads, and you can see why fitting the best tyres for your van could make all the difference in wet, rainy weather conditions. Premium van tyres will not only help protect you, your employees, and other road users, they also help ensure the safety of your vehicle and cargo too.

Fuel costs can be reduced by fitting low rolling resistance tyres

Even if you’re only running one van, the chances are it’s still out all day, racking up high mileage. Whether you’re running a fleet of vans or just one, the fact remains that the tyres you choose can contribute to the amount you have to spend on fuel. And while this may not be significant for an occasional car driver, the savings for commercial van owners add up fast.

And with the UK government’s continued drive towards tougher environmental legislation, reducing your fuel consumption will also make a difference to your CO2 emissions. Simply put, with low rolling resistance tyres it’s win-win, as you’ll emit less and reduce your spending on fuel too. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, consider tyres with low rolling resistance, like Continental’s Vanco™ Eco.

Avoid short term ‘savings’ and benefit from long term gains

At Protyre we know it’s tempting to take the short term view, ‘save’ a little money, and fit cheaper tyres. After all, in some cases you can save between 50-60% on the purchase price. But there’s a catch. When compared for exact like for like usage, budget tyres are not likely to last as long as premium tyres, and may even fail prematurely if used in really demanding circumstances.

Premium van tyres – like the ContiVanContact™ 100 – often have specially developed hard-wearing tread, a strong and robust carcass, and highly reinforced sidewalls. The inclusion of a “scuff rib” on the sidewall of the tyre provides even more durability, since it protects the tyre from kerbing damage.

And with the high mileage you typically put your van through each year, fitting cheap, inadequate tyres can have a double negative effect on your costs:

  • More frequent tyre changes and administrative hassle

  • More ‘off the road’ downtime, which means lower productivity

For expert van tyres advice, speak with Protyre

Continental offer a wide range of high quality tyres for all types of vans and light commercial vehicles – from the ContiVanContact 100 and 200, to the Vanco Eco, Vanco 2 and the Vanco Contact. With their continued investment in tyre research and development, you know you’re also buying into a highly engineered product that’s designed to last, help you save money on fuel, keep your van on the road longer, and – above all else – keep you, your drivers, your cargo, and your fellow motorists safer.

But with so many factors to consider – like payload, mileage, terrain and vehicle usage to consider – it’s makes sense to get advice from a trusted tyre expert, like Protyre. If you’re unsure of which tyres to fit on your van, contact your local tyre professionals today. We’ll provide you with impartial advice about van tyre safety, tyre fitting services, and more.

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About the author

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By Adam White
Adam looks to create engaging and informative content across the website that provides consumers with expert advice on MOTs, servicing, vehicle maintenance and tyre care. As a motorsport enthusiast, Adam enjoys documenting the Protyre Motorsport team’s involvement in major motorsport events across the UK.
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