3mm or 1.6mm?

3mm or 1.6mm?

In the majority of the European countries, the minimum legal tread depth for the summer season is 1.6mm. Most fleets are adopting a best industry practice and replace the tyres at 3mm. The question we have now is: when should I change the tyres? Once they reach 3mm or closer to the minimum legal depth?

The answer is not straight forward. The advantage of worn tyres is the low rolling resistance. This translates into fuel saving which is adds to the overall fuel saving strategy. On the other hand, in case of driving in wet conditions, the grip is lower than normal and the safety is compromised.

To have a more direct answer, we have to analyze the operation that the vehicle is performing. If the truck is doing long haul/international operation, this means that an important period of time is driving close to the maximum speed. In this case, changing the tyres closer to 3 mm is advisable. The vehicle has more grip in wet conditions, and combined with the long trips, the traffic risk lowers.

On the other hand, if the vehicle is operating locally, with short trips and at low average speed, then it may decrease the average removal tread depth closer to 1,6 mm. Being closer to the base, has also the advantage of being able to change the tyres immediately. The difference between replacing the tyres at 3mm or at 1.6mm can bring an important cost saving.

If you are not sure what to do, you can always ask us. With our tyre management background, we are able to provide you with an objective advice.

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