National Tyre Safety Awareness Month October 2013

A One Tyres - Thursday, October 03, 2013
Tyre safety is something we take very seriously in A One Tyres. Check your pressures!

It vitally important to keep your tyres in good condition throughout the year for your safety, the safety of your passengers and other road users. This is particularly important coming into the winter.

Take some time to view this short video produced by the PSNI with help from the Northern Ireland Tyre Distributors Association.


Call into our Dromore depot for a free tyre check, or to get advice on winter tyres or any other tyre safety issue.



Tyre size and does it matter?

A One Tyres - Monday, September 02, 2013

Tyre sizing can be a confusing array of numbers and letters, with jargon phrases like “low profile”, “load index”, “speed ratings”. What difference does tyre size make? Well, let me break it down a bit.

How do I find out what size my tyre is?

Looking for the easiest way, call in at our depot and our staff will do the number crunching for you. But if you prefer to let your fingers do the walking, lift the phone and I, or some of the staff here can help you with what might suit your vehicle. However, if you are the more independent type and want to do it for yourself, you should look on the sidewall of your tyre, you will see a series of letters and numbers. They will be broken down into a series like 185/60 R 15 84H.

 

What do these numbers mean?

185 indicates the width of the tyre in millimetres

60 is the tyre’s height (ie measurement of bottom of tread to the rim) expressed as a percentage of its width.

R means the tyre has radial ply construction which is almost always found on car tyres

15 is the diameter of the rim in inches

84 is the load index and indicates the maximum load capacity for your vehicle

H indicates the speed for safe driving (H is rated for speeds up to 130mph)

What does low profile mean?

Low profile tyres are often used for high performance vehicles. Low profile simply means the size of the edge of the tyre. Narrower sidewalls can deliver better cornering, and some people think they look cool. If your vehicle doesn’t come with low profile tyres as standard, it may be possible to get low profile tyres fitted, but if you make that change you need to be careful. If you are changing your tyre size or profile, this can have an effect on your comfort, speedo, fuel consumption and can be harder on your vehicle’s suspension as well. Please phone us for more advice.

What is important?

It is important to keep the diameter of your tyre, if not exactly the same, as close to the original as possible, so that the drive shaft remains stable. If you want to make any change to your tyre size you should take advice on what is safe.

If your car is a people carrier, it is likely to have an “extra load” index. So ensuring your tyre suits the right load capacity is key to getting that right.
Matching tyre sizes is important. What you have on your front driver side, you should also have on your front passenger side. This just makes sense when you think of the tyres being part of your car’s suspension. What if my tyre is a runflat?

The size of the tyre does not change if your tyre is a runflat, although you should always seek to put the same type of tyre matching each side of your vehicle.

Still confused?

I must admit, this is a befuddling mix of millimetres, inches, percentages and other confusing indexes, but you don’t need a degree in maths to get it right. We can do it for you. Whether you have no idea of what tyre size you require, or whether you want to discuss what is possible on your car, for low profiles or other differences, we can help. Just give us a call at our Dromore depot.

So what’s in a tyre label?

A One Tyres - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Those of you who have visited our Dromore depot will have noticed a tiny screen on the reception counter as you have ordered your tyres or paid your bill. This isn’t just a cute addition to our reception furniture. This has been installed as part of our changes to meet the requirements of the EU tyre labelling legislation that came into force in November 2012.

Why has tyre labelling been introduced?

Tyre labels are required on all new tyres and were introduced by the EU to help customers understand how to compare new tyres. The focus is on their environmental impact, in what can be a baffling array of availability. Legislators hope that consumers have a more informed idea of the performance of the tyres and will be guided to make an energy efficient tyre purchase. The system does not claim to cover all aspects of the tyre purchase, but don’t worry, we are here to help.

So who decides how the tyres score?

The scale scores on the tyre labels are based on the tyre manufacturers own declarations. The EU requires member states to regulate the market to ensure compliance.

Understanding a tyre label

The 3 categories compared on the labels are fuel efficiency, wet grip and road noise.

Fuel efficiency

Choosing a tyre with a higher rated fuel efficiency will give you more miles per gallon.

Fuel efficiency is rated from A to G on a colour-coded scale:

A (green) = highest fuel efficiency rating
G (red) = lowest fuel efficiency rating

The difference between an A rating and a G rating could mean a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 7.5%.




Wet Grip

The scale focuses on the wet braking performance of the tyre. The patterns cut into a tyre’s surface (tread) are designed to help water dispersal, and this is another key research area for tyre manufacturers.

Wet grip is rated from A to F:

A = highest rating (that is the shortest wet braking distance)
F = lowest rating (that is the longest wet braking distance).

The ratings are measured with braking distances when cars travelling at 50mph. The difference in the wet braking distance between a car fitted with tyres classed as ‘A’ compared to ‘F’ is over 10 metres. That’s equivalent to 2 car lengths!

Noise

The EU labels shows the measurement of external noise emissions of the tyre in decibels.

For consumers unfamiliar with measurement by decibels the black waves show a pictorial idea of where the tyre fits into the scale of noise emission:

1 black wave: Quiet
2 black waves: Moderate
3 black waves: Noisy

What’s not in a tyre label?

While the EU label addresses some important criteria in tyre performance, there are other factors that may influence your tyre purchase. These factors are measured by tyre manufacturers during testing, but are not recorded on the EU label. These include tyre wear, dry handling, wet cornering and winter performance. So how you drive and what conditions you drive in will determine how your tyre wears over time, and how it performs in an emergency. Whether you prefer to buy top brand or basic budget you should consider these factors along with how much you want to pay.

How we can help

The more information you as customers have in making your tyre purchase the more confidence you have in making the purchase. The reception staff in our Dromore depot are experienced in walking you through this purchase decision and are constantly updating their knowledge of tyres available. Our tyre stock covers the whole spectrum from budget to brand. And what we don’t have in stock we will get for you or advise you on a suitable alternative.

I hope you have found this simple guide to tyre labelling helpful. Feel free to give us a call to discuss the options for your car.

How to get the most from your car tyre

A One Tyres - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

So who cares about their car tyres, they are black, round and dirty and a nuisance when punctured, why should we give a second thought to our car tyres once we drive out of the dealer forecourt?

Two important incentives immediately come to my mind, passenger safety and cash in our pockets.

Passenger Safety

Everyone who travels in our vehicle relies on the tyres to stop the car within a reasonable braking distance. Of course, how we drive makes a considerable difference to this, but even the best driver occasionally comes across a situation where they need to stop unexpectedly. Tyre tread depth (that is the amount of rubber left on your tyre) and tyre pressure (that is the amount of air in your tyre) both effect how well your tyre performs, both in everyday wear and tear and in the one-off emergency.

Tread depth

The law requires you maintain a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm otherwise you may be liable to penalty points on your driving licence. This tyre tread depth is the bare minimum and in wet weather it will take an average of 8 metres longer for a vehicle to stop at 50mph than with a tyre of 3mm tread depth. This can be the difference between having an accident and avoiding an accident.

Tyre pressure

Tyre pressures should be checked weekly, on cold tyres. When your tyres are under or over inflated your brakes and steering may not react as you would expect. Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressures at the beginning of the week. Call in with us in A One, we will do this for you free of charge. If you are doing this yourself, you should check the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle (this information should be in your vehicle handbook). Tyre pressure may be different for front and back tyres and will depend on the load you are carrying. Of course, a journey with all your family’s luggage and 4 passengers in the car is likely to require a variation in tyre pressure from your normal work commute.

Cash in our Pockets

Everyone is watching the pennies these days. Taking care of our tyres pays off both in terms of safety and our household budgets. Ensuring correct tread and pressure in our tyres will mean getting more miles to the gallon from your tank. Tyres are responsible for about 20% of your car’s fuel consumption. For many of us, fuel has become a large part of our household spend. With fuel efficient tyres you can save as much as 3% on your fuel spend by putting on the right tyres. Michelin produces a range of Energy Saver tyres. Pirelli are also one of the manufacturers that have come out on top with regard to savings on fuel according to independent testing by Which? magazine.

Finally

… don’t forget about your spare tyre (if you have one). When you need a spare tyre, you really need a spare tyre and there is nothing more annoying than discovering by the roadside that your spare tyre is flat or not road worthy.

So yes, everyone should take care of their tyres and their tyres will take care of them … if you need help with anything in this blog please contact me at our Dromore depot or leave your comment below.

Top Tyre Tips for Motorbikes

A One Tyres - Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The snow is gone (we hope!), spring is in the air, blow away the winter blues, get out on the road, the motorbike season is now here! Some seasoned bikers have been on two wheels all winter, but most of us are only now dusting down the leathers and getting out on the open road.

There are exciting new tyres and treads available this season enhancing performance and mobility. I’m constantly checking out what the Big Brand names are bringing out this season.

The Michelin Total Performance range offers safety, pleasure and longevity from track to road, with cutting edge technologies . Indeed the Michelin brand was again awarded the prestigious 2012 “MOTORRAD Best Brand” prize for the third year running. Michelin’s aim is to produce tyres whose performance delivers grip, consistency and versatility without compromise. I would certainly endorse these achievements. Let me know what your experience has been with these tyres.

The new 2CT generation offers harder rubber underneath the softer rubber on the shoulders giving better rigidity at lean, for more stability when cornering, especially under strong acceleration.

The Michelin 2CT dual compound technology successfully accomplishes two conflicting ideals: wear resistance in the centre of the tread and grip on the shoulders.

 

Metzeler has brought out the new Tourance NEXT. This is the Enduro street tyre that “dares you to challenge any weather condition and any road”. The latest generation of Enduro Street tyres features new compounds, profiles, structure and tread pattern for unmatched levels of stability, safety on wet and mileage.

Pirelli has brought out their AngelGT, ideal for travellers using the bike for long road trips, with side bags and passengers, looking for safety on wet, stability and mileage, bringing the “sporty attitude” to a wider range of usage conditions and for longer distances.

I’d love to hear your highs (and hopefully not too many lows) of motorbike tyres, every story gives a bigger and better picture of what’s hot and what’s not. Get in touch, or call in at the Dromore Depot. My colleagues and friends will tell you, I love talking tyres! Feel free to give me a call to chat about your specific motorbike tyre requirements. It’s essential to get the right tyres when there are only two of them between you and the hard ground. Meanwhile, enjoy the thrill of the road and be safe.

A One Tyres – the One to keep you moving

A One Tyres - Friday, March 29, 2013

My name is Aaron Clydesdale, Depot Manager at A One Tyres in Dromore, Co Down. I’ve been working in tyres for over 25 years. With that number of years under my belt, I’ve soaked in plenty of tyre knowledge and have a wealth of hints and tips for the discerning customer, as well as sound advice for the customer who simply sees their tyres as ‘round and black’ and necessary to keep them on the move.

Over the next months I plan to post some articles to share some of this experience. I’ll offer some tips on how to get the most from your tyre to enhance fuel economy and performance. I’ll even give an insider’s view on what’s best in tyre brands in the Northern Ireland market. I’ll share insights into topics, like tyre inflation (the air or nitrogen debate), to re-groove or not to re-groove, I’ll be discussing if winter tyres are worth it and sharing my thoughts on how the right tyre can help with your household or business budgeting.

But my specialist subject is “motorbike tyres”. And no, I’m not auditioning for Mastermind, I have a keen interest in motorbikes and specialise in getting the right tyre for any kind of biker, from the tourist to the sportsman. The motorbike season is almost upon us. Hopefully I can keep you up to speed on biking events. I’d love to hear from anyone in Northern Ireland running a motorbike show, organising charity runs or random motorbike get togethers. The biker fraternity are a unique bunch. I love my job!

Watch out for my series on “Top Tyre Tips”. To mark the start of the motorbike season my next post (published soon) will be looking at Top Tyre Tips for Motorbikes. To keep up to date, add this blog to your blog list.


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