Industry News, Premier Construction

Whale-Sized Tyre Pressure Issue

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Did you know that a blue whale’s lung capacity is 5000 litres? In comparison, humans can only manage a meagre six litres on average. As you can imagine, the power at which both creatures exhale is very different. Why are we telling you this, you ask? Here is a hint: when vehicles with large tyres suffer blowouts, the consequences are far more severe than a bicycle tyre blowout. It’s therefore imperative that tyre pressures are properly monitored on large vehicles.

Here, Peter Tillotson, business development manager of tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) expert TyrePal, discusses how a TPMS can benefit crane hire companies.

Construction sites, unlike our smooth motorways and highways, pose a veritable catalogue of threats to tyres. Vehicles that must traverse these kinds of terrain on a regular basis are at serious risk of punctures. Cranes have some of the biggest tyres around and thus the consequences of blowouts are severe.

When crane hire companies rent out vehicles, they normally come with an experienced operator. However, even with proper care and experience, the harshness of construction sites often takes its toll.

The usual suspects

Uneven, steep and inconsistent terrain makes for interesting driving, especially when the vehicle is a 100 tonne crane. When tyres are under-inflated, more of the surface area comes into contact with the ground. This causes the tyre to heat up and if unmanaged, can cause blowouts.

Similarly, over-inflation can create oval shaped tyres and shorten wear time. Because crane tyres are so large, it is difficult to tell by sight alone whether they are properly inflated. This is when problems arise.

It’s not just the type of ground that causes issues at construction sites. By their very nature, sites are littered with sharp objects that are very good at finding their way into tyres.

Nails, screws and glass are just some of the common culprits. If these penetrate tyre walls, when the under-inflated tyres come into contact with hard road surfaces, tyre temperature increases. Before you know it, a blowout has occurred.

Consequences    

So your crane has had a blowout and is stranded at the side of the road. At the very best, a new tyre, maintenance and recovery are going to cost in the region of £1000. However, there could be far more serious consequences.

We’ve spoken to plant hire companies that have horror stories about crane tyre blowouts. One such story involves cars written off after taking the full force of a crane tyre blowout. Luckily no one was injured in this incident, but if pedestrians were next to the crane, the outcome would have been a lot more severe.

Another story involves a crane losing control after a blowout and colliding with a lamp post, bringing it down in the middle of the road and damaging cars. The insurance claim against the crane hire company ran into the hundreds of thousands.

Prevention is better than cure

Vehicles operating in difficult terrains, like construction sites, are particularly susceptible to tyre problems. Cranes and other heavy-duty vehicles are designed with rugged tyres, but this doesn’t prevent blowouts.

By using a TPMS, crane hire companies reduce maintenance costs, risks to human life and insurance claims.

The associated costs when a crane suffers a blowout can be considerably large. If a TPMS manages to prevent one blowout from happening, the system instantly pays for itself.

If you’re a crane hire company who has experienced the costs of blowouts, why not get in touch on 01543 870170 and let us tell you more about our TPMS.

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