Vans are arguably the lifeblood of many businesses and are necessary in order to, well, keep things running. So when your van needs maintenance, repairs or a part replacing, it really does matter. One of the key things that you should consider with your van maintenance is the tyres. Car drivers have very little focus on this, which then forms a perception that they aren’t something to worry about when it comes to a van. The truth though is that there is a difference between car and van tyres, so we decided it’d be a good idea to put this together in order to help you understand these differences.
Difference Between Car and Van Tyres
Van Tyres Can Handle Harsher Conditions
Van tyres undergo a lot of stress and strain. Therefore, they need to withstand heavy loads whilst driving through potentially tough conditions. This can include tight city streets, dirt country roads and more. The main difference between car and van tyres is that van tyres have strengthened side walls. This means they can cope with this additional weight and strain.
Van Tyres Are Either Adapted or Specifically Made for Vans
Van tyres are labelled in such a way as to help you understand how reinforced they are. For starters, there are the ‘Extra Load’ (XL for short) and ‘Reinforced’ (RF for short) tyres. These are actually car tyres that have been reinforced to cope with a little more weight. If your van is being used for lots of heavy deliveries, we don’t recommend them. Instead, we recommend van tyres labelled ‘C’ as they are designed to be used on vans. They aren’t just car tyres that have been strengthened. They can carry much heavier loads and withstand rougher road surfaces. These are especially useful if you drive on a lot of country roads or construction sites.
Van Tyres Need Frequent Air Pressure Checks
Something that doesn’t get considered often when thinking about the difference between car and van tyres is the fact that you almost always have to think about the tyre pressure. With a car, you will almost always travel with the same weight in the vehicle. This is especially true if you’re using your car to commute to work. Every day the car just has the weight of itself and you. The difference between car and van tyres here is that if your van is being used for deliveries, the weight will be different every time you drive it, depending on the size of your delivery. Therefore, you will need to frequently adjust the tyre pressure in order to suit the weight of your delivery. This may seem tedious, but it does help with fuel efficiency and can also prolong the life of your tyres. If your business relies upon your van, it is advisable to try and get the most out of them.
Van Tyre Size Explained
One major difference between car and van tyres is the size. We just wanted to quickly explain to your how you can identify the size of your van tyres. You may have seen some numbers on your van tyres that looks something like the image below:
Starting from the left, the first three numbers are the width of the tyres in millimetres. The next two numbers indicated the tyre profile. You may have heard this term before with sports cars. Put simply, a low-profile tyre will improve the handling of your van, but at the expense of ride comfort. So we probably wouldn’t recommend going for the lowest profile if you intend to drive hundreds of miles per day.
The ‘R15’ in the middle refers to the diameter of the wheel itself, in inches. This is obviously very important, as is the section width, as you need your van tyres to fit. These numbers should always be the same when you’re buying new van tyres. The final number is the load rating. This number can range from 65 to 124. The higher the number, the higher the maximum load the tyre can withstand. The final letter signifies the speed rating, which indicates how fast you can drive with the maximum load. It should be noted that the lowest-rated speed rating still has a maximum speed of 100mph.
At the end of it all, choosing the correct tyres for your van can help to increase your fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, reduce braking distances and improve your overall vehicle handling. The difference between car and van tyres goes beyond just size. It is important to get tyres that will be able to handle the strain you will be putting them under. If you would like support and help on choosing the best tyres for your van, be sure to get in contact with our team of experts who can advise accordingly.