Do you replace your tyres before hitting the road?
Don’t get stuck in the outback with tyres with worn down tread, warns Tony Allsop.
Denyse and I were camped at Windorah for a few days when a caravan pulled by a Ford Territory dove in beside us. I noticed he had three mag wheels and one steel one. He had a puncture as he pulled off the edge of the bitumen to give way to a road train.
Unfortunately there is no tyre service in Windorah, and the roadhouse owner was away for a few days. It would take some time for the 17" tyre to be sent up. Apparently he had left home for an outback trip with a legal amount (just) of tread, and intended to replace all tyres on his return at a cheap price.
He returned back to Quilpie, without a spare, hoping he could get a new tyre there, probably at an inflated price. Lionel's mate, Murphy could have a hand in his fate.
We were in the same situation before we left on this trip. We strongly believe in travelling on good rubber, so we replaced all of our tyres before we left home. It is not easy to find some tyre sizes in outback areas, and at best you will be held up while your size is ordered.
Another contentious issue is deflation of tyres on dirt roads with sharp stones. I have always been told to deflate tyres as they flex when driving over sharp stones, but a tyre service guy near Lyndhurst reckons you should keep them inflated. The reasoning behind this is that the tread that hits the road is much heavier and thicker than the side wall.
Generally the road tread on a car tyre is eight ply while the sides can be two ply. If you lower the pressure, the sides balloon out and are subject to cutting by a sharp rock.
What do readers say?