HGV Laser Wheel Alignment

Recommended by Traffic Commissioner and DVSA

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Having correct wheel alignment saves on fuel costs (up to 10%!) and increases the lifespan of a tyre by up to 25%. It also improves ride and driver comfort.

Although it may not sound a lot, let's do some calculations:

A HGV with an average fuel consumption of 10 MPG (28l/100km) covering 100.000 miles per year will burn 45,000 litres of diesel. That's nearly £50,000. If the wheels are not aligned correctly and tyre pressures ae not correct the figure can increase by as much as 15%* Even a 5% difference will cost up to £2,500 per year!

Don’t take our word for it, Volvo carried out an isolated test on correctly aligned commercial vehicles against incorrectly aligned vehicles using Josam / TruckCam equipment. The tests showed correctly aligned vehicles can reduce fuel consumption by 2.5%. The tests also showed that should the truck have incorrect tyre setup (type of tyres and air pressure) the fuel savings could be up to 15% (- Maybe make the word Volvo a link to where you found these results so they can check out for themselves.)

Now, let's look at tyres more specifically. The average price for medium class tyre is around £450 per tyre, £3600 per full set. The lifetime of a tyre set can be reduced by as much as 25% if your alignment and pressure are not maintained correctly. Front tyres usually need to be changed every year with middle and rear, every two. With correct alignment and tyre pressure maintenance you can increase the life time by up to 3 months per front tyre and up to 6 months per middle and rear.

With a fleet of 4 vehicles, you could save a whole set of tyres per year, every single year.

That may be a surprising figure, but we are not finished yet. Misalignment of a truck’s wheels can also cause unnecessary stress to components around the axle causing, eventual, costly damage. Forces acting on parts like bearings, bushes, kingpins etc can increase dramatically if the wheels do not roll in line. These can be very costly items to replace without factoring in the additional costs of down time.

All of these cost saving factors, do not even take into account the most important part of the vehicle, the driver who operates it. A driver's comfort is very important. Impaired steering capability leads to drivers fatigue, frustration and can cause unsafe behaviour on the road. A happier driver is invariable a better driver.

Our experience says, every commercial vehicle should be tested and aligned at least once a year.

Our experience says, every commercial vehicle should be tested and aligned at least once a year.

Correct wheel alignment will:

  • Improve comfort for the driver
  • Reduce mechanical failures
  • Maintain consistent reliability across your fleet
  • Reduce your fleet costs with reduced fuel and tyre expenditure
  • Improve overall ride comfort for your drivers, improving wellbeing

    What your treads are trying to tell you

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    Camber

    A truck’s camber could be out of alignment if an excessive amount of wear appears on the shoulders on one or more tyres. The camber effects the angle at which a tyre sits on the road, and aligned with either too much positive or negative camber can mean the weight is shifted on to the tyres unevenly, causing wear in one area of the tyre.

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    Caster angle

    Similar to the camber angle, a wheel’s steering axis can be biased in one direction. Caster is positive when the steering axis is biased towards the rear and negative when it is tilting towards the front. In addition to reducing tyre wear, caster misalignment can affect a vehicle’s handling.

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    Toe settings

    Toe settings determine the horizontal angle at which the wheels sit in relation to each other. A neutral toe angle is ideal, as it allows the wheels to stay perfectly parallel at all times. Excessive toe-in (when the fronts of the tyres are angled in towards each other) can cause premature wear to the outside of the tyres, while toe-out (front of the tyre angled away from each other) can cause premature wear to the inside of the tyres.

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    Trailer alignment

    The benefits of correct wheel alignment on a truck are lost if attached to a trailer which doesn’t have aligned tandem axles. Misalignment of these wheels can cause excessive wear on all tyres on the trailer, as well as creating unnecessary additional rolling resistance for the vehicle towing, which increases fuel consumption.