Getting the best from tyre as economy declines
Motorists can keep their tyres rolling and manage the country’s current harsh economy situation if they adopt preventive maintenance, avoid unauthorised dealers and inexperienced vulcanisers.
According to experts, considering the high cost of tyres in the market, Nigerians must pay more attention to their vehicles’ tyres, not only to cope with the situation but also to avoid road crashes.
Tyre condition adds significantly to the increasing rate of road accidents in Nigeria according to regulatory agencies. This demands that motorists must go the extra mile to protect their properties and lives, particularly to survive current economic decline, Managing Director of Etyre, Olaseni Odukoya told The Guardian.
As inflation soars to record high and naira-dollar disparity deepen, Odukoya said cost of new tyres have seen an increase up to about 30 per cent and sales drop of about 20 per cent.
But if the situation would be properly managed, buying used tyres would only worsen daily challenges of motorists, he added; noting that vehicle owners could make every naira count by patronising players who could be held accountable for unusual damages.
Odukoya said: “Tyre value chain in Nigeria has been disrupted. Tyres are being sold at expired and expensive prices. People need to be very conscious now because tyre determines where you get to and how you get there.”
Motorists are only risking their lives and properties by not inflating their tyres to manufacturer’s recommendations. If this is undermined, Odukoya said the tyre could expand unnecessarily and explode.
“Check your tyre every 3,000 miles or after every trip to be sure that it is in the right pressure and that there are no damages on it,”Odukoya said.
According to him, roadside vulcanisers are not educated enough, so trusting them with your tyre is risky, people must be aware of the air pressure their tyre can take.
Nigerians don’t like reading manuals but to avert risks associated with road crashes, particularly as it relates to tyre, people must pay serious attention to details on their tyre, Odukoya warned.
He said tyre controls noise and contributes to how vehicles consume fuel, particularly if it is under inflated.
“It is not easy to know fake or substandard from original because the players have improved in faking products. With policies from Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on tyres people are changing the manufacturing date even if the tyres have expired,” Odukoya said.
He said new tyre, depending on the quality and usage lasts for an average of four-year upward, while buying a used or substandard tyre can hardly last beyond one year, “so it is economical and safe to buy new and original tyre.”
Odukoya, a former banker, who urged motorists to keep their tyres clean always, said he went into tyre business after his relative was duped by buying substandard tyre as brand new. His online tyre platform is regarded as the first online tyre sales and support website in Nigeria.
Chairman of Moragoff Arrow, Moroof Arowosaye, tyre service centre said: “The economy is not favourable to anybody. The price of everything has increased but one must not buy ‘Tokumbo tyre because of that.”
Arowosaye, who said, “it is either new tyre or no tyre”, disclosed that rapid wear, pull and tyre wandering could easily be avoided if motorists focus on proper wheel alignment.
Also, making sure that the wheel is good would help tyre last longer as vibration in the steering wheel and seat or floorboard at certain highway speeds, as well as scalloped or cupped wear pattern on tyres are avoidable through balancing.
As Nigerians are hopeful that the economy takes better shape soon, Arowosaye warned that wrong application of tyre is dangerous.
“Some people may want their vehicles to go up a little by buying bigger size of tyres and others who don’t have money, will want to go for lower size, these are wrong. You must insist on correct application,”he said.
When The Guardian approached a roadside vulcaniser in Gbagada, Lagos, who identified himself as Dare Ogunlona, he gave a somewhat different understanding.
Ogunlana, who was seen replacing some size 16 tokumbo tyres he had purchased for a motorist, said each of the tyres cost N7,000, noting that there was an increase of about 30 per cent from the old price.
To him, tokumbo tyres are good and in fact people could buy and store for future use should the price increase further.
When he was asked what he would do to the old tyre he replaced, he admitted that it has a secondhand value and he would sell it for not less than N3,500.
He disclosed that since most motorists buy tyre through proxy, they must patronize trusted artisans to avoid being duped.
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