Anyone who does haulage work knows that there are a few very basic things that you should know before you hit the road to help to keep you safe as you travel up and down the United Kingdom. One of the main things that a driver should know is how to change a tyre on their vehicle, truck or lorry.
When carrying out haulage work that requires you to take the motorways around the country, you can rest assured that should you encounter a problem there is an emergency phone every mile for so for you to use to call for assistance. But, on the less traffic dense A, B, and C-D roads, these phones are rare if they are in place at all. It is best to be prepared and know the basics of changing a tyre, and, importantly, have a spare for both your vehicle and your lorry, if you are pulling one.
Changing a tyre on a non articulated vehicle
If you do most of your haulage work in a van or similar type of vehicle without a hitch and lorry attached, then it is usually far easier to do a tyre change. Most vehicles come with a spare (although do make sure that your vehicle has a proper replacement tyre and not one of the smaller ‘donut tyres’) and a small jack rated for the vehicle.
OK, here goes. After you pull over and put out the safety cones to indicate to surrounding traffic that they should be cautious in passing, find the jack, tyre and lug nut wrench. Situate the jack where indicated – usually there is a specific location on the undercarriage where the jack lift fits perfectly. While the flat tyre is still on the ground, loosen the lug nuts in opposite sections first, moving in a star pattern until all of the nuts are loosened slightly. Then, using the jack, lift the tyre off the ground high enough to replace it. Now loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way and remove the flat. Putting the new tyre on is much the same as taking the flat off. Situate the tyre correctly and tighten the lug nuts by hand, in a star pattern, until they are tight. Tighten them again using the wrench and then carefully lower and remove the jack. Now tighten the nuts again (again in a star pattern) one more time, using the ground as leverage.
As a final check before you get back onto the road and continue your haulage work, check the rest of the tyres on your vehicle to ensure that they are all up to standard. Then, re-secure the flat into a safe position, either back where the spare was stored, or elsewhere where it cannot roll around and cause distraction. Finally, gather up your reflective cones and get ready to get back on the road and go find yourself a well-deserved coffee!