Storing a Tyre
“What’s the best way to store my tyres?”
This question is most asked by farmers, and caravan owners.
In both cases, the use may be seasonal only, with long spells in between.
Being made of rubber and nylon, two things can happen. The rubber may perish, the nylon may flat spot over a long period. Both are preventable.
Caravan owners cover their tyres in the wheel well with a piece of plywood to keep the sun off the sidewalls, and a generous layer of tyre gloss can also help. But it can still crack where the sidewall bulges where the tyre touches the ground. This is because rubber is very susceptible to attack from ozone, which occurs naturally due to lightning, and from electric motors, such as the caravan fridge, or the farmer’s welding plant or pumps.
So it really does help to get the load off the tyres, and the tyre off the ground. If you can’t be bothered, a generous application of air pressure is of some help, but not ideal, because in most cases, 36 p.s.i.(250 kPa), is as high as you can go for a passenger type of tyre. Tractor tyres are much lower in maximum pressure.
Nylon flatspotting occurs mostly when the tyre is stored after a long hot run. The tyre cools out, the nylon “creeps” and takes up a “set”, and when it starts to roll, you think you have square wheels. It is sometimes seen when tyres have been stored on a pipe rack, vertically, for a long period- the tyre dealer calls it “slow moving stock”. Be assured though, that it smooths out after about 10 to 15 kilometres, dependent on load and temperature. Just grit your teeth till then.
It also happens with polyester cord tyres, but not to the same extent, and is not usually apparent to the layman.