Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I try to drive with patience?

I drive, whenever I am working out of Singapore from West to East, Bukit Panjang to East Coast and return. The journey is about 55km both ways. The journey coincides particularly with motorcyclists from and to Malaysia along the BKE, PIE, KPE, ECP stretch of road (depending on route taken for the day).

It is a very stressful situation having to put up with these motorcyclists who take up the openings between cars, sometimes preventing overtaking. It is hair-tearing to have some of them taking up the fast going lanes- sometimes in “staggered formation”.

But each day I tell myself to practise patience since wedging anyone between cars, and pinning anyone under my car will be the last thing I want. And I don’t think I will sleep well ever again should something like these happen. So, this is a call to all drivers just to have a little patience while driving and much as I sometimes also feel they should be “put in place”, we don’t want to end up with murder.

Words: Ler Hwee Tiong.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TYREPAC Hong Kong launches mobile service

Tyrepac, Asia’s first tyre portal, today announced the launch of Tyrepac mobile service in Hong Kong. Consumers in Hong Kong can now have their tyres fitted in the comfort of their home or office after buying them online at

“We are extremely pleased to now offer, the same convenience consumers in Singapore have been enjoying, to the consumers in Hong Kong.” said Tyrepac Managing Director & co-founder, Ler Hwee Tiong. “Consumers can soon also look forward to battery change and a host of other services on top of the tyre changing services offered.”

Funded by Spring Singapore, Tyrepac announced its official launch in February 2009. Now also operating in Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea - Tyrepac is the pioneer of online retailing concept for tyres in Asia. Less than a year since its inception, Tyrepac is already creating ripples in the regional automotive industry with its comprehensive product data and price transparency.

With fitting locations strategically located throughout Hong Kong, the mobile service provides house call service for tyre change and servicing. Tyrepac has brought tyre servicing to an entirely new level of convenience for automotive customers. Backed by a team of professional tyre consultants, consumers can call Tyrepac’s hotline, 2419 0009 for any queries.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Run-Flat Tyres

In recent years, run-flat tyres (RFT) have been gaining in popularity. In fact, the development of RFT has been around for some time. Nowadays, brands such as Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Firestone, Pirelli, Yokohama has a range of products, otherwise indicated as the RFT (Run Flat Tyre), SSR (Self Supporting Run-flat) or ZP (Zero Pressure), and so forth.

Run Flat Tyres (RFT) are also commonly known as "puncture-proof tyres," however, that tagline is a bit untrue as RFT are not entirely immune to punctures. RFT at the punctured state (low pressure or the tyre pressure of zero state) can maintain travelling speeds of up to 80km/h for up to 80km or so.

Automakers pitch run-flats as a safety feature because they let drivers avoid stopping on busy highways and other dangerous locations. They also say they like the design flexibility they get by eliminating the space-consuming spare tyre. Even though run-flats are heavier, the lack of a spare tyre can save vehicle weight overall, helping fuel efficiency. Below we analyze the structure and principle of RFT, and its advantages & disadvantages.

Construction and Principle:

Above shows the construction of a run-flat tyre.

The main ingredient of tyre is rubber, but rubber itself is unable to cope with any load, thus the load of tyres mainly depend on layers of a reinforced fibre and steel wire. Rubber elasticity is much lower than fibre and steel wire, thus adequate tyre pressure ensures the process of deformation of rubber tyres will be minimal. However, if the tyre is travelling at low tyre pressure condition, the rubber will be deformed, stretching more than the strength of the fibres and elasticity limit of the steel wire. This could cause significant damage to the tyre, as the pressure will eventually destroy the interface between the different raw materials, and in more serious cases, result in tyre failure (Figure 1).

The Advantage with Run flat tyres is that they can operate without air in them, for a relatively short distance and low speeds, as their basic shape is kept by rigid components. This rigidity helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle if the tyre loses pressure (Figure 2), and allows the driver to continue driving, the pressurised air contained within the tyre supports the weight of the car. (Figure 3) However, recently tyres have been developed which are able to support the weight of the car by themselves, for a short period of time. New cars are also equipped with tyre pressure monitoring devices which warn the driver of a tyre pressure loss.

• Eliminate the need to change a tyre in bad weather or in dangerous roadside areas.
• Safety and reduced risk of accident - blowouts and tyre deflation can be serious driving risks for drivers.
• Tyres can be driven on for 80 kilometres or more with no air in them enable drivers to get to a mechanic without having to change the tyre after a puncture.
• Car need not be equipped with a spare tyre, resulting in more trunk space.
• The absence of a spare wheel contributes to lower vehicle weight which will in turn reduce fuel consumption, reduce harmful exhaust emissions, improve performance, handling and braking characteristics.
• Tyre pressure monitoring devices warn the driver of a tyre pressure loss.

• RFT's sidewall is harder than ordinary tyres, so comfort is compromised.
• To improve this problem, Bridgestone introduced a new RFT tyres with sidewall texture similar to ordinary tyres, thereby enhancing the comfort of the tyre.
• High replacement costs; and limited replacement choices.
• If the material that penetrated the RFT tyres is not removed, continuous driving will result in the hole getting deeper. Once the hole reaches a depth of more than 5mm, there is no way to remedy them.

While the RFT is not so popular in Singapore, increased advances in technology and maintenance of tyres translate to lower prices for them. Do not be surprised by the eventual rise in popularity of RFT that could one day put the history of roadside punctures to bed.

Run Flat Tyre abbreviations:
RFT: Run flat tyre
ZP: Zero pressure
EMT: Extended mobility technology
ROF: Run on flat
DSST: Dunlop self supporting technology
SSR: Self supporting runflat

One of Tyrepac’s four key objectives is to ensure consumers are educated about tyres, and get the product best suited to their needs . Read more about Tyres @ Tyrepac - Tyre Education

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tyrepac soft launch China Operations

Tyrepac China conducted a soft launch for selected media on 23rd September 2009. Held at 廣東人家 in Guangzhou, China, media guests from newspapers, car magazines and other established websites gathered to gain a better understanding on the working principles of Tyrepac.

The media were given an introduction on Tyrepac’s background, and they were truly impressed by how Tyrepac had managed the convergence of the Internet and a traditional industry in the Asia Pacific region – tyre retailing and expanded this across Asia.

At the end of the day, each representative brought home more than Tyrepac’s achievements, but more significantly, the potential and impact that Tyrepac would have on the China tyre industry. A tough challenge lies ahead in establishing Tyrepac in China, but all the groundwork have been laid, and with enthusiastic personnel for support, Tyrepac is set to make waves in China.