Prometeon Tyre Group UK has welcomed the government’s ban on tyres aged 10 years or older on the steer axles of commercial vehicles, and has reassured its customers that there is no cause for concern.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere recently announced the ban, making it illegal to fit tyres that are aged 10 years or older to the steer axles of trucks, buses and coaches. The legislation will be laid in the autumn and will also apply to retreaded tyres, which must have clearly visible marks highlighting the date of retreading.
Ensuring tyres meet these new requirements will become part of drivers’, operators’ and owners’ normal regulatory compliance procedures as tyre age will be checked at annual tests and will become part of DVSA roadside checks.
Peter Fairlie, Prometeon Tyre Group UK Managing Director, says: “We welcome this new legislation and the government’s drive to improve road safety. Our customers can rest assured that our internal and fleet management processes already go well above and beyond the new legal requirements.”
It bears stating that it’s exceedingly unlikely for a professionally operated commercial vehicle to run on tyres that are more than 10 years old: a typical 44t tractor unit will go through a set of front tyres in about two years; those tyres are then remoulded and used elsewhere on the vehicle for 18 months to two years; it’s a similar story for a coach, while a bus may go through its front tyres in a year.
The government report that helped to inform the new legislation highlights concerns about how long tyres are stored for before being used. Fairlie adds: “Again, this is not a cause for concern for Prometeon and our customers: in our storage facility, once a tyre is more than three years old, it is destroyed.”
The report also highlighted concerns about the placement of DOT codes on tyre sidewalls. Fairlie says: “In response to this, we have asked our HQ in Milan to ensure that our production facilities produce tyres with DOT codes on both the inside and the outside sidewalls, making it easier for drivers and operators to confirm the age of their tyres.
“In the case of remoulds/retreads, our remoulder already stamps our tyres with the date of retreading; however, we will review the position of the stamp and ask our remoulder to take the necessary action to ensure the date stamp can’t be buffed off or damaged through wear and tear.”