As of February 2021, the government announced that tyres aged 10 years or older will be banned from use on the roads on the front axles of heavy vehicles.. The change to the law was announced on the 15th July 2020, and will come into place on 1st of February this year. From that date onwards, it will be against the law to fit any tyres aged 10 years or older to the following vehicles that fall under these specifications;
- The front axle of a good vehicle with a maximum gross weight of 3,500 kg or more
- The front axle of a bus or coach
- The rear axle of a minibus with single rear wheels fitted
A breach in these laws are cause for a dangerous fail at an annual test, and a prohibition. If the tyres fail when being expected by the DVSA enforcement check, they will immediately be classed as dangerous and marked as an ‘S’ which would result in the immediate prohibition notice. There is also a high risk of the case being passed to a public enquiry before the traffic commissioner for action against your operator’s license.
AS of February 1st, it will also be a legal requirement to always make sure that the manufacturers date code can be seen on the side of the tyre of all HGV vehicles, to ensure they are not passing 10 years old. This is also needed when and if the tyre has been treated. The manufacturer date is taken from when the re-treated was carried out.
Operators should always take out a full tyre audit regularly, but especially before February 1st if you are unsure if your tyres are legal or not. Reviewing the tyre management policies will be vital before the change comes into place. Management should also make all staff and drivers aware of the changes to the requirements and their expectations. It is also the operators responsibility to check that they have an adequate tyre management system in place in order to check regularly that their vehicles fall under the current guidelines.
If you are looking for more information, check out the government website for all details and requirements.