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https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/09/ban-on-tyres-over-10-years-old-for-heavy-vehicles-and-some-minibuses/

Ban on tyres over 10 years old for heavy vehicles and some minibuses

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement, Maintenance workshop

Today, 9 December 2020,  we’ve updated the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, to include the change in the Construction and Use Regulations for rules relating to tyres aged over 10 years old and manufacturer date codes.

I wanted to give you an update on the new requirements and answer some of the questions you might have. This should enable you to have time to update your tyre management systems prior to the law changing – ensuring you comply with the new rules on an ongoing basis.

The change in law

From 1 February 2021 Construction and Use Regulations will not allow tyres aged over 10 years old to be used on the front steered axles of HGVs, buses, coaches or all single wheels fitted to a minibus (9 to 16 passenger seats). So, if used it will mean a dangerous fail at annual test and a prohibition.

If inspected at a DVSA enforcement check, tyres aged over 10 years old found on these positions will be considered dangerous and attract an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice.

It will also be a requirement for the manufacturer’s date code to be legible on all tyres fitted to HGVs, trailers over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches and minibuses. If a tyre is a retread then the manufacturer date is taken from when the retread was carried out.

If the date code on the tyre is not legible on the affected wheel positions

Tyres without a legible manufacture date code, fitted to the front steered axle of HGVs, buses, coaches or single wheels fitted to a minibus will fail the annual test.

If found at a DVSA enforcement check this would attract a delayed prohibition.

However, if there are also obvious signs of deterioration of the tyre the action will be increased to an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice.

If the date code on the tyre is not legible on other wheel positions

If the manufacturer date code is not legible on other wheel positions, this will also be an offence and a minor fail result will be recorded at annual test. This would not prevent the issue of a pass certificate but there would be an expectation that the tyre is replaced.

If the date code is not legible at an enforcement check an inspection notice would be issued and again, we would expect the tyre to be replaced.

Using tyres more than 10 years old on other wheel positions 

It’s the operator’s responsibility to make sure they have an adequate tyre management system in place and that they regularly consider the risks associated with using older tyres, even if the law permits.

Where tyres more than 10 years old are legally used on other wheel positions, their age should be recorded and a specific risk assessment is completed, that considers the distance, speed and loading conditions that the vehicle will operate under (for example, operating only in urban areas).

Using old tyres on historic vehicles 

The new regulations exempt non-commercial vehicles aged 40 years and older from these requirements.

However, you should get all tyres of all ages regularly inspected by a competent person. This should be part of your tyre management and vehicle maintenance system.

Even if an older tyre appears safe, you need to assess and manage any risks associated with its use. A short journey at a low speed when the vehicle is lightly loaded, poses different risks to those involving long journeys, high-speed journeys, or use while the vehicle is laden.

Reporting to the Traffic Commissioner

Some of you have asked if we’ll report drivers and operators to the Traffic Commissioner if we catch them using tyres more than 10 years old or without a legible manufacturer date code.

If we find an operator with a tyre more than 10 years old or without a date code, which attracts an ‘S’ marked prohibition notice we’ll follow that up with the operator first.

If the operator can’t show us that they’re adequately managing their tyres, we will consider referring them to the Traffic Commissioner.

Further guidance

We will also be updating the categorisation of defects, annual test and MOT inspection manuals before the new legislation comes into force. These will be published in January 2021.

Sharing and comments

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22 comments

  1. Comment by John Powell posted on

    Hi,
    I have a non commercial Motorhome (Converted coach) which I use for my family private use. (has completed less than 500 miles in the last 2 years)
    Do I still need to have the tyres under 10 years old and could you please clarify only the front axle if required?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Replies to John Powell>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      The only exemption relates to historic vehicles 40 years or older not used commercially, so this legislations does apply to your converted coach. It only applies to front-steered axles on a coach.

      Reply
    • Replies to John Powell>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Just to add, it will also be a requirement for the manufacturer’s date code to be legible on all tyres fitted to HGVs, trailers over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches and minibuses.

      Reply
  2. Comment by Craig Berriff posted on

    The Historic Commercial Vehicle Society claim that an exemption exists for HGVs over 40 years old, not used commercially, however the text above does not read that way. Please can you confirm if a historic HGV is exempt from this ruling if not used commercially?

    Reply
    • Replies to Craig Berriff>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Vehicles aged 40 years or older that are no longer produced and have been maintained in their original condition are exempt from the tyre age requirement, along with the current MOT exemption for this type of vehicle.

      Reply
    • Replies to Craig Berriff>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      That is correct, the exemption is for historic vehicles which are not used commercially.

      Reply
  3. Comment by Howells Training Ltd posted on

    Hi Please can you confirm the point made above regarding re-treaded tyres?
    So if a vehicle has a nine year old (date stamped by manufacturer tyre), It could be re-treaded one year before it is due to expire. This re-tread would give it a new stamp to replace the manufacturers stamp, effectively giving that tyre another ten year lease of life? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Howells Training Ltd>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      That is correct, a re-treaded tyre will be assessed in the same way as a new tyre and its age calculated from the date it was re-treaded.

      Reply
  4. Comment by Raymond posted on

    Does the same rules rules apply to Private HGV where the vehicle is being used privately only for personal use only and not for hire and reward,

    I use my 7.5t with twin rear wheels only in conjunction with my hobby and as such do a very low mileage each year around 3000 miles only are we also expected to replace a good tyre at ten years old even or date code not entirely readable if the tyre has excellent tread no sign of damage or cracking etc?

    We are responsible to change a defective tyre at any point should it be necessary to do so but I would have thought we would be excluded from this action but I'm seeking clarification on that point from you please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      The exemption is for historic vehicles which are not used commercially. This does not apply to HGVs under 40 years old.

      Reply
  5. Comment by A Grey posted on

    Our existing tyres may only be date marked on one side, not necessarily the side visible to a roadside inspector. From what date are manufacturers obliged to emboss the date on both sides?
    Non-commercial vehicles over 40 years old are exempt. Why not younger vehicles that are not used for hire and reward?

    Reply
    • Replies to A Grey>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Where possible our examiners will check on both sides of the tyre before taking any action, if this is not possible and the date code is potentially not visible then advisory action would be taken, this will also be the case for twin wheel fitment.

      Reply
  6. Comment by Dave Holden posted on

    Tyres are generally only date marked on one side of the case. I fit my tyres to the rims so that the date is visible externally when the tyre is fitted to the front axle of the bus. When, in later life, these tyres are cascaded onto the rear axle, the date then becomes "hidden" in the centre of the twin wheel arrangement. Is this a problem as the date will not then be visible to the tester?

    Reply
    • Replies to Dave Holden>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Where possible our examiners will check on both sides of the tyre before taking any action, if this is not possible and the date code is potentially not visible then advisory action would be taken, this will also be the case for twin wheel fitment.

      Reply
      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Dave Holden posted on

        Thanks Peter. Presumably, for rear tyres, a visible date that shows the tyre is more than ten years old will also attract a minor fail / advise at a Class 5 MOT test? I could get a tyre fitter to take the tyres off the rims and turn them round so that all the dates are visible, either externally or in the pit under the bus. But is there any point in paying someone to do this if I'm going to end up with the same advisory anyway? I'm a hobbyist and not an operator who prides himself (tries to!) on presenting well maintained "clean" vehicles for test, but my funds only run to newer rubber on the front axle unfortunately. I fully support the changes by the way to front tyre rules!

        Reply
        • Replies to Dave Holden>

          Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

          To confirm, it will also be a requirement for the manufacturer’s date code to be legible on ALL tyres fitted to HGVs, trailers over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches and minibuses. The 10 year rule for tyres only will apply to the front steered axles of buses. Please see the advice in the response to your last comment regarding where the date marking is positioned on the wheel.

          Reply
      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Dave Holden posted on

        Hello again Peter. I think you may need to re-read the consultation response document as this clearly indicates the issues with rear tyre date markings...I've copied the relevant part below FYI...

        Enforcement of the visibility of date markings and treatment of tyres with directional tread

        Some respondents raised concerns with our proposal to mandate the visibility of date markings in all installation configurations (single and twin wheel), to aid enforcement. Views indicated that this was not practical “because of the common practice of turning tyres to balance wear”, “As the date marking is only embossed on one side of the tyre, it is not practicable to show the date on the outside of a rolling pair” (twin wheel) and since “some tyres are directional so they would have to be operated in the opposite rotation to that advised by the tyre manufacturer”.

        Other views were “the benefits of the proposed measure are unquantified and unproven whilst the likely economic and environmental costs are considerable.” Industry estimated that this aspect of our proposal would cost £67 million (based on the central price hypotheses adopted in the impact assessment) and “would lead to an increase in the national consumption of new truck and bus tyres of approximately 10%.”

        It is clear from the information provided by respondents that enforcing the visibility of date markings in all installation configurations will result in operational tyre management issues for the industry, which will subsequently increase costs. We have discussed with DVSA enforcement team, who have confirmed that they can safely read date markings on both sidewalls from tyres in single configuration, without the need for any legislative restriction. Given that all tyres included in the new legislation will operate in single configuration, there will be no requirement for the date marking to be displayed in any orientation and hence no material costs. The prohibition on the fitting of a tyre with a date marking that has been damaged, tampered with or defaced so that it is not legible will apply to tyres on all in-scope vehicles, regardless of their location on a vehicle.

        Reply
        • Replies to Dave Holden>

          Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

          In our last response we didn't say the date mark shouldn't be on the tyre's inside. We just outlined what would happen if the date code is potentially not visible. The date marking can be on either side of the tyre, but if we’re unable to find this on the inside at the roadside we’ll have no choice but to give advisory action as a requirement of this legislation is the tyre’s date marking must be clearly legible. In relation to the advisory action, it would be down to the operator to ensure a date code is legible and the tyre is being used legally.

          Reply
  7. Comment by Keith deal posted on

    I agree with the rules on old tyres on steer axles but issuing a prohibition on a tyre that is visually safe and legal apart from age is to strong whereas just a failure would be sufficient

    Reply
  8. Comment by john flynn posted on

    what if the date code is on the inner wall of a front tyre, this can be read over a pit on annual test but not on road side inspection unless the inspector is willing to crawl under the vehicle.

    Reply
    • Replies to john flynn>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Where possible our examiners will check on both sides of the tyre before taking any action, if this is not possible and the date code is potentially not visible then advisory action would be taken, this will also be the case for twin wheel fitment.

      Reply
  9. Comment by Peter ALLAM posted on

    Sounds lacks for an important Safety Issue.....'we 'll consider referring them to Traffic Commissioner' reads like ...if we have the impetus we tell the big bad wolf & he'll huff & puff & send you to bed early!! Urban tyres are as important as long- distance tyres. Operators need to be ready to use any vehicle any where at any time. Are we talking the Real World here?

    Reply

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