Managing old tyres

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DVSA have just provided advice on the use of tyres over 10 years old. There is no ban on the use of such tyres but advises that there is a management systems in place that recognises the risk associated with their use.

The analogy is drawn by the example of “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”.

Similarly having “3 axles and 6 wheels does reduce the risk of trailer instability and loss of control if a single tyre fails. But using older tyres at high speed and fully loaded potentially increases the risk of tyre failure.” In other words it depends on how the tyres are being used.

The Agency goes on to say ultimately “it all depends on how you’re using the tyres and how you manage any risks they might pose”. The tyres should be regularly inspected through a comprehensive tyre management plan that includes the identification of a tyre’s age.

It advises not to use older tyres on the steering axle of a motor vehicle without thoroughly assess the risks. The responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the operator.

Currently the DfT is carrying out further research into the effect of the age on tyres and decided to issue this guidance while the research continues. Further guidance can be found in the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness or through contacting Ashtons Road Transport team.

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