Worn or damaged tyres are dangerous, yet there are still reports of vehicles with tyres that pose a serious risk to road safety.
HGV operators and maintenance inspectors need to make the right and consistent decisions about the wear, defects and damage to vehicle tyres. This is essential if vehicles are going to pass MOTs and roadside inspection. But more importantly, it is essential to protect the lives of HGV drivers and other road users on a daily basis.
The government has issued guidance to help improve HGV vehicle safety and prevent roadworthy tyres being replaced. Here’s a quick summary of the government guidelines around HGV tyre defects and damage.
For more in-depth information, refer to the government website.
1 Tyre inspection: You must always use a blunt tool during tyre inspections to prevent damage.
2 Legal requirements: Tyres must have a continuous minimum tread depth of 1mm over three-quarters of the width of the tread around the entire tyre. If the tread pattern is not visible across one quarter of the tyre or any cords are exposed, the vehicle could face an immediate ban. According to the government’s guidelines, the base of any groove of the original tread pattern must be visible on the remaining one-quarter of the tread.
3 Tyre markings: These give information about the tyre’s application, nominal size, load index, speed rating and age. These markings must be visible and there must be no signs of tyre deterioration, cord damage or visible cords.
4 Tyre damage: There must be no tread separation, cuts revealing cords in the tread area, regrooving that is too deep (revealing cords), bulging in a tyre’s sidewall, or an incorrect regrooved pattern on a tyre.
5 Age: Tyres must be less than ten years old if they are to be deemed roadworthy. For retreaded tyres, the date of re-treading must be marked and the age of the tyre clearly visible.