From 1st February 2021 it is illegal for front axles of HGVs including buses and coaches (vehicles above a gross vehicle weight of 3500 kgs) and all axles on minibuses when fitted in single configuration to use tyres aged more than 10 years.
Vehicle category definitions:
If a tyre on any axle is found during examinations with a tyre manufacture date code between 9 and 10 years of age an Advisory will be issued.
Tyres with a manufacture date code more than 10 years of age in use on any front (steering) axle(s) of a goods vehicles over 3500kg DGVW, minibuses, large buses and coaches will result in a Dangerous Deficiency.
An Immediate Prohibition will be issued, and the Prohibition will be ‘S’ marked. The ‘S’ marked endorsement on the prohibition will automatically generate a follow up with the operator by the DVSA. Dangerous Deficiency action for a tyre date code more than 10 years of age also extends to any rear axle of a minibus if fitted with single wheels.
If a date of manufacture code is illegible e.g. worn away due to kerbing abrasions or is not displayed, then: -
IMPORTANT NOTE: ‘Not legible’ means cannot be read, which includes evidence where it has been deliberately removed. ‘Not displayed’ is where the date code cannot be found anywhere on the tyre, e.g. has been omitted by the tyre manufacturer and does not relate to the DOT being shown on the outside sidewall.
Penalties for misuse can be: -
The maximum fine is Level 5, a potentially unlimited amount in England, Ireland and Wales, but capped at £5,000 in Scotland.
Fleets managed by our Conti360 Fleet Solutions can rest assured that robust tyre maintenance schedules are in place, allowing them to ensure tyres are assessed based on use and mileage as well as age, and that they are always regularly inspected for damage and pressure variations – all very important aspects of tyre safety. We would advise any operators to work closely with their service provider to ensure tyre age has been adequately built into these tyre maintenance polices, and indeed, tyre supply contracts.