Page 3 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - November 2018
P. 3

EDITORIAL & DESIGN
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DFT TALKS SENSE
AT LAST ON OLD TYRES
R egular readers of Commercial Vehicle Engineer
will know that we have not hesitated to highlight much of the nonsense that has
come from the government’s Department for
Transport (DfT) in recent times. They may also
recall that eight months ago we were especially
sceptical about the news that transport
minister Jesse Norman had commissioned a
twelve-month, £250,000 study by TRL (still better known by its original name, Transport Research Laboratory) into the precise effects of ageing on the safety of tyres. Nobody was being fooled, we maintained, by what looked like yet another government delaying tactic in the aftermath of an horri c 2012 fatal coach crash caused by the catastrophic failure of a steer-axle tyre that was nearly 20 years old.
Humble pie time. Judging by a House of Commons written statement from Jesse Norman this month, just as this edition was being  nalised, our judgment of him back in March was unfair and too harsh. The statement points to an updated Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness published this month by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) including guidance that tyres over ten years old should never be used on any heavy vehicle (truck, bus or coach) except in speci c, limited circumstances. The TRL study is “proceeding well” according to the transport minister and he says that he has made “additional funds available to extend the number of tyre samples being analysed.” The
TRL report based on this research is promised next spring. Jesse Norman deserves credit for having proven our scepticism ill-founded. We look forward to publication of the TRL report but meanwhile would urge all commercial vehicle operators in the UK to ensure they have the latest edition of the DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness and follow its guidance.
Next month’s edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer will include a full report on the background to the tyre-age controversy and where it might go next.
Tim Blakemore Editor
THE TRUCK EXPERT THE VAN EXPERT THE CAR EXPERT
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