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 Tyre Safety Warning

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Assassin
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PostSubject: Tyre Safety Warning   Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:21 pm

Many people take tyres for granted, after all they are only the rubber rings which are a pain when they wear out, and are bloody expensive to replace, most people are aware of the need to check their tyre pressures and condition regularly, but how many actually do? and how often are defective tyres dangerous.

Tyres contain many markings, most people understand the tyre size and profile rating, but what about the temperature rating, ply rating, load rating, speed rating, maximum working pressure, and date of manufacture along with all these markings implications.

Temperature ratings are the maximum operating temperature, tyres are made for markets, those operating in countries with cooler climates use tyres with a lower temperature rating then those in hotter countries whose tyres have a much higher temperature rating. Already we see a potential problem, someone using tyresl for the local UK market could exceed their temperature rating if they travel to a hot country.

Tyres are made with bands of material to strengthen them, these are called plies, the number of plies in a tyre determine many things, normal car tyres have to have a minimum of 4 plies to be road legal, 4X4's, vans, campers, and trailers with high load carrying capacities may need 6 ply rated tyres, lorries may have 10 or even 12 ply tyres fitted. Plies are often a combination of materials, steel and polyester are the most common, but other materials can be used, the larger the number of plies in a tyre the stronger it is, and the higher loads can be carried.

Load ratings are marked in Kilograms on the tyre, this is the maximum load for just one tyre, if the vehicle is a four wheeled vehicle and the tyres are all the same then we multiply the load rating of the tyre by four. Assuming our vehicle is fitted with four J. Bloggs radials and the tyre rating is 750Kg the maximum weight of the vehicle must not exceed 4X750Kg's or 3000Kg.

Maximum working pressure is just that, the maximum pressure the tyre is designed to hold, exceed this and the tyre could easily blow out at high speeds, and all tyre pressures should be checked when cold and not after the vehicle has been run.

Date of manufacture is the most often overlooked as it is the date the tyre was manufactured, and is there for a valid reason, this being that tyres should be changed every five years. How many people rely on the tread and say my tyres are fine, they passed the MOT, but are often more than 5 years old? MOT testers can only look at tread depth and any obvious defects such as large cuts or bulges, but it is not these which are the issue.
Tyres; like most other items, degrade over time, as they are a lamination of rubber and reinforcing plies as well as bead reinforcing it is these laminations which degrade, as they are contained inside the tyre itself they cannot be seen, it is this delamination which is the problem, and the reason for the maximum five year tyre life.
Tyre life is based on averages, most average front wheel drive cars cover 10-12,000 miles per year, the average tyre life is around 20,000 miles, therefore the average life of a tyre is around two years. Problems arise with low mileage vehicles such as campers, expedition vehicles, low mileage cars, trailers, and even motorhomes as these predominantly do low annual mileages. If we base our calculations on a motorhome which covers 2000 miles per annum, one fortnights main holiday and a few weekends away, we see our tyres will still be legal in respect of their treads, but potentially 10 years old, so dangerous due to the possibility of delamination.

If a vehicle is involved in an accident and anyone is injured, no matter how slight, and the Police are called, the vehicle is liable for a vehicle inspection by the Police who use trained and qualified vehicle examiners who are contracted to them. In addition we as motorists have a legal duty to ensure our vehicles are correctly maintained, this includes the tyres, if we fail to do this then we are legally liable.
Police forces are now jumping on the issue of tyre life, and they are finding many tyre blowouts are caused by owners having vehicles with tyres which appear fully legal, good tread depth, no cuts or bulges, the correct speed and load rating, but they exceed 5 years of age, so are now prosecuting as the tyres exceed 5 years of age. In addition to this insurers are using this to get out of paying claims as they have a valid excuse of incorrect vehicle maintenance, which is now a condition of most insurance policies, so not only could you end up with a hefty fine, points on your licence, you could effectively lose your vehicle.

Whats the best way to check tyres? the obvious way is to check tyre pressures weekly, look around the tyre and check its tread depth and tread wear, any unusual wear could mean tracking or suspension problems, check for any small cracks or bulges, and anything stuck in the tyre such as thorns, remove any stones from the treads.
Look on your tyre manufacturers website, this will contain all the markings on your tyre, their locations, and charts for the speed and load ratings figures, then check them against your vehicle. Check the Gross Vehicle Weight or MAM, this is the maximum weight of your vehicle, compare this with the load ratings of the tyres, if the load rating of the tyres is less than the GVW or MAM then the tyres are illegal. Check the speed rating of the tyre, if this is lower than the maximum speed of your vehicle then the tyres are illegal, using the excuse of not going over the speed limit does not wash, its been tried, the Police merely utilise the Construction & Use regulations which state the tyres speed rating must exceed the vehicles maximum speed.
Now check the tyres manufacture date, if the tyres are more than 5 years old; change them.

Most people buy secondhand vehicles, how long have these tyres been fitted? were they bought secondhand from a mate who had them in his shed for 6 years? or are the tyres and wheels from another vehicle? One common problem with secondhand vehicles is the load rating, a popular conversion was to fit Suzuki wheels onto Daihatsu Fourtraks to save money, totally illegal as the Suzuki is a light vehicle with low load rated tyres, the Daihatsu is a much heavier vehicle which exceeds the load rating of four Suzuki tyres.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:25 pm

"bought secondhand from a mate who had them in his shed for 6 years" - opps! Sounds like my type of tyre. Never had any problems so far, but there's always a first time.

Trouble is, given the choice we would all go for the new option, but many have to go for the part-worn alternative (or part-used for parts and spares) or we would never afford to keep our 4x4's going. It's a risk granted, but that's life.

When I think back to the days before MOT tests, or even not so long back when dodgy back street MOTs could be acquired, it's amazing half of us are still here. The standard of tyres and motors in general was atrocious, much the same as you still see in third world countries today. Guess we 'got away with it', that's the truth of it.

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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:20 pm

Very good post Assassin.
Things which some people don't think about.

One very small point. In a serious accident VOSA would inspect the vehicle with the police present and none of them are fools.

Tom
How old are you ??? You remember pr MOT ? Let me think to look, I may have the first or second MOT ticket issued to me.
The MOT wasn't the be all and end all. I understand when the MOT firts came in only 5% of vehicles were defective out of all the vehicles on the road. HGV even less
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:41 pm

Gemimi:

Vosa would not examine the vehicle, now its the responsibility of the Police who use appointed vehicle examiners who are specialists, this is because a Police officer can open an inquest in the event of a death resulting from injuries sustained in an accident and the coroner can then hold a full inquest. Police officers can only do a limited inspection of a vehicle due to their lack of qualifications, and the reason they now use specialist, fully trained vehicle examiners.

VOSA still have the power to stop a vehicle (using a Police officer) and do a full roadside examination using their own fully qualified vehicle examiners, but again are slightly limited in what they can do; foibles of legislation i'm afraid, but vehicle examiners are automatically expert witnesses in any resulting court case or inquest, due to their qualifications.

Tom:

There is no issue with using secondhand tyres, you now have the information to ensure they are legally compliant.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:53 pm

Tom
I understood that VOSA officers no longer need a PC to stop a vehicle. They can do it all by themselves. certainly when I worked a copper was needed.

What I don't like about the police examining a vehicle is that a six weeks course allows him/ her to do that. Not somebody who's been trained for years in the motor trade.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:55 pm

VOSA cannot stop a vehicle, a Police officer has to stop the vehicle on their behalf.

Police cannot mechanically examine a vehicle, thats why they use specialised contractors, Police have only limited inspection powers such as tread depth and any bulges on tyres, they can check tax, MOT, Insurance and any visual aspect such as tinted window film on front windows or other basics such as lights.

VOSa stopped doing such examinations as they have no powers to prosecute, people assume they have, its a myth, VOSA and other bodies such as the fire brigade uphold legislation, they submit their report to the Police who pass it to the CPS who decide whether or not to prosecute.

Its all down to money and why should VOSA spend their budget when the Police do it for them, why should VOSA allocate time and resources to examining vehicles when their staff are not expert witnesses, much the same applies to HMRC who get Police to stop vehicles for fuel checks to stop red diesel being used.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:34 pm

One interesting story from the recent past with me being stopped.

Had a phone call from work while i was off for a few days, had a problem with a sun contract company working for us, i attended and dealt with the issue and used my own vehicle which was actually insured on the company policy, instead of my company car.

On my way back a Police motorcycle pulled out of a small lane behind me and beckoned me to follow him, i did, and this was to a layby where VOSA and HMRC were waiting, the VOSA chap came over ans asked me to get out of my vehicle as he was examining it, i refused. He claimed he worked for VOSA and showed me his ID, i still refused, he said he had to enter my vehicle to examine it, i asked for a warrant issued by a court, he said he did not need one as he worked for VOSA, i told him he did if i did not consent, which i did not.

HMRC chap came over and asked to dip my tank to check for red diesel, he had seen what had happened and was very polite, again i refused, he asked why. I told him to access my fuel filler he had to enter my vehicle to operate the fuel flap release and he and VOSA had no authority to enter my vehicle without my consent, or a warrant issued by a court. I also informed him that legally if they put anything or any part of their body inside any part of my vehicle or eternal part of the vehicle such as the fuel filler or exhaust they are classed as entering my vehicle, and as they did not have my consent or a warrant it is illegal.

They shouted Police officer over, who incidentally was trying not to laugh and was actually an old friend, and explained their plight, he confirmed i was indeed correct and they would need my consent or a warrant, and he could not do anything as he had to have reasonable cause, which he did not have. VOSA man tried to get cocky and said he would go under my vehicle and examine it, i told him if he did i would start up and drive off and squash him in the process, and legally he would be "deliberately putting himself in a position of danger" which is illegal under H&S legislation.

Not knowing what to do VOSA man asked if he could do a diesel emissions test with my consent, i replied yes, he got his kit out and tried to do a diesel emissions test, it did not read, he got another unit from his van and tried again, nothing; at this point i asked if he was a qualified mechanic, he asked why. I asked if he knew the difference between petrol and diesel engines, he went to great lengths to explain the differences, i then asked why i had driven within two feet of him and he was trying to do a diesel emissions test on a petrol engined vehicle, Police officer (mate) burst out laughing as he could not contain himself any longer.

Having comprehensively lost they tried to get the Police officer over and tried to get him to do something, he explained he knew me and i knew more about vehicle legislation than they did, particularly the more obscure legislation, and he and a number of his colleagues often spoke to me about such legal matters when they were stuck on legality.

VOSA, HMRC, and any other public body have no legal right to stop a vehicle, only the Police do.

VOSA, HMRC, and any other public body have no legal right to enter your vehicle unless they have your consent or a warrant, Police can only do so with reasonable cause or a warrant. If they ask you to step out of your vehicle so they can examine it and you do, its classed as consent, refuse to get out or let them in and they enter any part of your vehicle then its illegal, they cannot enter any part of the vehicle. This includes vehicle locks, exhausts, fuel fillers, or any other orifice on the vehicle, they cannot even lean on an open drivers window as this constitutes illegal entry.

Know the law and you can have considerable fun with a number of the bombastic, self righteous tin gods some of these people are.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:46 pm

I like that

A few years. well more than a few years ago I worked nights for the Ford Main Dealer. I'd nipped home to collect some bits as all the work we had to do was done, so time for me to work on my own car.

On the way back I got pulled. This copper insisted he examine my vehicle.
"Yes, no problem. My place tomorrow afternoon at 2.30" I said.....He argued the toss but I stood my ground and eventually after a radio conversation he backed off.

The other thing I've done. When being told by a copper that he checkes my vehicle. I leave him to it. He soon stops when he sees me checking his car....Is that still the law now as I'm well out of date.

I understood that when the government gave VOSA the job of patroling the roads they also allowed then to stop a vehicle ?

So if VOSA can't stop you. They can't direct traffic ??
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:17 am

Mike:

Vosa had their powers amended recently, once the Police had the legal responsibility to examine cars, albeit by using specialised vehicle examination contractors solely for this purpose, VOSA had to concede something, this was the amendment for trained VOSA employed traffic officers to direct traffic and act as liaison in accidents and breakdowns,

VOSA have no legal powers to stop traffic, merely direct it, often this may involve stopping traffic at the scene of an incident or accident for safety reasons, the interpretation is actually clearly defined in the amendments and is only in the event of an accident or incident. In the event of a severe accident they will act to direct traffic, cone off lanes, stop traffic if there is a safety risk such as leaking fuel and a fire, this is classed as directing traffic under the regulations.

VOSA cannot stop traffic for vehicle inspections, census, or any other reason, just safety at the scene of an accident, and having seen them in action i feel they are well trained and do an excellent job. In addition they have the power to remove damaged vehicles from a dangerous position by towing, and also comfort and offer assistance to motorists not injured, but shaken up or in shock, they will arrange recovery, contact family members, and even make tea and coffee for those uninjured, but in shock. They will take people home if they are local, and even to hospital if other passengers are injured.
This is the reason they use Shogun's as their preferred vehicle, and a number of Land Cruisers, the Shogun is reliable over high mileages, can have 2 or 4 wheel drive on tarmac, massive torque for towing damaged vehicles, although this is often dragging them, and they have room for the numerous kit they have to carry.

Personally i welcome them, if it had not been for them on many occasions i would have spent many more hours sat in motorway traffic jams while they waited for recovery vehicles to arrive.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:20 pm

Not seen anything other than the Discovery but then again I don't travel in this country.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:33 pm

Mike:

The predominant vehicle is the Shogun, followed by the Land cruiser as they are both very reliable vehicles which suit such operations, it is large 4X4's which are ideal for the role they have to undertake, and yes you will see other vehicles being used for several reasons.

VOSA are a public body, as such they have a responsibility to be accountable to the treasury and ultimately to us the taxpayers, and have to have suitable vehicles which are capable of doing the job and are also cost effective, this means reliability, fuel efficiency, and able to carry the considerable kit necessary for the role. They have to have the ability to operate 24/7/365 as the job demands this, and operate in all conditions, and be capable of dragging accident damaged vehicles clear of the carriageway so at least one lane can be opened as quickly as possible, and towing broken down vehicles as well.

Public bodies such as VOSA and the Police have other considerations and remits and one of these is the fact they cannot become tied to one manufacturer and have to operate at least two different types of vehicle, hence the Shogun and Land Cruiser, they also have to continually evaluate these, and other vehicles. As this is a continual process you will see different vehicles being used, Discoveries being one of these other vehicles even though their numbers are relatively small, and it is this continual evaluation which supplies their figures.
Land Rover have failed in all areas, Discoveries and Range Rover have the highest fuel costs, highest repair costs, highest breakdown levels, and even the most servicing. This all adds to the full life cycle operating costs and it is these which excludes Land Rover as a serious contender for such a lucrative contract.
On the other hand the Shogun is the cheapest, it has the best towing torque characteristics, best fuel economy due to being able to operate in 2WD, and then only in 4WD when necessary, and the best reliability record, its scheduled servicing is the cheapest, and breakdowns are so uncommon it becomes news when one does. Toyota cannot quite match these figures, they are very reliable, cost a little more in fuel, and cost more in servicing then the Shogun, but they are much better than Land Rover products in all these respects.

One other factor is resale value, both Shoguns and Cruisers sell well with high mileages on them, its not uncommon to see both these sold off at three years of age with in excess of 200,000 miles and not even so much as a flat tyre, let alone a breakdown in their comprehensive vehicle histories. Their most common problem is chips in the windscreens due to stones or other debris thrown up at them, and you cannot blame the vehicle manufacturer for that.

If you also consider how many vehicles can tow over 3000Kg's you will see very few, this limits the options before VOSA even begin to look at what is on the market for their dutues.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:26 pm

My information is three vehicle manufacturers can tow 3,500kg and over
Land Rover. Jeep and Hummer.

I know a series one will pull a loaded ten ton truck and a Ford Escort mark one will pull a loaded D8. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:23 pm

A fascinating thread, especially the VOSPA 'non-entry' post. Nice to know your rights, learnt a lot from this, mainly how to pee off jobsworths in yellow dayglo coats!

Gemini - how old am I? OLD!!!!!! No

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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:50 pm

Tom:

You know when youre getting old, its when you go to more funerals than weddings.

Mobility companies get you on their mailing lists, and you get more brochures from them than you're local takeaways.

You have to think about toupee's, hearing aids, glasses, and bus passes, and visiting the hospital annually for medicals and flu jabs.

But the ultimate is the massive hike in insurance premiums when you hit 70, and you wonder how and why after 50 years of accident free driving you suddenly become such a risk overnight.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:27 pm

Hold on, not that old! True about the funerals bit though, more years you are on this planet the more likely the ol' black tie will make an appearance.

As for glasses, how many drivers are aware that in loads of overseas countries, you are required by law to carry a spare pair on board ... just in case?

Don't think the same applies to toupees though. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:44 am

Intersting comments about VOSA, cheers Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:42 am

Tom:

If the thatch is receeding the answer is simple, grow a beard.

This way you stick trellis to the temples and just let it grow over the top.
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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:38 pm

So obvious! doh

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PostSubject: Re: Tyre Safety Warning   Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:11 pm

Fascinating and informative thread - thanks guys
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