Ensure Your Vehicle Is Safe and Legal on Australia’s Roads
The tyre inspection is one of the most important jobs that a driver, operator or inspector does. If your heavy vehicle’s tyres are below the required standard, you are putting yourself and other road users at risk. How do you know what the tyre standards are for heavy vehicles? Do your drivers know the 14 reasons to reject a tyre?
National Standards for Heavy Vehicle Tyres
Since February 2014, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been Australia’s independent regulator for all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM). Its job is to ensure that heavy vehicles are safe and efficient on Australia’s road network. The regulations that it oversees include the standards laid out in the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM). It is in here that you will find the standards for heavy vehicle tyre checks.
Do Your Inspectors and Drivers Know the Heavy Vehicle Tyre Standards?
The NHVIM has been composed to provide a consistent approach to heavy vehicle standards across Australia. Its aim is to ensure compliance with standards, to improve safety, and to reduce vehicle downtime.
It wasn’t written by people with no experience, either. The regulator consulted with the industry and developed the NHVIM to provide inspectors and operators with standards that actually achieve what they set out to achieve.
For fleet managers, the NHVIM provides the criteria for heavy vehicle inspections. This includes all the reasons a heavy vehicle tyre should be rejected when inspected.
Here are all 14 of these reasons to reject a heavy vehicle tyre, with explanations where needed.
1. Insufficient Tread
The law states that a tyre must have a minimum of 1.5mm of tread in a continuous band around the whole tyre. This tread depth must extend at least 75% of the width of the tyre.
Most tyres have tread wear indicators built into them, though these aren’t included when assessing a tyre’s tread depth around its circumference.
Good operators will replace heavy vehicle tyres sometime before they reach legal minimum tread depth.
2. Tyres Don’t Match the Tyre Placard
Most vehicles have a tyre placard fitted to the door jamb. This shows the dimensions and air pressure levels that must be maintained. If there is no tyre placard, these details will be in the owner’s manual. A tyre that does not match these standards should be rejected.
3. Tyre Damage
Deep cuts, bumps, bulges, exposed cords, chunking, and other signs of carcass failure.
4. Regrooved Tyres
Only if it is stipulated on the sidewall of the tyre that it can be regrooved is regrooving permitted.
5. Wider Than Mudguards
If the heavy vehicle tyre’s sidewall projects beyond the width of the mudguard when in the straight-ahead position.
6. Non-Approved Modifications
If the tyre has been fitted with a non-OEM front wheel (i.e. rim and tyre) that has not been approved as a modification.
7. Not Constructed for Unrestricted Road Use
8. Illegal Retreads and Remoulds
Only tyres that are marked with ‘Retread’ or ‘Remould’ are capable of being retreaded or remoulded. The tyre should also be marked with its maximum speed (e.g. Speed Limited to 125 km/h).
9. Illegal Speed Rating
The speed rating of all tyres must be no less than 100km/h or the vehicle’s top speed, whichever is the smaller. The exception to this is if the manufacturer has specified a lower speed rating.
10. Manufacturer’s Tyre Load Ratings Are Less Than the Vehicle’s Ratings
Any tyre fitted to a vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes is not suitable for road use if the tyre load ratings are less than the minimum ratings specified originally by the vehicle manufacturer.
11. Tyres Are in Contact
If dual tyres are fitted, there must be space between them. If they are touching, they must be removed and replaced.
12. A Tyre That Is in Contact with the Vehicle
If the tyre is in contact with any part of the vehicle – the body, chassis, braking, steering, frame, suspension – at any point of travel must be rejected.
13. A Tyre That Could Damage Roads
If cleats or other gripping devices could damage the road on which the vehicle is travelling.
14. Incompatible Tyres
A tyre that is not compatible to the rim to which it is fitted.
When your drivers or maintenance staff check the tyres on heavy vehicles, it is essential that they check for all 14 reasons to reject a tyre. If you asked your drivers to write the list of 14 heavy vehicle tyre rejections now, do you think they could do so?
A simple tyre test will help your fleet’s vehicles to be safe and legal on Australia’s roads. When these tests show up heavy vehicle tyre frailties, contact Darra Tyres in Brisbane for the professional assistance you need.
Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,