Regulation 24, 26, 27(1) (a) to (h) and 27 (4) (e) and (f), Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 deals with Tyres, their fitment, type and use. The regulations and their application are:
- Regulation 24 - Types of Tyre
- Regulation 24 and 27(5) - Tyres and re-cutting of tyres
- Regulation 26 - Mixing of tyres and axle requirements
- Regulation 27 (1) (a) to (h) - Maintenance of tyres
- Regulation 27 (4) (e) and (f) and 27 (1)(g) - Depth of Tread
The following information is merely a brief overview of the requirements of the regulations.
Most goods vehicles must have pneumatic tyres. Works trucks, street cleansing and refuse disposal vehicles and tower wagons may have solid tyres. Trailers drawn by a motor car or heavy motor car must have pneumatic tyres, with certain exceptions. Tractors and locomotives must have pneumatic or solid tyres, except certain agricultural vehicles.
ECE Regulations 108 and 109, which relates to the production of retreaded car and truck tyres respectively, came into effect on January 1st 2004 making it mandatory for retreaded tyres to be subjected to the same "type approval" tests as new tyres.
The legislation means that retreaded tyres that are not "e-marked" to show that their producer has gained official approval under ECE 108 and 109 are now illegal at the point of sale in the UK.
Re-cut pneumatic tyres must not be fitted to:
- private cars;
- dual-purpose vehicles;
- goods vehicles of less than 2,540kg unladen weight; or
- goods vehicles that are motor cars over 2.540kg and have wheels with rim diameter of less than 405 millimetres.
Electric vehicles are exempt.
Re-cut tyres are also prohibited on trailers;
Works trailers and certain other specialised trailers are exempt.
A temporary use spare tyre is a pneumatic tyre designed for use on a motor vehicle only in the event of tyre failure. It may be fitted to:
- passenger vehicles constructed or adapted to carry eight or fewer seated passengers plus the driver first used before 1 April 1987; or
- vehicles complying at the time of first use with ECE Regulation 64. A vehicle fitted with such a tyre must not be driven over 50mph.
A goods vehicle, bus or trailer must be equipped with tyres designed and maintained adequately to support the maximum axle weight for each axle at specified speeds. Resilience requirements for solid tyres have now been revoked.
It is illegal to use a tyre that:
- In the case of passenger vehicles constructed or adapted to carry no more than eight passengers excluding the driver, and goods vehicles or trailers with maximum gross weight not exceeding 3,500kg, does not have a minimum of 1.6 millimetres tread depth over the centre three quarters of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference;
- in the case of vehicles other than those in 1 above:
a. does not have a depth of at least 1 millimetre in the grooves of the tread pattern throughout a continuous band measuring at least three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire outer circumference (and a visible tread pattern on the remaining quarter - see 8); or
b. does not have a groove depth of at least 1 millimetre in the tread pattern where the orignal pattern did not extend beyond three-quarters of the breadth of the tread;
- is not suitably inflated for the use to which the vehicle or trailer is put;
- has a cut in excess of 25mm or 10 per cent of the section width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, deep enough to reach the ply or cord;
- has a lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial fracture of its structure:
- is unsuitable in regard to the vehicle's use or to the types of tyres fitted to the other wheels (this does not apply to temporary use spare tyres);
- has any portion of the ply or cord exposed;
- does not have the original tread pattern clearly visible at the base of any groove:
- is not maintained in fit condition for the use to which the vehicle or trailer is put:
- has a defect that might cause damage to the road surface or to persons on or in the vehicle or using the road.
Requirements 2-9 do not apply to:
- an agricultural motor vehicle not driven at more than 20mph;
- an agricultural trailed appliance;
- an agricultural trailer;
- a broken-down vehicle or a vehicle proceeding to a place where it is to be broken up, being drawn, in either case, by a motor vehicle not exceeding 20mph;
Requirements 2 and 8 do not apply to a pedestrian controlled works truck.
It is illegal to have a mixture of cross-ply and radial tyres on the same axle except where one is a temporary use spare tyre. It is also illegal to fit cross-ply tyres on the rear wheel of a two-axled vehicle with single wheels, if radial tyres are fitted to the front wheels.
On other power driven vehicles all steerable axles must be fitted with tyres of the same structure. as must all driven axles that are not steerable. An axle includes two stub axles that form a pair and an articulated vehicle is treated as two separate vehicles.
A recut tyre cannot be used if its ply or cord has been cut or exposed by the recutting process or, if it has been wholly or partially recut, in a pattern other than the manufacturer; recut tread pattern.