BRISTOL VEHICLE TECHNICIAN WARNS OF DANGER FROM “KILLER TYRES”
15 May 2015
A vehicle technician working in Avon Street, Bristol, says the condition of tyres he’s removed from local cars and vans in the city this year has left him shocked, even after 20 years working in the industry.
Richard Hook joined ATS Euromaster six months ago as Assistant Centre Operations Manager, and believes the condition of tyres on local roads has never been as bad as it is currently – with some vehicles driving around on what he describes as “killer tyres”.
He’s issued a stark warning to local motorists, strongly urging them to check their tyres more regularly – and particularly ahead of the May half-term getaway, when many families will be setting off on long journeys.
“My colleagues and I are frequently shocked by some of the things we see,” he says. “The legal tread depth limit is 1.6mm, but we routinely have motorists pulling up with tyres which are completely smooth – on some you can even see the steel cords.
“It’s not just older cars which are affected,” Richard explains. “The other day we had a one-year-old Mercedes on tyres in such a bad state the rubber had completely worn away in places. The tyres risked losing their structure with every rotation and could have caused a serious accident. It was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
“Thankfully the owner asked us to replace them, but he’d risked being involved in a nasty accident by driving around for hundreds of miles before realising, often with his kids in the back.
“We strongly recommend vehicle owners inspect their tyres at least monthly, and before any long journey. Alternatively, they can drop by our centre and one of our experts will conduct a tyre safety check for free.
“A lot of people don’t realise, but if you’re involved in an accident and are found to have an illegal tyre on your car then you risk your insurance policy being declared void, because your vehicle would be considered illegal for road use,” he points out.
Richard, 43, is part of a nine-man team at the Avon Street centre, which has six bays and undertakes everything from tyre and fast-fit work, to vehicle servicing and MOTs. His centre is one of eight ATS Euromaster sites within 20 miles of Bristol, and more than 340 nationwide.
ATS Euromaster advises motorists to check their tyre tread depth, condition and pressures at least monthly and before any long journey. The free tyre safety checks are available in all its centres – with no obligation, and no appointment required.
Department for Transport statistics from 2013 show that illegal, defective or underinflated tyres were the most common vehicle defect contributing to accidents in Great Britain where a Police officer attended the scene.
Tyres and the law
If you drive with damaged or extremely worn tyres you risk being fined, receiving points on your driving license, invalidating your vehicle insurance policy and endangering lives.
Car and van tyres must be fit for purpose. This means being compatible with the tyres fitted to the other wheels, not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the structure, not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord. Furthermore, no part of the ply or cord can be exposed.
The remaining tread depth must also be at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference.
For expert tyre advice visit your local ATS Euromaster centre or www.atseuromaster.co.uk/tyres
About ATS Euromaster
Birmingham-based ATS Euromaster Ltd, part of the Euromaster Group, was established in 1965 and operates approximately 345 centres, more than 820 service vans and employs nearly 2,600 people, providing coverage across Great Britain. It is the country’s largest comprehensive tyre distributor, supplying tyres for cars, vans, trucks, buses/coaches, materials handling equipment, agricultural machinery and construction plant. The company’s expertise also extends to car and van service, maintenance and repair (SMR), including: menu-driven servicing, Class IV & Class VII MoT tests, brakes, batteries, shock absorbers, oil, exhausts, fault diagnostics and air-conditioning servicing. ATS Euromaster is accredited by both safecontractor and the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS) and has been granted a Royal Warrant as tyre specialists to Her Majesty The Queen. It is also an official ‘industry partner’ to the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme. For further information visit: http://www.atseuromaster.co.uk
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