FRT: change to the annual test

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Published: 16 November 2022
Categories: News Article

Free Rolling Tyres: Upcoming Changes in Annual Tests

A well-structured tyre management system is a fundamental component of any operator’s maintenance regimen. Ensuring that in-service tyres are suitable for their intended vehicle and axle positions is critical for safety and performance. Among the various tyre types, ‘FRT’ or Free Rolling Tyres play a significant role in the world of transportation.

Understanding Free Rolling Tyres (FRT)

When you come across the ‘FRT’ marking on a tyre’s sidewall, it signifies that the tyre is specifically designed for use on axles of motor vehicles and trailer axles, excluding front steering and drive axles. Historically, vehicles and trailers equipped with FRTs on drive axles were considered a major item during the annual test, leading to potential failures.

Free Rolling Tyres: change to the annual test
Image by Fleet Point

Upcoming Changes for FRTs on Steering Axles

Starting from April 2023, there will be a significant alteration in the way FRTs on front steering axles are assessed during the annual test. These tyres will now be categorised as a major deficiency, leading to vehicle and trailer failures.

Prepare for the Transition

To adapt to these changes, we will be updating the HGV and PSV inspection manuals in the early part of the upcoming year to reflect the new guidelines regarding FRTs on front steering axles. Operators with vehicles and trailers equipped with FRTs on steering axles are advised to take action within the next six months to avoid annual test failures.

Incorporating regular tyre checks into a driver’s daily walkaround routine is crucial, as is implementing effective management controls. Ensuring that vehicles used for driving tests are compliant with these regulations is essential, as tests will not be conducted on vehicles deemed unroadworthy.

In conclusion, staying informed about the upcoming changes regarding Free Rolling Tyres is vital for operators in the transportation industry. The adjustments in annual test procedures underscore the importance of maintaining safe and appropriate tyres for front steering axles, contributing to overall road safety and vehicle performance.

Written by Mark Salisbury for Fleet Point © Monday, November 7, 2022.

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