May 2012: Motor Wheel Service Research Results May Bring New Safety Regulations
The research conducted by Motor Wheel Service (MWS) during April has shown that commercial wheels sustain increased level of damage which is harder to detect if these are fitted to non-standard hubs.
Managing director of MWS, John Elis has declared that the current studies show that the ETRTO standard wheels are currently used with axles that do not follow a correct standardisation which in turn leads to decrease tyre life, possible cracks and decreased tyre performance.
Another issue which may be taken into consideration is the fact that hubs come with different manufacturing spaces which in turn can significantly reduce possible changeability.
Additional changing between hubs may reduce the attachment surface and lead to lower wheel-hub connection.
The Department of Transport test series are the third line of tests conducted on the subject. The first series of tests have been conducted by Dr Sundararajan from Wheels India, one of the world’s most renowned CV wheel experts.
The tests were conducted on a LBF machine and they have shown that non-circumferential hubs that have incomplete contact among the wheel and the axel cause increased stress which cannot be determined with precision and which in turn reduces the tyre life expectancy to half and also increases the number of cracks.
MWS has been significantly concerned during the past years regarding tyre safety and it has focused on numerous possible tyre safety problems during the years.
The report regarding the increased damage produced to tyres which are fitted to non-standard hubs was presented to the Parliament of Britain by under-secretary of State of Transport Mike Penning, who had discussed the issue with the managing director of MWS, John Ellis.
In Britain, the quality of wheels are tested and approved under the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO) standards for circumferential hub that has a permanent contact width.
This standard has been acknowledged to be as the model norm by the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers (EUWA).
Under recent parliament representative’s declarations, possible testing on the matter will be undertaken in the near future, but no timeline has been yet presented to the public.
The representatives of MWS have been quite positive after their conversation with the under-secretary and his response towards the problem that the issue will be further discussed and resolved.
If the Department of Transports looks into the issue and a new set of regulations is adopted, then this will have an impact on the current warranty regulations.
MWS has declared that operators in the tyre domain may need to contact wheel and hub producers as many products may no longer be replaced in the warranty period if it results that they have been used with a non-circumferential hub.
Now, we wait for the next couple of months to pass, in which Parliament solicited tests will be concluded to see whether or not new regulations regarding this issue will be voted. We will also find out if the warranty of tyre regulations will be changed to include the recent discovered problem.