Story: COLIN DAWSON
HOW important is your choice of tyres? When your van needs a new set of rubber is just a matter of price, or do you consider other factors, such fuel efficiency and performance in the wet? After all, the tyres are the only contact your van has with the road.
The latest EU rules on labelling for new tyres sold in Europe have been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association as ‘good news, all round’.
The new legislation, effective from 1 November, demands that all new tyres are labelled with clear ratings, and aims to provide end-users of vehicles with clear and relevant information about the quality of the tyre, and to guide them towards choosing a product which is more fuel efficient, has better wet braking and is less noisy.
The labelling is similar to that required for household appliances, allowing buyers to compare tyre characteristics before making a purchase. In common with the familiar European energy label, the tyre label uses classes ranging from best performance (green ‘A’ class) to worst (red ‘G’ class).
In addition to indicating how much the tyre affects the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, it also provides information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.
FTA head of engineering Andy Mair told Business Vans that the new tyre-labelling requirements were likely to have more of an effect on passenger car drivers rather than commercial vehicle operators.
He said: “The road transport sector in recent years has seen an increasingly focused approach on tyre selection and maintenance, and commercial van operators are well ahead of the game when it comes to specifying tyres for commercial vehicles.
“The labelling regulations do provide valuable like-for-like guidance for business van operators which will enable buyers to see at a glance the specification of a particular tyre, which should help inform purchasing decisions.”
Larger tyres for the heavy end of the commercial vehicle application, which are defined as C3 class tyres, are not required to be fitted with the label, but the required information must be detailed in any technical promotional material.
Keep up to date with developments in our Business Van News section.