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  • Mark Salisbury

Free Rolling Tyres: change to the annual test

Updated: May 11, 2023

A robust tyre management system is an essential part of any operator’s maintenance system.

This includes in-service tyres which are appropriate for the vehicle and positions which they are fitted to.

Free Rolling Tyres

A tyre marked with the term ‘FRT’ on the side wall stands for Free Rolling Tyre.

This marking means the tyre is designed for use on axles of a motor vehicle and trailer axles, other than front steering and drive axles.

Currently, vehicles and trailers which are fitted with FRTs on drive axles are categorised as a major item at annual test and will result in a failure.

FRTs on steering axles

From April 2023, FRTs fitted to front steering axles will be treated as a major deficiency at annual test.

This means vehicles and trailers will fail the annual test.

Before then, FRTs fitted to steering axles may be issued with an advisory at annual test.

Prepare for the change

We will update the HGV and PSV inspection manuals early next year to reflect the change for FRTs on front steering axles.

Operators using vehicles and/or trailers which are fitted with FRTs on steering axles have 6 months to make changes and ensure they will avoid a failure at annual test.

Tyre checks should be part of a driver’s daily walkaround checks – as well as the regular management controls that operators need to have in place.

Vehicles which are being used for a driving test must be compliant.

We will refuse to carry out a test if vehicles are not in a roadworthy condition.

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