Parliament supports wheel testing proposal

The European Parliament (EP) has voted to support the testing of commercial vehicle wheels fitted onto non-standard axles as part of the EU Roadworthiness Package. This has also been endorsed by the DfT. The safety issue has been led by Motor Wheel Service Distribution (MWSD) and saw the company’s MD, John Ellis, presenting expert testimony to the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN). MWSD has long argued that non-circumferential hubs, which give only partial contact between axle and wheel, are causing untested load stresses which cause cracks and half life expectancy of the wheel.

To improve safety Ellis called for: wheels to be identified as safety critical; closer cooperation with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); all wheels and axles to be tested to European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO) standards; and for all wheels to periodically undergo a thorough ten-point check plan. The next stage will be for negotiations to start between the EP and the European Council, which has not supported the amendment, to finalise the legislative text.

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