More safety on roads, can and will be delivered with stricter inspections in conjunction with more education in the procurement and maintenance of commercial vehicle wheels – and MWheels GmbH, the new German operation of Motor Wheels Service Distribution (MWSD) is dedicated to these issues. In April 2014, MWSD’s dedication was rewarded by recording its first successes: MWSD’s wheel safety road safety campaign for commercial vehicles was adopted in the new EU Roadworthiness Law, which was passed by all Member States in May of that same year.
In May 2017, the new Roadworthiness Law will come into force. In a meeting with the editorial department, MWSD spoke about the aspects and facts of the law.
The new law states that “the compatibility between parts and components, for example between wheels and hubs, is classed as a safety-critical aspect and should be tested during technical inspections”. Furthermore, the legislative text also consists of several wheel inspection procedures, which demonstrate a correct wheel examination. Finally, the law also emphasises that it will now be classed as a severe defect if “wheels size, technical design, compatibility or type do not conform with the standards and therefore affect road safety”. Reasons for failure in the assessment of deficiencies are classed as major or dangerous, with the legislative text covering both roadside technical inspections and periodic vehicle testing.
MWSD had always tried to make people aware of the fact that non-circumferential hubs (also known as ‘castellated’ or ‘spider’ hubs), which only partially create contact between the axis and the wheel, cause stresses which can lead to very early cracks and reduce the durability of wheels, which can happen under less than 50,000km. This in turn raises serious concerns.
“With regards to legislation on wheel inspections, the law had some real inadequacies. That is why MWSD decided to raise its concerns with the Department for Transport in the UK. At the same time, we decided to speak with the EU as well, due to the fact that problems with testing methods was a Europe-wide problem”, says Matthew Mardle, operations director for MWheels and MWSD.
Critical players in the campaign were MWSD’s managing director John Ellis, Brian Simpson (then Transport Committee Chair and North West MEP), as well as the late Paul Goggins (former Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East). “This is a big step in our campaign and it proves that the EU has understood how much of a significant safety relevance CV wheels have. Furthermore, they acknowledge that the safety of vehicles can be greatly impeded, if appropriate wheels are accidentally fitted with non-circumferential hubs or not procured or maintained properly”, Mardle explains.
“In 2010 there were an approximate 10.000 faulty wheels in the UK. The exact number however, is difficult to estimate. The problem is that one cannot tell if a wheel is faulty by just looking at it. One only finds out once it is too late and quite possibly after a serious incident might have occurred”, explains Kevin Ryan, Technical Director for MWheels and MWSD. “More and more faulty potentially dangerous CV wheels are coming on to the market. They pose a serious danger and we do not know how many there are”.
This is why MWSD is determined to educate everyone involved in the field, and in the German market MWheels is determined to bring the issue to the fore. Mardle states clearly that any fleet can comply with the requirements of the EU Roadworthiness Law without placing an extra financial burden on companies, but with changes to purchasing, monitoring and inspection that wheel safety becomes second nature.
In the UK the company closely works with big tyre companies such as Pirelli, Goodyear, Dunlop, Continental, Hankook and Michelin, as well as major service centres such as ATS Euromaster in order to convey the message. Furthermore, the company gives lectures and holds smaller training sessions with decision-makers of other companies in order to inform them that: “We have the suitable product for every purpose and application. We offer a package to our clients that contains everything: safety, quality etc…”, concludes Mardle.