Why tyres matter

Tyres are one of those under-estimated components of a vehicle. In a crash-avoidance situation it is the tyres that will determine how well you are able to maintain control of the vehicle. Tyres also affect the noise inside the vehicle, the comfort of ride, and the road holding.
Tyres in South Africa are subject to varying degrees of extremes and these range between over loading (Often well over the load index rating), under inflation (according to the manufacturers specifications), extreme temperatures (cold or hot), poor road surfaces (with potholes and corrugations) and sustained high speeds (often in excess of the speed ratings and speed limits).

Here are five ways to ensure the health and legality of your tyres.

  1. Regularly check your tyres inflation pressure, preferably each time you fill with fuel.
  2. When loading the vehicle check the inflation pressures are in accordance with the load specs for the vehicle. A rule of thumb is, if it looks too flat it probably is.
  3. Most passenger, light commercial vehicles and SUV tyres are manufactured with wear indicators in the main groove of the tread path. This is a small block that is set at 1.6mm in intervals and across the width of the tyre. These are easy to locate and identify. If the surrounding tread is level with any one of these indicators, the tyre is illegal.
  4. Good practice is to ensure that you have the wheels/tyres rotated and the wheel alignment checked on the vehicle every 8,000km and not more than 10,000km, as this will indicate early signs of damage or deterioration. Proper alignment and rotation can save as much as 25% of the life of the tyres. Do not hesitate if you feel there is something not quite right get it checked.
  5. Look after you tyres. Avoid potholes, rough roads, fast pull aways, harsh braking, high-speed cornering and other forms of obvious abuse.

If you are not sure of how to check your tyres for depth or age, any reputable TDAFA (Tyre Dealer and Fitment Association) member will be able to assist with the proper advice.
When investing in new tyres for you vehicle, CHEAPEST is not always BEST. Tyres are complex products and are designed to operate and perform in specific ways in different circumstances. By changing any of the dimensional or performance criteria you are changing the entire manner in which the vehicle will behave. Ensure that the tyres being quoted to you are the correct size, load index and speed index for the vehicle. These are variables that affect the price of a tyre and you surely want to compare apples to apples.
Brands of tyres are different and poor quality tyres should never be available from any reputable or TDAFA member fitment centre. It is in your best interests to seek out a TDAFA member dealers when using your hard earned cash on tyres.

Second hand tyres

Second hand tyres are just that, they are used and have in most instances been removed for one reason or another – very seldom does the owner decided to change the tyres on impulse. Many times tyres are removed due to a puncture and have been driven on flat (indications are visible) which damages the side wall of the tyre, making it unsafe. Furthermore where punctures have been repaired, the repair must have been performed according to the SANS 10408 standard. Used tyres can, at best be, visually inspected by the seller or buyer and the integrity of the tyre casing and the tread path area is not able to be fully verified.
The best advice is to steer clear (pun intended) of the second hand tyre market, for your own safety.
Second hand tyres are best described as follows: The pleasure of a low price is quickly forgotten when the product fails
Should you have any queries regarding the tyres on your vehicle it is advisable to approach any TDAFA member as soon as possible for assistance.

Bio-based Tyres Edge Closer to Reality

Goodyear and DuPont Industrial Biosciences are working together to develop BioIsoprene, a revolutionary bio-based alternative for petroleum-derived isoprene. BioIsoprene can be used for the production of synthetic rubber, which in turn is an alternative for natural rubber and other elastomers. The development of BioIsoprene will help reduce the tyre and rubber industry’s dependence on oil-derived products.
Currently, the two companies have demonstrated proof of the technology through the production of a prototype tyre made with BioIsoprene monomer. This tyre is on display at the Goodyear stand at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show.
For Goodyear, a bio-based alternative to synthetic rubber is an important advancement, as the company seeks innovative approaches to addressing raw material needs. The company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and BioIsoprene monomer produced from renewable materials will help achieve this goal.
“Finding a replacement for oil-derived materials is the right thing to do from a business standpoint, but it’s also the right thing to do for the environment,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, chief technical officer for The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company. “Since synthetic rubber is a critical component to our products and many others, we are very excited to be working on this renewable alternative with DuPont.”
The two companies first signed on to the collaboration in 2008. In May of 2011, DuPont acquired Danisco and its Genencor division which has spearheaded the research and development activities around the BioIsoprene product.
The BioIsoprene monomer is derived from renewable raw materials as well and represents a significant development within the biochemical and rubber industries where traditional isoprene is currently used. Aside from synthetic rubber for tyre production, BioIsoprene can be used in a wide range of products such as surgical gloves, golf balls and adhesives. By itself, Goodyear is one of the world’s largest users of isoprene for the production of synthetic rubber and other elastomers.
The two companies have invested jointly for more than four years to validate the project, establish the teams, and secure intellectual property assets. To date, technical progress has exceeded expectations. Additional investments to establish pilot plant operations and manufacturing infrastructure are expected.

Goodyear Innovations On Display In Geneva

Goodyear’s innovative technology and industry-leading new product engine are on display at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show taking place this week in Switzerland.
New technologies on display include Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), a self-inflating tyre system that can help reduce fuel consumption. Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show will see how tyres can remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps, electronics or driver intervention.
“Consumers often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tyre pressure,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer. “We believe this technology will have immediate positive impact for drivers in terms of performance and for the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tyre life. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging to the point that we are now ready to demonstrate it in Geneva for the first time.”
Additional new technologies on display include the company’s Electric Vehicle Tyre Technology developed for CityHush, a European Union-sponsored project to reduce noise in cities throughout Europe. Goodyear will show how Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology is being taken from the race track to the road to make consumer and fleet tyres more intelligent in the future, and Goodyear’s innovative Spring Tyre – an airless tyre designed originally for use on the moon. Another concept tyre on display is made with BioIsoprene, a revolutionary bio-based alternative for petroleum-derived isoprene. The development of BioIsoprene will help reduce the tyre industry’s dependence on oil-derived products.
Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa tyre business will highlight its latest consumer tyre technologies including RunOnFlat Technology and 4D Sipe Technology. The company will also exhibit its new 2012 product which will be available in South Africa – the Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV.
Goodyear will host a special display where the media can learn about the upcoming introduction of tyre labels in Europe this year. European consumers will see tyres in their dealerships carrying a standardised label that provides information on three key performance attributes: rolling resistance, wet grip and exterior rolling noise.
“Goodyear has always been proactive in research and development and we are looking forward to displaying a range of innovations that people will never have seen before,” said Jean Pierre Jeusette, general director of Goodyear’s Luxembourg Innovation Center. “These technologies have been specifically developed to meet the ever-changing requirements of modern consumers and society focused on performance, sustainability, the environment and convenience.”

Redisa Update

The following is a press release issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs on behalf of Honourable Minister Edna Molewa:
The Department of Environmental Affairs is constitutionally mandated to ensure the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, balanced with sustainable development and equitable distribution of the benefits derived from these processes.
The recent developments in the waste tyre management space are a reflection of the department’s commitment to our constitutional imperatives, as well as our commitment to ensuring fruitful engagement with industry and affected stakeholders.
In our quest for an inclusive waste tyre management regime, Minister Collins Chabane, with my full support and acting on my behalf as the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, withdrew the approval for the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IIWTMP) of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA (Redisa). The Redisa plan was approved by notice in the Government Gazette Notice (No 983 published in Gazette No 34796) published on November 28.
The withdrawal of the plan will afford the department the opportunity to attend to procedural requirements stipulated in the tyre regulations. Thus the withdrawal is a reflection of the government’s willingness and commitment to due process as well as engagement with all stakeholders. The withdrawal of the plan does not in any way display less commitment by the government to SA’s waste tyre problem.
The government remains committed to dealing with the millions of waste tyres that lead to pollution. In fact we are preparing ourselves for a rerun of the public participation process in respect of the Redisa plan. We anticipate there will be constructive and valuable input into the IIWTMP. Why does SA need a waste tyre management plan? Over 200 000 tons of tyres become waste tyres in SA annually. This figure will increase every year by 9.5 percent.
If not managed properly, waste tyre stockpiles provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Tyre stockpiles can easily ignite, so this presents a major fire hazard. There is significant air pollution arising from burning tyres as people seek the wire in tyres, which is currently fetching a better price than tyres.
We also face the problem of depletion of airspace fast in landfill sites as tyres are bulky and do not biodegrade. This is of particular concern given the fact that existing landfill sites in municipalities are fast reaching their end (the City of Joburg is left with a couple of years on its landfill sites).
Land availability for the establishment of new sites is not easy, as land is contested for a wide range of other uses, which take precedence, for example housing, industry and agriculture.
All of this highlights the need for an IIWTMP. SA requires a plan, which engages all the relevant stakeholders and speaks to the empowerment of communities and small to medium enterprises in the tyre recycling space.
The Waste Act has a range of tools available to the government for managing various waste streams. These tools fall into two main categories: command and control, and co-regulatory tools.
In the case of waste tyres, the government opted not to use the command and control instruments where, in the main, the government would dictate to industry exactly how the waste stream should be managed. We have chosen the co-regulatory approach, and work with and rely on industry in crafting a plan to manage waste tyres.
All this is based on a simple assumption that the tyre industry is responsible enough to collaborate with the government and find solutions to environmental problems.
Even though the development and implementation of a waste tyre management plan is still the way the government wishes to address the waste tyre problem, command and control tools are available to us for use in dealing with waste tyres, and these may be used if necessary.
We aim to use all legislative instruments at our disposal to address problems we have had for decades with our waste by instituting mechanisms of waste avoidance, minimisation, re-use, recycling, recovery, collection, transportation and storage, as well as environmentally sound treatment and disposal of problematic waste streams.
The government is committed to ensuring that South Africans take as little waste as possible to landfill sites. Thus the withdrawal of the Redisa plan’s approval is not in any way a reflection of inadequacies in the plan. The withdrawal has nothing to do with the merits of the plan, but instead is intended for the department to ensure that all the requisite procedures are followed to the letter, as prescribed in the tyre regulations.
There are allegations about creating a monopoly with the approval of the Redisa plan. I considered two plans before approving the Redisa plan last year, and I approved the Redisa plan based on its merits. I rejected the SA Tyre Recycling Process (SATRP) plan as it did not meet the requirements of the regulations in respect of the contents of a plan. Last week Minister Chabane issued a letter to the SATRP, granting their request to resubmit their plan.
The SATRP plan will go through the same process of public consultation as the Redisa plan, and all South Africans will have an opportunity to interrogate it. If it meets the standard of the regulations, it should be approved; if not, it won’t.
The waste tyre regulations require the tyre plan to pay specific attention to social responsibility, inclusion of previously disadvantaged individuals, job creation, training and development.
Notwithstanding the importance of the other requirements in terms of the regulations, these requirements are very important aspects in view of our socio-economic status and past as a country, and should not be taken lightly.
The tyre sector already has over 5 000 people (largely previously disadvantaged) operating on an informal basis; these individuals must be incorporated.
We all have a responsibility to act in line with the programme of action developed by this government. Thus I will ensure that the department, through its policy initiatives, programmes and plans, implements the broader mandate of this administration.
We will always support ways of contributing towards sustainable livelihoods. We will actively pursue any environmental management solution that creates jobs. These issues are best addressed when the decision-making structures are free from the influence of industry interests.
Thus the department wishes to see a very clear separation between industry stakeholders making input into and provision for the waste tyre management plan, and a governing body that must implement the plan and be accountable for the requirements that the department puts in place.
These are critical aspects in view of SA’s socio-economic status and this department’s constitutional mandate to strike a balance between economic, social and environmental development.
I have been taking note of the allegations in newspaper articles against the department, and my office and I will act accordingly, within the ambit of the constitution, to deal with these.
The department therefore welcomes and looks forward to productive engagements with all stakeholders in dealing with the management of waste tyres.