Institute of Transport Administration

Educating Transport Management since 1944


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Annual test change - Free Rolling Tyres (FRT)

22 Mar 2023

As every competent transport operator knows a robust tyre management system is an essential part of any operator’s maintenance system.

It is essential that in-service tyres which are appropriate for the vehicle and they are placed in the correct positions on the vehicle they are fitted to.

Free Rolling Tyres

Some tyres marked with the term ‘FRT’ on the side wall and this stands for Free Rolling Tyre. This has for some time indicated that the tyre cannot be used on a drive axle.

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

As from April 2023 this restriction has also been applied to steer axles, vehicles tested prior to this date will not have been issued with a failure but will be issued with an advisory notice that this tyre must be removed from that wheel by April. As from April 2023 a FRT marked tyre on a steer axle will be considered a major fault and result in a test fail and a prohibition if inspected at the roadside

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.

For some time 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.

DVSA are updating the HGV and PSV inspection manuals to reflect the change for FRTs on front steering axles.

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.

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