THAT IS THE QUESTION
Our story in the Oct/Nov issue calling upon tyre dealers to mutilate their tyres, was met with mixed response. Some of the feedback was positive, with a handful lending their support behind the need for the industry to step up this practice, and others voicing their dissatisfaction, claiming they lacked the necessary tools and resources to carry out this task.
One owner of multiple stores, explained that mutilating each and every scrap tyre coming in from his various stores, would require appointing a full-time person for the job, further claiming that a regular metal shear was inadequate for the task, particularly when it comes to run-flat tyres. And while mutilation equipment is available on the market, dealers say it is too expensive.
“Following the national lockdown, we are having to downsize our business, even letting some staff go,” said Dealer A. “This is not the time for us to consider hiring dedicated staff or investing in machinery for this purpose.” Notwithstanding, the law – under Waste Tyre Regulations 2009 – explicitly states that all tyres are to be sorted and that waste tyres are to be
mutilated. As such, representative bodies such as Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association (TEPA), say that while they can empathise with the plight of the dealer network, they are obliged, by law,
to abide by these regulations.
TEPA suggest that dealers use a metal shear mounted at 360 degrees, which could be used to cut the bead in two places, with no fuss. TEPA further advises dealers to tackle this task at times when business is slower than normal, so that it does not detract from their everyday responsibilities. The perils of allowing tyres that should ideally, be relegated to the scrap heap to circulate back into the market are clear. First, they pose grave danger to the unsuspecting motorist.
Second, they create greater problems for dealers themselves who continue to bemoan the growing incidence of second hand tyres being sold on the side of the road, which, they rightfully
claim, are destroying the market. The Waste Bureau (currently in charge of waste tyre collections from the trade), will not collect un-mulitated tyres, which means that instead of being scrapped, these dangerously worn tyres find their way back to market.
And with disposable income shrinking due to the economy and Covid-19 and its repercussions, the number of unsuspecting consumers that are prepared to settle for a sub-standard product
is rising, thereby creating the scenario of ‘an accident waiting to happen’.