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Keeping the country moving calls on a wealth of skills from manufacturing to end-of-life recovery. BTMA is active in providing up-to-date guidance to industry professionals on a wide range of tyre-related topics.

BTMA members have a longstanding commitment to protecting health and safety in the work environment. This engagement has extended beyond manufacture to address tyre-related issues in distribution and service activities. BTMA supports continuously improving performance through the sharing of industry best practice and the pursuit of dialogue between the trade unions, employers and the Health and Safety Executive.


Safe Jacking

Over recent years between 3 and 8 workers have been killed or seriously injured EVERY YEAR as a result of vehicles collapsing when jacking.  Yet these accidents could easily have been avoided if a few basic precautions were taken EVERY TIME a vehicle is jacked.


Right equipment

  • Wedges or suitable chocks to stop the vehicle rolling whilst jacking and raised.
  • A jack in good working order that has a safe working capacity greater than the load you intend to lift.  The law requires that jacks are inspected thoroughly every 12 months.
  • Fully functioning axle stand(s) of the correct size and load capacity.  Make sure the correct stand adjuster pins are used; bolts, pins or screwdrivers are not suitable or safe.   Axle stands should be inspected annually.  Builder’s bricks and blocks should not be used as vehicle supports.


Right preparation

  • Ensure you fully understand how to use the jack in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Plan the job, don’t improvise. Assemble the necessary equipment before you start.  Don’t leave the vehicle balanced on a jack while you go to look for an axle stand.
  • The area where you intend to jack the vehicle must be safe. If working at the roadside follow the correct procedures to create a safe working environment.
  • The ground you intend to jack from should be flat, level and solid. Wherever possible avoid jacking a vehicle on soft or uneven surfaces.  When this is unavoidable place the jack and axle stand on suitable load-bearing plates to distribute the weight evenly over the area.
  • Locate the safe jacking points on the vehicle. You will need one for the jack and another for the axle stand.  It is very important that these are found as jacking from spring hangers, air bag brackets, etc., may prove to be an expensive or fatal mistake.


Right method

  • Chock at least one of the other wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving whilst working on it.
  • If using hand tools slacken off the wheel fixings. Give each wheel nut or wheel bolt no more than half a turn.  Do not fully remove any wheel fixing whilst the vehicle is still on the ground.
  • Place the jack at the correct jacking point. Raise the vehicle very slightly.  Check the jack is still correctly located and is vertical.  If you are unsure, lower the jack, reposition it correctly and start again.  Only when you are happy the jack is correctly in place should you continue.
  • In some circumstances it may be impossible to get the jack under the correct jacking point straight away and in this situation extreme caution should be deployed. It is imperative that the jack engages with the vehicle as fully as possible.  Failure to do so may lead to vehicle collapse.  In this instance methods such as packing as you jack should be used until the jack can be correctly installed.  Ensure suitable packing is used such as hardwood blocks.
  • Pay attention at all times as you raise the vehicle. Listen and look for things that do not appear to be normal.  Ensure the jack is still in a vertical position and in full contact with the jacking point.  If you see or hear anything that you deem not to be correct lower the vehicle immediately.  Never place any part of your body under the vehicle when checking.
  • Stop raising the vehicle once it is high enough to position an axle stand. This task is crucial to your safety and requires care and vigilance.  Keeping your head and body clear of the vehicle slide the axle stand to the chosen location.  Only your arm should be under the vehicle, keeping it as close to the ground as possible.  Never place your head or shoulders under the vehicle.
  • Now with the axle stand in the correct position check everything is safe and secure before lowering the vehicle slowly onto the axle stand. Never leave the weight on the jack; use the axle stand as the primary support.  Leave the jack under the jacking point.  Once the weight is fully placed on the axle stand you should make absolutely sure that it is safe before starting work.
  • To lower the vehicle, ensure the jack is securely located at the jacking point. Raise the jack to take the weight from the axle stand.  Carefully remove the axle stand whilst keeping your head and body clear of the vehicle.  Slowly lower the jack and remove it from under the vehicle.  The vehicle is only 100% safe when it’s fully on the ground.


This guidance can only be generic.  Each time you jack up a vehicle you must establish a safe method of work based on a risk assessment taking account of all the prevailing circumstances.


Safe Inflation


Tyre Manual Handling

Tyre Manufacturing

Technical Guidance for minor repairs to tyres for cars and light commercial vehicles

Some minor damage to car or light van tyres can be safely repaired; principally punctures to the central area of the tread that are less than 6mm in diameter. Repairs to the sidewalls, other than for cosmetic damage, may not assure the structural integrity of the tyre and are not approved. In all cases tyre repairs should be carried out by a trained and competent operator.

BTMA only condones tyre repairs which are carried out in accordance with the recommendations in the prevailing issue of British Standard BS AU 159, currently suffix g. Before commencement, consumers are advised to confirm with the Repairer that all repair work will be carried out in accordance with the British Standard.

A summary of the main points contained within BS AU 159 is shown below.

Repair in area ‘T’ only, requiring one of the following:

  1. Rubber only combination plug patch.
  2. Rubber only patch and penetration filling material.


Note: Insertion of a tube in a tubeless tyre is not considered a suitable alternative to a permanent repair


Note: Minor surface rubber repairs (i.e. no penetration or ply damage) using penetration filling material only, are permitted anywhere on the exterior of the tyre without limits.

Repairable area ‘T’ defined as percentage of nominal section width of tyre Maximum diameter of penetration damage at base of injury in area ‘T’ mm (after preparation)
Nominal Section Width mm %
Up to and including 155 60 6
Over 155 and up to 200 65 6
Over 200 70 6

Calculated width values for area ‘T’

Nominal tyre section width ‘T’ Value mm
125 75
135 81
145 87
155 93
165 107
175 114
185 120
195 127
Nominal tyre section width ‘T’ Value mm
205 144
215 151
225 158
235 165
245 172
255 179
265 186
275 193
Nominal tyre section width ‘T’ Value mm
285 200
295 207
305 214
315 221
325 228
335 235
345 242



a) In the interests of safety, if it is necessary to partially inflate the tyre to locate the injury/penetration, proceed with caution in 5 psi increments and do not exceed 15 psi.

b) Remove the tyre from the wheel and thoroughly inspect, both internally and externally.

c) Do not undertake repair if the tyre exhibits any of the following:-

  • Inadequate tread depth (legal minimum 1.6mm).
  • Splits, cuts, rubber crazing/cracking reaching the casing.
  • Casing break-up.
  • Previous repairs outside the scope of BS AU 159 unless they are specialist repairs carried out by the original tyre manufacturer.1
  • Significant contamination by solvents etc.
  • Bead damage, including broken bead core.
  • Liner deterioration.
  • Secondary effects, e.g. under-inflation/deflation damage or savaging by the point of a penetrating object.
  • Exposed cords due to tread wear or sidewall scuffing.
  • Tread or sidewall rubber separation.
  • Belt separation (radial ply tyres).

1 Tyres with major repairs conforming to the British Standard should be marked internally BS AU 159 adjacent to the repair together with the repairer’s name and identification mark.



a) Ensure that the tyre is clean and dry.

b) Determine the angle of penetration.2

c) Prepare the penetration channel with minimal use of a rotary mill cutter or similar.

d) Remove all loose and visibly oxidised material, buffing the rubber in the cavity and surrounding area to a suede finish.

e) Clean an area significantly larger than the patch with solvent, removing all contaminants, e.g. mould releasing agents.3

f) Hold the patch in position and mark its outline on the inner liner.

g) Mechanically buff the inner liner to approximately 5mm beyond the marked area, removing any raised ribs and producing a flat, suede finish

h) Remove dust and extraneous material, e.g. wire particles and fluffed cords.4

i) Apply suitable repair material in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.


2 If the angle exceeds 25º, a two-piece repair system or rubber only patch with penetration filling material may need to be used (refer to manufacturer’s instructions).

3 If buffer liquids (solvents) are used, the area should not be considered buffed.

4 A vacuum cleaner is recommended. Fibrous cloths and compressed air should not be used.



a) Injuries in excess of those shown in the above tables and not having the non-repairable conditions listed in section 1c) should be submitted to an approved major repairer.

b) There is no limit to the number of minor repairs in area ‘T’ provided that repair patches do not overlap.

c) Tyres repaired to BS AU 159 are able to operate at their original speed and load capabilities.

d) The following ‘repair’ methods are not recognised as acceptable:-

  • Liquid sealants.
  • Plugs applied externally to fitted tyres.
  • Inner tubes fitted to tubeless tyres.
  • Inner tubes fitted to ‘tube type’ tyres which have sustained penetrations and which have not been repaired in accordance with BS AU 159.
  • Temporary repairs.

e) The British Standard does not apply to T-type temporary use spare tyres. 5

5 Temporary spare tyre designed for use at higher inflation pressures than for standard or reinforced (extra load) tyres.


Licence No. 2010ET0033 Permission to reproduce extracts from BS AU 159f :1997 is granted by BSI. No other use of this material is permitted. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hard copies only: Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, Email:

The recovery of used tyres is both an opportunity and a challenge. Used tyres are potentially a valuable resource for reuse, retreading or other recovery processes according to their condition. However, unscrupulous operators have been too ready to shirk their responsibilities. Over the years a body of legislation has built up to address these different issues. This document identifies the principal obligations relating to used tyres in England and Wales and how to comply with them.

Regrooving can extend the life of suitable truck and bus tyres by up to 20%. However, only tyres designed for regrooving and marked “Regroovable” can legally be regrooved. It is also a legal requirement to follow the manufacturer’s regrooving pattern.

Applicable Regulations

Construction and Use Regulations 24 and 27 apply. Only tyres identified on the sidewall as regroovable may legally be regrooved. This applies to both new and retreaded tyres. It is also a legal requirement that any regrooving must follow the pattern specified by the manufacturer. If the tyre cords are exposed as a result of regrooving the tyre is no longer legal and must be withdrawn from service.

Basic Principles

The regrooving operation consists of cutting into the tread of a tyre a tread pattern deeper than the original, so as to prolong the tyre’s useful life.  When regrooving, it is of fundamental importance to avoid exposing the upper belts of the tyre, and to ensure that an adequate layer of rubber is left to protect them.  Tyre manufactures supply specific instructions regarding the patterns and procedures to follow in the regrooving of tyre treads.  These include recommended groove widths and the depth of rubber to remove from the base of the original grooves.

Regrooving should normally be carried out on the entire tread according to the recommended pattern and procedure.  However, where a tyre has worn abnormally, it may be possible to regroove just that part of the worn tyre, provided a sufficient portion of the original groove is visible before regrooving.  Clearly, this precludes further re-grooving later in the tyre’s life.


Manufacturer’s regrooving patterns

Click on the hyperlinks below to access the manufacturer’s guidance and regrooving patterns.

Bridgestone Continental Dayton
Firestone GT Radial Goodyear
Hankook Michelin Pirelli
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