Bridgestone is urging tyre dealers across the UK to better understand the implications of fitting run-flat tyres. Despite continuing investment in the technology and an increasing number of run-flat tyres on UK roads, there have been reports of a lack of knowledge within the industry about how these tyres could and should be fitted.
Andy Lane, Bridgestone UK’s consumer marketing manager explained: “Some media reports have highlighted instances where a customer has requested RFT tyres, even though their car is not set up for them. Whenever this happens, we advise all dealers to point out that RFT must only be used in conjunction with TPMS.
“Our RFT tyres are introduced through original equipment fittings, and retro-fitting is absolutely not recommended,” said Lane. “That’s because we develop the tyres in conjunction with manufacturers to ensure they suit the set-up of the car, and fitting run-flats to a vehicle that has not been set up for them – in terms of suspension, shocks, or TPMS – could lead to at best an uncomfortable ride, or at worst to a compromise in safety.”
The manufacturer has implemented a training course to ensure that every time a run-flat tyre is fitted, it is done so correctly. The Bridgestone Run-Flat Certificate Programme offers free training for tyre dealers and fitters across the UK. According to the manufacturer some 600 UK fitters and store managers have already attained certification, and more than 400 machines have already been inspected and accredited by Bridgestone.
Paul Turner, Bridgestone UK’s technical training manager, attends the delegates’ site and leads training sessions at the individual depot or dealership. The sessions involve both practical demonstrations and tests to ensure proficiency at fitting run-flats, combined with an assessment of the equipment on site and its suitability for fitting the tyres, as well as the delegate’s skill at doing so.