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New legislation on minimum equipment requirements for tire dealers



The law decree number 122 date February 5, 1992, and still in force, regulates all maintenance and repair work carried out on motor vehicles in a quest for higher levels of road safety and services offered workshops.

Donaldo Labò

The law decree number 122 date February 5, 1992, and still in force, regulates all maintenance and repair work carried out on motor vehicles in a quest for higher levels of road safety and services offered workshops. These activities include replacing, modifying and reconditioning any component, as well as the installation of systems and fixed components. The four activities initially included, namely mechanics, auto electricians, body shop mechanic and tire repairer, became three with Law 224 dated 2012. This law, taking into account the technological evolution of vehicles and their components, incorporated two of the above, mechanics and auto electricians, into one, called mechatronics. Among the various obligations provided for, such as the registration of such companies at the Chambers of Commerce, or the presence of a technical manager, there is also a list of equipment and instruments deemed necessary. A car repairer must always work with the professional diligence of a qualified and experienced artisan and according to professional expertise. Reference is therefore made to CUNA technical standards, which define the equipment and instruments to be used by companies operating in their respective fields. The technical standard is the result of voluntary cooperation between industry, businesses, public administration, consumers and other interested parties. A regulated process provides operators with clear references and a level playing field in contractual relations. These Standards are therefore documents that define products, processes and services as state of the art of products.

The Technical Commission for the unification of the motor vehicle, a federated UNI body, where representatives and experts from manufacturers, companies and several other stakeholders concerned are present in the various commissions, is currently updating these lists of minimum equipment and instruments required for repair work (previous edition: 1996). The first of the three, now under publication, relates to tire dealers and is identified by the number CUNA NC 195-52. The purpose and scope of the regulation specifies that this is a list of "minimum" equipment and instruments deemed necessary and therefore each company must comply. References in national and international standards refer to provisions made in other publications. The latest provisions are dealt with in the latest edition of the publications, for example: for tire changers - safety requirements - the standards have been set in the recent UNI 11691, for pressure gauges, i.e. instruments for measuring tire pressure - metrology, requirements and tests -the reference is UNI EN 12645, for torque tools the reference is UNI EN ISO 6789, part 1 "Requirements and test methods for quality checks" and part 2: "Requirements for calibration and measurement uncertainty".

In the chapter related to the necessary equipment it is specified that the list in the prospectus is by no means exhaustive of all the sector’s equipment and instruments. The technical characteristics must correspond to the specifications indicated in the technical standards on the side of each item. Alternatively, similar equipment, corresponding to other standards equally in force within the European Union or with which reciprocal relations are in force, are permitted, provided that the equivalence is documented. In the illustrative prospectus, the inclusion of TPMS sensor reading and writing instruments should be noted, as this safety device is part - from 2014 - of the original type-approval of cars, such as ABS or ESP, and therefore must be maintained efficient following any kind of work to tires and wheels. Obviously, this is intended for cars with a "direct" system installed that includes sensors inside the tires. In "indirect" systems there are no sensors, but it is always necessary to reset the system after mounting or dismounting, with variations to the inflation pressure. The presence (mandatory) of safety cages when inflating tires on commercial and industrial vehicles (trucks, buses, etc.) is confirmed. The regulation further specifies that the listed instruments must be accompanied by relevant original use and maintenance manuals. Equipment and instruments must be in a condition of conservation and state of use such as to ensure correct and safe use and, where required by the instruction manual, must be accompanied by an updated register of periodic calibration.

This list will be followed by updates on the tables relating to minimum equipment needed for body shops and mechatronics. Maintaining the efficiency and safety features now so common on today's vehicles, requires adequate skill and know-how on the part of specialists, licenced under the legislation on car repair, which must be complied with in all circumstances. All activities, from product selection to assembly, from repair to alignment checks and safety systems, must be carried out by trained personnel, acquainted with the instructions and aware about their responsibilities.

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