Tire changers, approved new European rule

Workshop equipment


EN17347 standard is in the process of being published and will be implemented within six months by each EU member state.

Donaldo Labò

First published in 2017 and now part of the national regulatory body, the UNI11691 standard on safety requirements and inspection of machines designed for tire replacement, was developed within CUNA (Technical commission for vehicle unification), a federated UNI body, where vehicle manufacturers are represented alongside producers of garage equipment, tires and other entities. The tires in question are intended for use on vehicles such as cars, buses, trucks, motor homes and trailers up to a total mass of 3.5T, as well as trucks, quads, motorcycles and agricultural machinery where the size of the tires are compatible with the maximum dimensions indicated in the user manual. Since issues revolving around tire replacement operations and safety are, of course, common in all countries, and given the fact that in a number of European countries a similar standard was not to be found, the request made to the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) to extend the standard at European level was immediately followed. In March 2018, CEN approved the start of the work, creating within the Technical Committee TC 301 a special working group with Italian coordinator and secretariat. At the end of 2018, the first draft of the EN17347 project was voted by several countries, with a largely positive result in July 2019. Subsequently, work was carried out until the end of 2019 on CEN comments relating to the rules for drafting legislation/regulations at European level (terms, definitions, procedures), and with specific meetings to further elaborate the texts with particular reference to the Machinery Directive. The formal vote on the final version was expected in the early months of 2020, but procedural quirks, also connected with recent difficulties in meeting/communicating, led to a postponement of the final investigation until the end of the year, which ended with the last - positive - vote in January 2021. The EN17347 standard is now being published and will be followed by the usual transposition by each individual countries (within six months). Compared to the original UNI 11691, soon to be replaced, a few aspects deserve to be highlighted. In chapter 2 "Reference standards", the dated references of each standard cited in the document have been included. In chapter 3, "Terms and Definitions", some definitions have been revised and the acronym TPMS has been integrated. In chapter 4, "List of hazards", Table 1 was reviewed and simplified by grouping the types of hazards and not by work type. In chapter 5, "Safety requirements and protective measures", an additional text specifies that all operational phases must be carried out using maintained-action controls, with the exception of those listed that may use bistable controls. In addition, the chapter Protection/Residual Risks and Supplementary Measures (coordinated with the reorganization of Table 1) has been reorganized with detailed sub-chapters: speed of movement and rotation / centring system / activation of bead breaker tool / protruding parts / working pressures / electrical parts / lifter (optional) / protection of controls / unexpected movements / hydraulic and pneumatic parts / hazards due to loss of stability / noise / emergency stop. In chapter 6, "Verification of requirements and/or safety measures", a table has been inserted indicating the checks to be carried out on the requirements indicated in chapter 5: visual inspection, test methods - mechanical (linear/angular movements), electrical, stability, noise -. In chapter 7, "Instructions for use" and in the chapter "Marking", the information to be reported has been outlined in detail. In the chapter "Operating instructions", points such as noise emission and warning signals have been inserted. Other changes include Appendix C on pictograms that have now gone from informative to "normative". ISO reference standards are also specified. Appendix D, "normative", on the specific information to be remembered contained in the instructions for tire changers designed for UHP (Ultra High Performance) and RFT (Run Flat) tires, has been confirmed.  These are cutting-edge tires, with low sidewalls, and self-supporting or run-flat tires, which are capable of running even after a puncture for many kilometres at moderate speeds, which have led to the birth of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. For both these types of tires, the reduced flexibility of the sidewalls entails precautions in positioning and in the use of tools to reduce any stress on the beads and sidewalls, as well as safeguarding the TPMS sensors. The amended text has been enriched with the new Appendix E "regulations" on noise tests: a new procedure to measure the sound pressure level (SPL) has been introduced; emissions produced in the two most critical phases, "bead breaking" and "deflation", are excluded from the measurement, since the "noise" produced in these phases does not depend on the construction and/or characteristics of the machine, but in the way the wheel/tire unit is assembled.  Finally, an Annex ZA (informative) has also been introduced, which looks into the corresponding values between this European standard and the essential requirements of the Machinery Directive: 2006/42/EC. We should clarify that this European standard has been drafted by several bodies active in the garage equipment sector following the mandate received by the Commission, making it possible to comply with the essential requirements.  According to the Directive, from the moment of publication of the standard (Official Journal of the European Union), the conformity of the tire changer – as mentioned in Table ZA.1 below -, gives, de facto, a presumption of conformity with the corresponding requirements contained in the Directive and related regulations.  

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