From November 2017, tyres and wheels on explosion protected forklifts, pallet trucks, reach trucks and other materials handling equipment will need to meet new requirements due to changes to the EN1755:2015 standard. Safety company Pyroban is encouraging materials handling equipment users and dealers to consider these important changes now.
“EN1755, the EU standard that explosion protected materials handling equipment is designed or converted to, is mandatory from November this year,” explains Dave Waring, Product Manager for Pyroban. “One of the more significant changes is to the requirements for tyres and wheels, so both end users and the dealer network need to prepare for this now.”
Under the revised standard, tyres and wheels on forklift and warehouse trucks must be antistatic in all potentially explosive atmospheres where trucks are travelling at 6km per hour. This applies in areas classified as Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22, where previously, antistatic tyres were only required for operation in Zone 1 and 21 areas. There are however some exceptions. For example, where the projected contact area of the wheels with the floor is below the limit value specified within the new standard.
“At a time when companies are offering shorter build and conversion times for equipment going into Zone 2 applications, it is important to be aware that specifying non-standard tyres and wheels will increase lead times,” says Dave, explaining that the lead time for antistatic tyres can be up to 10 weeks. “Downtime could be a significant issue if explosion proof parts supply is not considered early enough by users or dealers.”
Dealers should order the correct tyres and wheels at the earliest possible stage in the procurement process to prevent delays in the overall project lead times for new orders. Similarly, the potentially increased lead time for antistatic tyres and wheels should be factored into maintenance planning programmes to ensure operations experience minimal downtime when they need replacing.
Conductive tyres may also be a consideration for many applications. These tyres meet a higher specification so are also suitable for use under the revised EN1755 standard. As they can remain antistatic even after they have lost their conductive properties, this may help reduce the frequency with which replacement tyres need to be ordered.
The updated EN1755, ‘Safety of industrial trucks. Operation in potentially explosive atmospheres. Use in flammable gas, vapour, mist and dust’ will be mandatory from November 2017 so affects new forklift truck orders placed in 2017 and ongoing maintenance requirements thereafter.
One of the key changes to the standard is that static electricity is now considered an ignition risk during “normal” operation in Zone 2. As well as affecting the requirements for tyres, this will also impact other elements of forklift trucks used in potentially explosive atmospheres, such as seats, arm rests, cabin sides and hydraulic systems.