No more down and out with flat tyres

June 2004 Asset Management

With the increasing threat of cash-in-transit vehicles being hijacked, threats of terrorism against VIPs and key state personnel there is a need to improve the security of their vehicles. One such technique, long used by the military, is to make use of run flat tyres. Historically these tyres, which make use of special inserts on normal tubeless tyres, were difficult to fit, specialist workshops being required, which were often not available in-country. This disadvantage has been overcome with the release of the new Runflat Marathon developed in the UK.

The Runflat Marathon makes use of a proprietary anti-ballistic plastic material with a locking system that provides a solid inner unit that is impervious to potholes, etc. The Runflat Marathon can be fitted by any standard tyre-fitting outlet using the provided manual that sets out in easy steps, what to do. Unlike other inserts that make use of special compression techniques, the Runflat Marathon is safe to fit as fitters do not have to put their hands inside the unit and its 2-piece bolt-together construction makes it the world's first manageable Runflat insert with basically only a set of spanners required for fitting. A normal or armoured vehicle fitted with Runflat inserts can also be fitted with a dashboard tyre pressure gauge alerting the driver to the occurrence of a puncture and allowing him to modify speed to the appropriate Runflat specifications. The latter varies according to the type of vehicle, the type of tyres and the surface that the vehicle is being driven on.

The Marathon Runflat insert is TÜV approved and is fitted to the normal wheels and tyres supplied by the manufacturer. With one or more tyres damaged from an attack, the insert will prevent total tyre deflation and will allow the vehicle to continue its journey at speeds of up to 80 kph for distances up to 50 km. The Marathon system has been especially designed to cope with the extra weight carried by armour protected vehicles.

Note that the Runflat Marathon is not just a 'get you to the nearest garage' solution but was designed initially for the military to enable a vehicle out of trouble fast as required when a wheeled armoured vehicle has a tyre (or tyres) punctured during combat. Likewise, cash-in-transit and VIP vehicles don't want to be a sitting target for further attacks. Apart from heavy commercial and military vehicles, the Runflat is highly suitable for use on high performance sports cars, sedans and 4 X 4s.

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