In response to a marked increase in spiking incidents around South Africa, SVI Engineering, leading specialist manufacturer of armoured products, has conducted real-world testing to demonstrate the effectiveness of the “Flats Over” runflat tyre safety band system.

In recent months, authorities have noted a significant increase in spiking incidents, particularly on main routes around Gauteng and often at night. The modus operandi sees criminals place spikes in the road, puncturing tyres and forcing vehicles to stop or even crash, thus leaving occupants vulnerable to attack and robbery.

In order to simulate such a scenario, SVI fashioned a particularly menacing set of spikes and headed to Gerotek testing facility in Pretoria. However, with the cameras rolling, there was one key difference: the armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 79 single-cab bakkie used for the test was fitted with a set of heavy-duty runflat rings.


After the bakkie accelerated over the spikes, both tyres on the driver’s side lost pressure. However, thanks to the runflat rings fitted inside the tyres, the vehicle remained fully controllable, allowing the driver to keep going – and going and going, even after one of the tyres had virtually disintegrated. Once SVI’s allotted time at the Gerotek oval track had come to an end, the runflat rings had seen the vehicle cover 23 km at an approximate speed of 50 km/h, with the wheel itself sustaining no damage.

“It’s telling that what ultimately forced us to stop was simply the fact that we ran out of time. This is tangible proof that even the most aggressive spikes are no match for the Flats Over runflat solution, which gives motorists the vitally important ability to just keep driving,” says Nicol Louw, SVI Business Development Director.

“Of course, this product offers other benefits, too. For instance, one of the most common questions we receive on social media when revealing a new SVI-armoured product is: ‘what about the tyres?’. Well, here’s your answer. Our imported runflat rings provide proven protection not just against spiking incidents but again ballistic attacks as well,” adds Louw.


SVI is an authorised distributor of the Flats Over runflat tyre safety band system in Southern Africa. This imported product is internationally certified, having been awarded a VSAG-12 certificate by Millbrook in England, a FINABEL certificate by TÜV Nord in Germany and a CESVI certificate by CESVI in Brazil.

The Flats Over runflat comprises a robust rubber ring spilt into two halves, along with a cable structure to tighten the device around the rim, inside the standard tyre. As such, each ring effectively forms a smaller, highly durable “spare wheel” inside each tyre.

The rubber rings provide protection against wheel damage during sudden tyre-pressure loss, including from ballistic attacks (they remain fully functional after multiple direct gunshots) and spikes on the road. In addition, this premium run flat system serves to minimise wheel damage sustained from potholes.