Britain’s commercial vehicle industry is fortunate to be served by tyre technology companies and manufacturers that can help operators maximise the efficiency and safety of their fleets.
One such business is Automotive Equipment Solutions UK (AES UK), which recently introduced a hand-held tyre scanner called TreadReader HD, allowing commercial vehicle operators, workshops and tyre retailers to measure tyre tread depth.
The compact device provides full-width tread depth analysis and creates a detailed scan of each tyre to within 0.2mm. Used in combination with the cloud-based management platform app, TreadManager, it calculates tyre tread depths with 3D colour-coded graphics showing tyre conditions, tread warnings and safety alerts, such as under-inflation or wheel alignment recommendation.
According to AES, the TreadReader HD handheld scanner provides accurate readings for wet or dirty tyre treads and is suitable for all tyre inspection applications in workshops, service centres, MOT lanes, depots, and mobile inspections.
Using the dedicated commercial vehicle IOS or Android App, each tyre can be measured in about 20 seconds with all tyre scan data saved to the cloud for printing out and used for potential DVSA checks and maintenance reports.
Tom Coad, AES UK Director said: “Not only will the device immediately point to safety issues and potential tyre replacement, but it also provides early warning regarding mis-aligned wheels and axles.
“Workshops can therefore take immediate corrective action and then refer to the captured tyre data for ongoing wheel alignment checks.”
Meanwhile, Continental has launched a system – ContiConnect – to remotely and digitally monitor trailer tyres in real time.
Sensors inside the tyres send data to the telematics unit that is installed on the trailer – either freestanding or coupled.
The information is fed into the associated tyre management platform, where it can be viewed easily via the ContiConnect portal and ContiConnect on-site app.
Fleet operators can then access information such as tyre pressure, temperature and mileage for each individual connected tyre.
If there is low pressure or a slow leak, the portal can generate text or email alerts to an unlimited number of recipients and the situation can be corrected before the trailer is towed.
The system then provides continuous information about the inflation status and temperature of the trailer tyres when connected to a power unit. Even when untethered, the unit’s rechargeable battery allows for daily readings for up to 28 days.
ContiConnect Live for trailers also offers a track and trace feature based on GPS data. This allows fleet managers to have full visibility on the exact position of all their assets.
Clarisa Doval, Head of Digital Solutions at Continental Tyres said: “ContiConnect Live gives the fleet the tremendous benefit of knowing if there is a tyre inflation issue that can be addressed even before the trailer is connected with a truck.
“With the ContiConnect Live solution, fleets can achieve and deliver the lowest overall driving cost.”
Goodyear recently integrated its DriverHub mobile application into the Mercedes-Benz Truck app portal.
The system provides drivers and fleet operators with a continuous stream of accurate tyre data, optimising their tyre management practices.
Tailored specifically to the needs of drivers, the app offers real-time information sourced from Goodyear’s tyre management solutions, including Goodyear TPMS, Goodyear CheckPoint, and Goodyear DrivePoint.
One of the features of the Goodyear DriverHub is its predictive technology that alerts drivers and fleet operators in case of pressure leaks with ability to detect and differentiate fast or slow leak.
This proactive notification allows drivers to take immediate and appropriate actions and connect with the dispatcher for further instructions.
The same information can be shared in real time with fleet operators via mobile app, helping to reduce the likelihood of tyre-related incidents and enhancing overall road safety.
Piotr Czyżyk, Goodyear’s Managing Director Proactive Solutions and Fleets Europe, said: “This integration exemplifies our commitment to driving efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability in the road transport industry.
“By seamlessly integrating our tyre data insights into the Mercedes-Benz Truck app, we empower drivers and fleet operators to make informed decisions that support optimisation of their fleets’ operations and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
According to Essex tipper operator G&B Finch, it is saving itself significant time and money having equipped its heavy-duty truck and trailer fleet with Wheely-Safe technology, after recently suffering a series of tyre blowouts.
The haulier has fitted five of its Iveco tractor units and bulk tipper trailers with the in-motion wheel loss detection system, which combines brake and hub temperature monitoring with an intelligent tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
G&B Finch replaced the standard valve caps with Wheely-Safe’s external TPMS sensors, which auto-pair with an in-cab solar receiver.
These are fitted alongside a pair of wheel loss sensors and brackets on each wheel which transmit an in-motion alert to a solar-powered receiver in the cab, should the wheel nuts start to loosen.
The same sensor also monitors heat and can quickly identify a temperature abnormality from the brakes or hub.
Lee Finch, Manager at G&B Finch said: “Our artic tippers do plenty of miles out on the road, and over the years we have had quite a few incidents with the super single trailer tyres – even the good quality premium tyres that we use.
“Having a system fitted that constantly monitors the health of the tyres and alerts to any issue at a very early stage is a real game changer for us.
“The technology has already saved us several times, notifying the driver to a slight drop in pressure and allowing us to get the tyre changed or repaired before it gets too serious.”
G&B Finch is also utilising Wheely-Safe’s Pressure Checkers to get accurate readings without the hassle of connecting a pressure gauge to the valve.
“Now the team can touch the reader on the TPMS sensor and get the pressure readouts.”
Tyres functioning at their maximum level can be a vital factor in the success of transport companies and if such technologies can prevent accidents and blowouts, it must surely be worth the investment.