The latest developments in truck and bus tyre pressure monitoring will be on display at this year’s CV Show. Tyre manufacturers exhibiting at the show include Bridgestone, Continental and Goodyear Dunlop.
Truck operators across Europe are adopting tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) at an ever-increasing rate, although there is still no sign of legislation forcing them to do so. So says Hartwig Kühn, head of the global Conti Pressure Check (CPC) division at Continental Tyre Group, the fourth-largest tyre manufacturer in the world behind Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear.
The CPC system was introduced more than two years ago but truck operators initially showed little interest, admits Kühn, mainly because it was incompatible with various fleet management/telematics systems already in service.
Now, following development work by Continental engineers, the RFID (radio frequency identification) signals transmitted by CPC tyre-mounted pressure sensors can be received and interpreted by independent telematics systems such as those from Astrata, MiX Telematics and Verilocation.
Microlise and Blue Tree are expected to be added to the CPC-compatible list soon.
Kühn said, “It’s very important that the data from our system are properly displayed in the user interface of the third-party telematics provider. We now have a validation tool. It’s sofware we provide to these guys once they’ve programmed everything to make sure that the messages are properly displayed in their systems.”
TPMS became a legal requirement on all new cars in the European Union in 2014. And from January 2015, a faulty or missing TPMS would mean MOT test failure for a car in the UK. But there is no EU or UK legislation requiring such systems on trucks and buses, and no sign of any in the pipeline.
The explanation for the recent surge in truck operator interest in TPMS lies in the equipment’s ability to lower operating costs. List prices for the modular CPC hardware range from about £370 for a three-axle tractor unit with the basic kit comprising sensors and in-cab display, to about £610 for a six-axle artic. Monthly charges for adding alerts to a fleet manager’s smartphone or computer vary from one telematics provider to another. But in every case, the CPC will pay for itself in 12 months or less, mainly through avoiding the fuel economy penalty of under-inflated tyres, maintains Kühn.
Arthur Gregg, Continental Tyre Group UK Commercial Salesand Marketing Director, is looking forward to discussing tyre costs in general and TPMS in particular with fleet operators at the show.
“The CV Show is always a great opportunity to talk about our products and services to a wide and knowledgeable audience,” he says. “With growth still difficult for many operators in challenging market conditions, our strategy is to provide fleets with solutions that drive efficiency and lower costs. Our knowledge and expertise within the sector is outstanding and something we believe to be of great business benefit to our customers.”