We take a look at what’s new and what’s hot on the tyre circuit – including in the somewhat uncharted territory of tyre sealants. CLAIRE RENCKEN reports.
With the multitude of tyres available on the market today, even established brands have to differentiate themselves from the “average Joes” in terms of what they’re offering to fleets.
Bandag, for example, strives to offer its clients a package deal. Marketing manager, Monal Naik, explains: “Our offering includes application-specific products – Bandag original designs, which are based on customers’ needs.
“We also have a host of online reporting modules to provide tyre management information, which is used to make better decisions around tyres to obtain the best cost per kilometre.
“Bandag offers a successful tyre breakdown service – our Emergency Tyre Assistance (ETA) – and we have one of the largest independent commercial tyre distribution networks in the country. We are driven by innovation – both in terms of products and services.”
However, the increasing number of cheap, imported new tyres, now available on the market, continues to be a challenge. “Especially when it comes to our stock retread sales,” Naik adds. “Fortunately, astute fleet operators understand that using local products from reliable suppliers means that they have local support, which is not always forthcoming when buying cheap imports.
“Bandag conducts regular fleet tyre inspections and scrap tyre analysis for its customers. We are not only actively involved in providing data in reports, but also in using this data to build information, based on which actions can be taken to benefit the end user.”
Sometimes, a quality tyre sealant can save the day. The South African distributor of 11-D tyre sealants is 11-D Puncture Prevention. Cok Maijer founded 11-D International in 1994, when he established the production facility in the Netherlands.
Meijer had a firm belief in tyre sealants as an application. He spent six months working closely with suppliers and researchers to develop the perfect formula. This resulted in a test cycle designed to pinpoint the right balance between all the ingredients. Specimen “11-D” gave the optimal results. The rest, as they say, is history.
Wilhelm van Heusden, director of 11-D Puncture Prevention, elaborates: “We are dedicated to offering the best solution to extending tyre life. Our product range enables commercial vehicle owners to maximise the results they get from their tyres. The sealants can help to prevent punctures, improve tyre balance and decrease downtime,” he explains.
“Over the years we have continued to improve our products with new innovations, resulting in a powerful range developed to meet any requirement or conditions,” he adds.
The sealants are also environmentally friendly. They are non-flammable, non-toxic and a 100-percent bio-degradable. The product is easily applied through the valve of any tyre and can be just as easily removed with water when the tyre is disassembled.
Says Van Heusden: “By using 11-D, 95 percent of all common tyre failures can be prevented. Furthermore, because our sealants maintain the right air pressure, your carbon footprint is reduced – maintaining the right air pressure can save incredible amounts of fuel. Since the sealants extend the life of tyres, they also reduce the number of tyres that are scrapped.”
Three high-quality tyre sealants are offered by 11-D International. First, there is the standard, patented sealant, which is its most popular product. Tested in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 40°C, it is able to operate in any temperature.
The heavy-duty sealant has been developed to withstand harsher conditions and more aggressive punctures – it has the same characteristics as the standard sealant, but offers a more dense quality.
Finally, there is the military-grade sealant (according to 11-D, it is the only one of its kind in the world). It goes by the name Protector and provides the maximum protection a tyre sealant can offer.
Connecting tyres to telematics
To mark the start of the Terminal Operations Conference and Exhibition (TOC) Europe 2015, in Rotterdam, on June 9, Continental presented the ContiFlexBox – a new telematics solution. It will complement the ContiPressureCheck tyre-pressure monitoring system, by collecting and deploying tyre- and vehicle-referenced data, and forwarding it on to a central server.
This new addition expands Continental’s comprehensive product portfolio to include a telematics solution for the efficient management of vehicle fleets. The ContiFlexBox will be suitable for use in vehicles operating in a huge range of different industrial sectors.
In port operations, where fast loading times and short downtimes are vital, the new telematics system provides many advantages, including minimising costly tyre and vehicle damage. The combined system, comprising the ContiFlexBox and ContiPressureCheck, will be available from 2016.
Julian Alexander, business line manager, material handling, at Continental CST, explains: “Telematics ranks among the growth drivers in port logistics. Efficient analysis and utilisation of data enable fleet managers to optimise their processes and reduce their operating costs.
“With our new combined package, we will offer our customers a tailored system that synergises the measurement of tyre data with telematic capabilities to optimum effect, and ideally supplements our unique port tyre offering.”
The ContiFlexBox is mounted in the driver’s cab of a vehicle, and powered via the engine’s ignition. The ContiPressureCheck tyre-pressure monitoring system provides automatic collection of data on tyre pressure and temperature, using sensors placed inside the tyre.
A GPS signal in the ContiFlexBox will enable additional vehicle-referenced data (such as deployment duration and current location) to be measured. All information can be transmitted to a central server for analysis and editing.
Fleet managers can then use the vehicle data collected to increase the efficiency of their fleet-management operations. Data stored in the system is protected with individual access rights.
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