Continental reinforces its digital focus
Continental has developed an innovative truck tyre monitoring system that, in partnership with MiX Telematics, delivers real-time information regarding pressure and temperature to the vehicle’s driver – as well as to a fleet manager
In South Africa’s commercial vehicle sector, underinflated truck tyres are said to be a major cause of breakdowns and service calls. While no official statistics are available, a recent survey by tyre maker Continental in the United States found that, on average, about one third of tyres used on fleet vehicles were underinflated.
According to a spokesman for the company, underinflated tyres not only have a detrimental effect on fuel consumption – but also on tyre life. “If a tyre is 10-percent underinflated, tread life is reduced by 15 percent and casing life by 20 percent. With 20-percent underinflation, casing life is reduced by up to 30 percent,” he says.
The lifespans of correctly cared for tyres can be extended through retreading programmes, reinforcing perceptions of sustainability. Simultaneously, constantly running a truck tyre at its recommended pressure helps to maximise truck uptime because the risk of breakdowns due to tyre failure is reduced.
So, to ensure correct tyre pressures and temperatures, Continental has developed its digital tyre-pressure monitoring system, ContiPressureCheck (CPC). With the help of sensors mounted on the inner liner of the tyre, the system monitors, analyses and reports data about temperature and pressure in real time, in that way helping to keep a vehicle running at peak efficiency.
Locally, the company has recently extended the capability of its CPC system by teaming up with fleet and asset management solutions provider, MiX Telematics. Information relating to the state of each of the tyres on a vehicle is relayed in real time to the driver, as well as to his or her fleet manager.
“CPC provides a seamless interface to the MiX Telematics on-board computer, which enables the recording and transmission of information received from the tyre sensors to the MiX Fleet Manager system,” says Darren Voges, business development manager for the Truck Business Unit at Continental Tyre SA.
“The system represents leading technology for truck tyres, aimed at driving down overall operating costs by ensuring that all of the tyres are operating at their ideal pressures and temperatures. This helps to lower fuel consumption, reduces the risk of tyre-related breakdowns or failures, extends tyre life and maintains the value of the casing for retreading.
“By integrating CPC with MiX Fleet Manager, fleet managers are able to access real-time tyre-pressure data, as well as critical system alerts relating to tyre pressure, temperature and detection of leaks. This is essential information to keep the truck fleet operating at optimal efficiency, reducing downtime and improving safety,” he says.
The CPC system comprises individual sensors mounted inside each tyre, linked to an external antenna and a central control unit (CCU). Data gathered from the sensors is transmitted to the CCU, which evaluates the information and displays the status of all tyres on a screen mounted in the truck cab. Tyre pressures as well as any crucial warnings, such as pressure loss or high temperatures, are instantly available to the driver.
CPC is suited to almost any combination including buses, coaches, single-axle trailers or even six-axle tractor/trailers with a maximum of 24 tyres. “MiX Fleet Manager provides fleet owners with vital vehicle and driver data to determine everything from fuel efficiency to driver behaviour and now, tyre-pressure monitoring with the CPC integration,” says Gert Pretorius, managing director of MiX Telematics Africa.
He maintains that the data is an indispensable tool for any business – irrespective of size, industry, or geographic location – aimed at helping to reduce operating costs, improve efficiency and, ultimately, enhance safety.