Aircept System Works In Practice
Before launching its Greatec single drive tyres, incorporating the Aircept safety system, on to the market, Bridgestone subjected it to prolonged and extensive testing.
For the record, the Aircept system consists of an inner tube which, in the case of a tyre blow-out, expands to support the tyre at around half its normal pressure and enables the driver to continue his journey.
The system has been an OE option on Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks since the end of 2003 – something for which German truck driver Frank Wachtelt was no doubt grateful when his Actros truck with a 20 tonne load experienced a puncture while travelling at 80 kph on the autobahn.
He heard a loud bang, followed by a light and warning signal from his in-cab tyre pressure monitoring system, indicating a blow-out in a drive axle tyre. The Aircept system kicked in immediately, keeping the pressure at four bar (compared to the usual nine bar) and allowing Wachtelt to bring the vehicle smoothly and safely to a halt in the emergency lane within 150 metres.
As well as avoiding a potentially serious accident, he was able to continue at 60 kph to the nearest Bridgestone Truck Point dealership, 35 kilometres away, who had been pre-warned by a call from the call centre. Without Aircept, he would have been stranded at the roadside until a mobile unit arrived.
The interval between the moment of the puncture to Frank Wachtelt resuming his journey with a replacement tyre fitted was only two hours 30 minutes, proving that Aircept is not only a great safety measure, but can also save valuable downtime too.