Conti introduces alignment indicators to European commercial range
Excessive negative or positive camber and incorrectly set toe cause tyres to wear out prematurely, and for more than a decade Continental has included a straightforward method of detecting this on its US market commercial vehicle tyres. Truck tyres sold by Conti on the other side of the pond feature what are known as Visual Alignment Indicators, or VAI, on the shoulder ribs. The German tyre maker refers to VAI as an “extremely simple” system that enables incorrect wheel alignment on trucks and trailers to be easily recognised without the need for complex electronic measurements. Now Continental is set to introduce VAI into selected items within its European product range.
The VAI system is comprised of rubber indicators made up of pairs of sipes that are positioned in the positive part of the tread at five defined measuring points around the tyre shoulder. After just a few thousand kilometres a comparison of the stripe-like indicators, which are between one and four millimetres deep, will show whether the wear on both sides of the shoulder matches the wheel on the other side of the axle. Continental states that “even users without specialist knowledge can recognise incorrect wheel alignment from the indicators.”
Continental says that in future it will provide VAI as standard and at no extra cost on steering axle tyres in the new long-distance class 2+ in the sizes 315/70 R 22.5 (standard and XL versions) and 355/50 R 22.5.