Bridgestone: TPMS improves fleet uptime and fuel consumption
Bridgestone’s own Tyre Pressure Management System (TPMS) is currently being rolled out across Europe with the aim of providing a more thorough pressure maintenance service to customers. The system is made up of a valve-mounted sensor, a receiver gate mounted at the fleet site and a cloud based data system. The valve sensor emits a signal every six seconds relaying up-to-date pressure and temperature data to the gate receiver which collates the information and sends it to the Bridgestone database on a regular basis.
In instances where a particularly low pressure is detected the data is sent instantaneously. An automated message is then sent to the fleet and service provider to ensure that the vehicle is stopped and an investigation launched. The use of the receiver gate is a particularly interesting feature of the Bridgestone system.
In a year that has seen the introduction of legislation mandating the fitment of TPMS on newly homologated passenger cars and the introduction of a different RFID/TPMS approach from another leading player in the commercial vehicle tyre sector, Bridgestone system is unique in this respect. Truck TPMS commonly use valve-based or internally mounted sensors, but these most often send pressure data either to the cab, which can become extremely complicated when it comes to the distances involved, the number of tyres and sensors required and when you consider that trailers with completely different tyres and wheels need to be switched as fast as possible. Other approaches over come these issues by using wireless electronic data collection from the sensors at the time of tread depth inspection. While considerably quicker and more reliable than manual checks, Bridgestone is likely to argue that its sensor gate is even more efficient and that, unlike some passenger car derived aftermarket systems out there, a more reliable solution for the needs of fleet operators too.
Andy Mathias, TBR product and marketing manager (UK) at Bridgestone, said: “The TPMS system can often detect slow leaks due to penetrations, allowing an offsite repair to be made and avoiding the cost of a roadside breakdown.”
The system also reportedly lends itself to maintaining optimal tyre performance through the constant monitoring of tyre pressures. “We have found from internal studies that fleets on average have 25 per cent of their tyres running at least 10 per cent below recommended pressure levels. Improving these levels through the use of TPMS will results in longer and more even tyre wear across the life of the tyre, as well as protecting the casing ready for retreading,” Matthias added.
Bridgestone introduces ‘Total Tyre Care’ for Fleets
For Bridgestone the TPMS system is a complementary development to its Total Tyre Care (TTC) system. According to the company, TTC has been developed by Bridgestone to help fleets maximise performance while minimising costs, through a range of truck tyre programmes designed for fleet customers. The aim behind the programme is to help customers keep a tight rein on their tyre-related costs by maximising their working life. It is based around three tyre management pillars, Total Tyre Life, Total Tyre Service and Total Tyre Systems.
The Total Tyre Life element aims to maximise tyre life, reducing the cost per mile across the entire lifecycle, through the supply of new premium Bridgestone tyres and Bandag retreads.
Total Tyre Services is the part of the package that keeps a fleet’s trucks on the road and running at maximum efficiency. The system includes everything from tyre inspections to technical advice on keeping tyres in top condition, ensuring maximum total tyre life.
All these tyre services are provided by Truck Point, which is apparently the largest independent pan-European truck tyre network with over 2,400 professionals in 29 countries.
The third and final TTC pillar is Total Tyre Systems, which is designed to keep fleet operators fully up to date with the condition of their tyres at all times. The services are supported by powerful tracking and monitoring tools, the exclusive TPMS system and fleet operators are provided with tailor-made reporting to help reduce costs.
“The three services that make up Total Tyre Care are specially designed to work alongside one another and provide our fleet customers with the clearest possible picture of the current working state of their vehicles,” said Andy Mathias.
“The reassurance of having each individual vehicle monitored constantly by the system takes the worry out of tyre management and allows our fleet customers to concentrate on their core business.”