Bridgestone exemplifies premium full-service approach at BAUMA 2019
New services and products join the manufacturer’s innovative range of tyres at the Munich Messe show
Bridgestone’s approach to BAUMA, a leading global trade fair for the construction and mining markets, exemplified the current megatrends prevalent among premium tyre brand manufacturers in the OTR sector – indeed in most tyre segments – highly specialised products with a range of services developed to support end users; or to use Bridgestone’s own term, solutions. The manufacturer said that it is committed to support customers by identifying and solving the challenges of a business, and world, in rapid transformation.
Bridgestone’s vast range of tyres is, in terms of sheer size at least, led by the world’s largest mining trucks; one such four-metre-tall tyre, which the company states is the largest in the world, was displayed at its Bauma stand, joined by a number of new products. The VSDL Loader tyre 33/65R29 is the first wheeled-loader tyre to combine the benefits of the super-wide-base 65 series with the deep Bridgestone VSDL tread pattern, it delivers a new level of dynamic stability and low ground pressure, while retaining the resistance to cuts and damage. The newly launched VLTS Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) tyre was specifically developed for the 60t ADT from Volvo Construction Equipment, with a deeper tread than the VLT E3 for added traction alongside its strength and reliability.
Other tyres represented the varied range of Bridgestone construction machinery and construction vehicles, building-material machines, mining machines, and other construction equipment tyres. But the manufacturer also emphasised the presence of an extensive range of machinery and equipment throughout the show as a partner to major OEMs.
Bridgestone displayed rubber tracks, pads, hydraulic hose, cabin and engine mounts for the construction industry under its own brand, while its second-line Firestone technology was also highly visible.
Such products included the Firestone Airmount adjustable air spring, which allows users to meet the demands of loads that range in weight by hundreds or thousands of kilogrammes, to maintain a level surface even as loads shift, and to isolate vibration. Firestone’s Marsh Mellow fabric-reinforced rubber cylinders are “virtually indestructible,” the company adds, do not need to be inflated with air and still protect systems from the effects of structurally transmitted vibrations. They are suited for use on equipment such as vibrating screens, acting as passive isolators at a standard beyond that of steel springs.
Digital solutions to maximise OTR products
In addition to its tyres and targeted industrial tools, Bridgestone has developed digital solutions to maximise the potential of these products. Making use of the most recent digital technology increasingly integrated into vehicles and machinery to increase productivity, decrease downtime, maximise operational potential and minimise the risks to personal safety, the company presented two specific solutions at BAUMA: Tirematics TPMS and FleetPulse.
Tirematics TPMS focuses primarily on fleet pressure measurements for individual machines. It is designed to stop vehicles from running on under-inflated tyres, a trend that almost all fleets are guilty of, Bridgestone states. Automated pressure checks identify what work is needed without the interruptions and downtime that result from physical checks or damage to under-inflated tyres.
FleetPulse is a mobile and web application designed to help fleet customers maximise the health and performance of vehicles, while improving uptime and reducing total cost of ownership and digitising operations. FleetPulse also helps industrial fleets meet the high compliance and safety standards required in their industry. FleetPulse consists of vehicle checklists that the driver performs, tyre-pressure measurements performed by Tirematics technology and scheduling to resolve defects, as arranged by the fleet or maintenance manager. The data FleetPulse gathers is consolidated to offer insights into the operation of a fleet, ranging from validation of maintenance/repairs to data extraction to ensure compliance.