Commercial Vehicle Tyres – It’s time to profit from the benefits of tyre sensors

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring system) decreases fuel costs and increases safety

In 2012, one of the world’s top tyre manufacturers, GT Radial, announced the findings of a survey that opened the lid on the real cost of underinflated tyres. It found that Australian motorists driving with underinflated tyres are wasting around 20c per litre of fuel.

In the mining, industrial and fleet industries, commercial vehicle tyre and fuel costs are the two highest costs. Helping your tyres last longer and cutting fuel costs will directly improve your bottom line.

In this article, you’ll learn why manual tyre checks aren’t enough to ensure fleet safety and reduce costs. I’ll examine the benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Finally, I’ll tell you how a TPMS works.

The five disadvantages of relying on manual tyre checks on commercial vehicle tyres

As I discussed in my last article, “How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck”, maintenance and manual checks at each stop are essential. These checks will detect damage to the tyre. But they won’t ensure that a tyre is working at its peak while you’re driving. Here are five reasons why manual checks aren’t enough to ensure your commercial vehicle tyres are performing at their peak, increasing safety, and minimising fuel consumption:

1.     Manual checks only confirm tyre pressure when parked

When a truck is parked, especially if it’s for an extended break, the tyre pressure will not be the same as when it’s running on the road. Unsafe tyre pressures could be missed.

2.     Manual checks can be inaccurate

Mistakes in manual pressure readings are not uncommon. And manual checks don’t take internal air temperatures into consideration. The result is that the tyre could be incorrectly inflated.

3.     Manual checks are infrequent

Despite advice from tyre experts, commercial vehicle tyre pressures are not checked as frequently as they should be. It leads to increased wear and tear and decreased tyre life. The result is higher tyre costs.

4.     Manual checks miss slow leaks

A damaged tyre or valve could produce a slow leak that goes undetected during manual checks. On the road, this could prove fatal.

5.     Manual checks don’t adjust tyre pressures accurately

The correct tyre pressure is dependent upon the internal temperature of the tyre. Manual checks can’t measure this. The outcome is that tyres could be inflated incorrectly.

The five benefits of TPMSs

A TPMS works on the move, providing real-time information about tyre pressures and temperatures. It adds to the effectiveness of regular manual tyre checks. It also provides the driver with an immediate warning of running problems that could also lead to engine damage.

A TPMS reduces fuel costs, increases tyre life, and reduces the time that vehicles spend in maintenance.

Automated tyre pressure and temperature checks made by a TPMS will:

1.     Reduce poor performance of manual checks

A TPMS is continuous, automated, and accurate. Human error is reduced, and the scans made by TPMSs are accurate to within 1% or 2%.

2.     Decrease fuel consumption

Every tyre which is underinflated will increase fuel consumption. GT Radial research concluded that a tyre running at a pressure just 5PSI below its recommendation could use 10% more fuel. Proper tyre inflation minimises fuel consumption.

3.     Increase tyre life

Improper inflation is a direct cause of increased wear and tear on tyres. A TPMS monitors tyres efficiently and effectively, helping to make sure they don’t fail before their next service.

4.     Reduce downtime

A TPMS eliminates errors and reduces the time it takes for manual tyre checks to be made. Because your tyres are working at the correct pressures, you’ll suffer fewer problems. The result is that downtime will be hammered.

5.     Improve road safety

Drivers will operate more safely, responding to tyre pressure changes as they occur. It reduces the risk of blowouts and accidents.

How does a TPMS work?

A TPMS is easy to install. A sensor is screwed into the wheel or rim or sometimes screwed directly into the valve. This sensor measures tyre pressure and internal air temperature.

The measurements are constantly made, and transmitted wirelessly to an in-cab monitor. The monitor can be configured to signal alerts at pre-specified ranges.

Fleet managers can then download data to the management PC. The software is used to produce charts and graphs. It enables easily identifiable tyre performance issues, which can be used in driver education as well as informing about tyre maintenance schedules. This information can also be used to make better commercial vehicle tyre purchasing decisions.

Isn’t it time you invested in a TPMS?

If you haven’t already, it may be time to invest in a TPMS. Tyre and fuel costs aren’t going down in the long term. A TPMS is easy to install, easy to use, and provides real benefits to commercial fleets. Automatic, real-time data helps your driver adjust driving style and increase tyre life.

Tyre problems are identified immediately, instead of at the end of a long-haul trip.

A TPMS doesn’t negate the need for manual tyre checks. But it does add an extra level of commercial vehicle tyre security that will help fleet managers achieve important aims:

  • Improve road safety
  • Increase tyre life
  • Decrease fuel consumption

Whatever your fleet tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.


Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.