Trailer tyre innovation reduces the total cost of ownership

Trailer tyre manufacturers are investigating options environmentally-friendly tyre manufacture, using new materials like elastomers and renewable biomass.

Tyres play a significant role in the cost of trailer ownership. For example, a preliminary report by the International Council on Clean Transportation, cited in inconvenienttruck.eu, found that the combination of automatic tyre inflation systems and low rolling resistance tyres can reduce fuel consumption and consequently CO2 emissions by 3% on trailer tyres and 5.91% on truck tyres. With so much at stake, tyre innovation is a theme close to the hearts and minds of many trailer fleet owners.

Recent tyre innovations

There have been many recent innovations in truck and trailer tyres. These include:

  • a European Union initiative to develop a low rolling resistance tyre with integrated telematics
  • the integration of RFID microchips into tyres
  • the creation of more environmentally friendly tyres
  • longer life tyres
  • tyres whose pressures can be monitored remotely.

RFID microchips in tyres

Various truck and trailer tyre manufacturers have integrated RFID (“radio frequency identity”) technology in their tyres.  Linked into software, the RFID microchip embedded in the tyre enables operatives to quickly scan and identify each tyre and then monitor them throughout their service lives including retreading and tracking them easily if stolen.

Making tyres more environmentally-friendly

Truck and trailer tyre manufacturers are investigating options for more environmentally-friendly tyre manufacture, using new materials like elastomers and renewable biomass.

Longer-life tyres

According to Fueloyal, the lifetime of an average truck tyre is 193,000 km. All the major tyre makers including Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear and Michelin have created truck tyres, whose lives, if sensibly monitored, can be substantially lengthened by re-grooving and re-treading.  In an April 2017 article for SMMT, Chris Smith, Michelin’s Truck Marketing Director for Northern Europe, said that “Regrooving a tyre can extend its life by 25%”.

In the same article, Bridgestone’s Retread Development Manager, Terry Salter said “A new truck tyre weighs 65kg to 70kg but a retread only requires 20kg of fresh raw material before it can go back into service.  … That’s a big saving.”

Tire Pressure Monitor System – a tyre innovation through Trailermatics

With a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) you monitor tyre pressures. A rim-fitted sensor measures the tyre pressure, temperature and position. It feeds back live information to both the fleet manager and driver. They can ensure that tyres are inflated to the right pressure for the load and maximum fuel efficiency and take immediate action in the event of tyre issues. This ability to intervene quickly helps avoid road accidents caused by punctures or under-inflated tyres. The typical cost saving per vehicle per year with TPMS installed is €900.

Future developments

Ralph Dimenna, COO, Michelin Americas Truck Tires recently told CCJ that electric trucks will present tyre manufacturers with additional challenges due to double the amount of torque that electric motors generate over conventional diesel motors and the impact that will have on tyres. Tyres for autonomous trucks and tyres embedded with artificial intelligence are among the areas of future technology that manufacturers are researching.

Reducing the total cost of ownership through trailer tyres

Reducing the total cost of ownership is a core objective for many fleet operators. Managing your truck and trailer tyres well can lead to significant savings.  Choosing the right tyre through the EU Tyre Label scheme can make a substantial difference. The label covers ratings for fuel efficiency/rolling resistance, wet grip and exterior noise. According to the Goodyear Innovation Centre, the difference between a complete set of A-class tyres and F-class tyres can reduce a truck’s fuel consumption by 15%, roughly equivalent to an annual saving of more than €7,000.

Fleet managers need to select truck and trailer tyres of the appropriate size for their trucks and trailers and the loads that they carry. Trucks working on regional routes with many delivery points will benefit from tyres that offer high mileage whilst those on long haul should take advantage of more fuel efficient tyres. It is essential to maintain the tyres properly including applying the correct tyre pressures, which affect fuel consumption and tyre wear. Distribute weight evenly across trailers so that the wear on tyres is even.

Good tyre maintenance practices enable fleet managers to retread their tyres and in the process, reduce costs, lengthen tyre lifespan and minimise environmental impact.  Moreover, with training and monitoring through telematics, truck drivers can operate with a driving style that optimises fuel consumption.

TIP trailer tyre experience and expertise

Our experience in maintaining trailers for over 45 years gives TIP extensive trailer tyre expertise. Drivers can bring their trailers and trucks in for tyre maintenance and repair at one of TIP’s network of over 70 workshops across Europe. Alternatively, one of TIP’s ever growing fleet of mobile service units can help on-site.  Fully qualified and certified technicians are on hand to assist you. TIP can provide you with a flexible trailer tyre service and total peace of mind.

TIP and trailer tyres

TIP can set up your truck and trailer tyre management so that your assets always roll in the best possible way! Contact us using this form.

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