Effitrailer is based on dedicated trailer telematics, with an on-board datalink capturing TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system), EBS (electronic braking system) and GPS data.
Gist has now deployed the technology on 58 of its Gray & Adams triaxle double-deck semi-trailers on long-distance trunking, following a 27-trailer pilot project, which – according to Gist engineering director Sam de Beaux – showed promising results.
de Beaux describes the Effitrailer programme as “The first important step on the road to predictive, rather than reactive, maintenance for commercial fleets.”
He explains: “During the pilot, which started in February 2015 and ends with this new contract, Effitrailer helped us prevent anywhere up to five trailer tyre-related incidents a week.
“If we prevent just five incidents a month on the 58 double-deckers, the system will pay for itself within two years, based on engineering cost savings such as tyre fitter call-out costs and replacement tyres,” he continues.
“That is without considering the impact on our customers due to breakdown delays... And Michelin has underwritten these savings on the trailers.”
That is because, as part of any Effitrailer contract, Michelin commits to reducing the number of tyre-related trailer breakdowns by up to 50%.
If Michelin Solutions does not achieve this goal, the company offers to refund the cost of all breakdowns over and above the contractual terms.
“The predictive capability of Effitrailer allows an email to be sent to the owning depot when tyre pressures are outside the ‘green’ set points,” explains de Beaux.
“The typical time in the majority of cases before a tyre pressure becomes critical due to a slow leak is days rather than hours... This allows rectification in a planned manner, rather than an emergency situation at the roadside.”
For de Beaux, that means the improved safety implications of the system are also “considerable”.
And he also points to information such as utilisation rates, empty run mileages and trends – any of which can help inform business decisions by identifying underused assets and untapped opportunities.
Michelin Solutions has now launched Effitrailer across Europe, and says that its telematics system can be installed on all trailer types equipped with EBS, regardless of age or manufacturer.
The system is aimed primarily at fleets operating at least 100 trailers on any brand of tyres, and is available regardless of current or future tyre policy.