National Highways launches tyre solution 24 January 2023

National Highways Mobile Tyre Safety Station The tyre technology combines sensors with vision technology and software algorithms to read tyre pressure

National Highways is lending a Mobile Tyre Safety Station to operators of major fleets that is said to inspect up to 1,000 vehicles a day.

One in five breakdowns on the strategic road network is said to be caused by tyre failure: that is 50,000 tyre-related breakdowns every year.

The highway operator analysed tyre breakdowns across the network and found that a major cause of tyre failure is under-inflation – a problem that increases friction, creating higher temperatures, and causing structural damage, premature wear, and a high risk of tread separation. With under-inflated tyres, the vehicle handles less precisely, needs much longer stopping distances, and use more fuel.

The tyre technology can be installed at any point in a site where vehicles cross, such as entrances and exits. It combines sensors with vision technology and software algorithms to read tyre pressure, tread depths and axle weight for vehicles up to 7.5t. Any unsafe reading is flagged to the transport manager for fixing.

Anthony Thorpe, assistant project manager at National Highways CV incident prevention team, said: “The mobile tyre safety station has tested more than 28,000 vehicles, and 112,000 individual tyres. 12,000 of the vehicles inspected had a tyre inflation issue, with over 4,000 severely under-inflated. 23,000 individual tyres needed attention, and 7,500 required urgent attention.

“All of the vehicles we have tested so far with the mobile technology product belong to operators with excellent tyre management policies,” he continued. “It’s clear that vehicles benefit from being checked day-by-day because tyre pressure can alter quickly between even frequent inspections.”

For fleets, correct inflation and tyre management is expected to cut fuel consumption by 5%, prolong the life of the tyre by 25%, cut the need for emergency roadside support by 75% and lower the risk of collision.

“For depots to install the tyre technology is not an inconsiderable investment but it is extremely effective in identifying tyre safety issues and we encourage major fleets to consider this,” Thorpe added. “They could see huge benefits and a substantial return on investment. We have a long line of operators which have already requested the use of the mobile tyre safety station.”

Those interested in learning more about the mobile tyre safety station can sign up for the Driving for Better Business Programme, which supports those who manage drivers to reduce road risk in their organisation.

Transport Engineer

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