Nearly 70 per cent of trucks, trailers and semi-trailers showed that the vehicles were being driven on underinflated tyres, according to a study carried out by Goodyear.
Now after two years of intensive market research, a truck and trailer tyre pressure monitor, dubbed the P-Eye, has been produced in the Netherlands, where the survey was carried out.
The product is expected to significantly reduce costs on heavy vehicle maintenance.
The device is now available in South Africa from truck and trailer manufacturer Serco Industries, which has been awarded the sole agency to market the monitor in Southern Africa.
Clinton Holcroft, CEO of Serco, emphasised that the product saves on fuel, maintenance and labour costs and adds exponentially to road safety.
He says that a quarter of all commercial vehicle tyres are underinflated, increasing the wear and tear of the tyres by 15% to 20%. Most blow-outs and resulting accidents are also caused by insufficient tyre pressure.
A visual check on any vehicle fitted with the device enables an operator to quickly determine whether the vehicle’s tyres are sufficiently inflated, as it is fitted with a flashing light to warn the operator if the tyres are underinflated. This makes the system safer than manual checks. Underinflated tyres also have greater resistance and, hence, result in the vehicle burning more fuel and emitting more carbon into the atmosphere.
“The potential saving on labour costs for large-fleet managers is significant. Instead of having a team of staff manually checking tyre pressures, the job can be effectively done by fewer staff looking out for the flashing lights,” Holcroft says.
The monitor also replaces the tyre valve cap and monitors the preset minimum tyre pressure – if the pressure drops more than 5% below the required setting, the light-emitting diode lamp starts to blink.
Some of Serco’s recently built trailers have already been fitted with the monitoring system.
Oliver Hall, Operations Team