The CEO of a cutting-edge automotive technology company has spoken out on the need for a more stringent approach to tyre pressure monitoring to ensure the proper safeguarding of bus and HGV drivers.
John Catling, CEO of global tyre management service provider WheelRight, is urging the bus and logistics industries to review their current means of tyre pressure monitoring, deeming them ‘unfit for purpose’.
Catling comments: “The current, preferred method of tyre pressure monitoring for most bus and HGV drivers is manual checking. Not only is this a lengthy and cost inefficient process, it also does not give an accurate or up-to-date overview of the state of the vehicle’s tyres. While there’s no doubt that the industry has been doing the best they can with the equipment they have to hand, the time has come for a more robust approach to tyre pressure management.
“Core to this fresh approach should be the adoption of innovative new technology which enables daily tyre pressure checks. Current industry best practice suggests HGV and bus tyres should be checked once every 4-6 weeks, a period of time that, in our opinion, is just too long to ensure the proper safeguarding of drivers, passengers and other road users.
“However, new technology makes daily tyre pressure checking a reality. At WheelRight, we have developed an innovative, drive-over solution for cars, buses and HGVs. The technology not only measures a vehicle’s tyre pressure in a matter of seconds – far quicker than manual checks could ever manage – but also ensures a much greater degree of accuracy. Bus companies that have already adopted the technology have also reported a decrease in fuel spend; under-inflation can increase petrol or diesel costs by as much as 20%.
“WheelRight’s unique service supports operators aiming to achieve the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Bronze standard. A voluntary accreditation, FORS promotes best practice for commercial vehicle operators, and encompasses all aspects of safety, efficiency and environmental protection.
“The traceability and instant reporting that comes from using a cloud-based service like WheelRight’s also fits perfectly with the DVSA’s new Earned Recognition scheme, a sign-up initiative in which bus and HGV operators’ processes are audited against DVSA’s stringent safety check-list.
“Such schemes are vital for developing positive industry-wide attitude change; something which is particularly necessary given the current transport and logistics approach to tyre pressure monitoring.”
The pioneering technology developed by WheelRight has successfully completed a year-long pilot scheme in partnership with Highways England on the southbound M6 – a notorious traffic blackspot – where it measured more than 50,000 HGV tyre pressures. The solution is also being proven in the USA, on The Ray highway in Georgia, a showcase for innovative new technology which improves driver safety and increases sustainability.