Continental Tyres and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK have created a new integrated digital Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), designed specifically to meet the unique safety requirements of fleets using trailers, especially multidecks.
In recent years, the popularity of multideck trailers has steadily increased as more and more fleets – especially those transporting in the grocery sector – recognise the environmental and cost benefits that these space-maximising trailers can bring.
However, such trailer configurations are not without issues. A heavier load and greater frequency of use can lead to tyre pressure challenges and temperature build up around trailer wheels.
Now, a joint initiative between Continental Tyres and Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK provides an answer to this crucial safety issue. Utilising the advanced digital capabilities of Continental’s ContiPressureCheck and the increased in-cab functionality of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, when specified with the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal, drivers and fleet managers can receive real time accurate trailer tyre pressures and temperatures – without the need for additional in cab displays.
The new fully integrated system is the first of its kind available in the UK and pairs data from the trailer tyre sensors with the in-cab Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. So, in the event of a pressure drop in a trailer tyre, or if the temperature around the tyre rises while driving due to increased load, drivers receive audible and visual dashboard warnings. The system has also been designed to be highly adaptable and will work on any trailer configuration, as well as multideck.
The Continental standalone trailer system includes pressure/ temperature sensors mounted in the tyres, a control unit (CCU) positioned on the trailer chassis, a warning lamp fixed to the under/nearside of the trailer in sight of the drivers rearward view and a monitoring screen fixed to the bulkhead of the trailer. This additional display allows the driver to check the status all of the trailer tyres very easily during daily checks. When connected to a Mercedes-Benz Actros, data is continuously fed to the multimedia dashboard via a Bluetooth connection into the Truck App Portal at any time that the truck has its ignition turned on. This information can also be sent in real time to fleet managers, using the cloud based ContiConnect portal.
A high-powered Bluetooth dongle links the trailer tyre data to the cab, highlighting the trailers schematics with live pressure and temperature readings. If an issue arises, an audible warning is sounded through the truck speakers, fading out any additional radio noise while it does so. The driver is then able to see the tyres affected marked by an amber or red colour on the multimedia display, highlighting the priority of the warning. Tapping an alerted tyre on the in-cab display will provide more details and allow the driver take appropriate action immediately.
Mat Wilkinson, Commercial Director at Continental Tyres, said: “The benefits of tyre pressure monitoring have been long understood for fleets, but this joint initiative is the next step for this technology. Drawing on the expertise and technological hardware from two suppliers, we have been able to provide unparalleled visibility of tyre pressure and temperature to drivers and fleet managers, keeping drivers safe, and preventing costly vehicle downtime.”
Richard Skidmore, Head of Connectivity at Mercedes-Benz Trucks added: “It is our mission to bring truck connectivity and data to the fingertips of our customers to be used in the most effective way possible. This joint offering does exactly that. By integrating trailer tyre pressure visibility into the existing digital architecture of the truck we vastly reduce the cost to the operator to fit extra screens or additional telematics boxes, maximise uptime and improve safety for our drivers and the public on our roads.”