Pressure point

Equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, offers SAF TIRE PILOT – the latest in tyre pressure control.

There has been a considerable rise in popularity among fleets when it comes to the uptake of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and Tyre Pressure Refill Systems (TPRS). The reason is simple, there are plenty of benefits associated with investing in this technology.

Correctly adjusted tyre pressure extends the service life of the tyres, saves fuel, avoids tyre breakdowns and reduces the time required for vehicle maintenance. This gives operators financial and technical security. Monitoring and controlling tyre pressure, whether via tyre pressure monitoring or a refill system, will become a new standard for Performance-Based Standards (PBS) and other newly purchased vehicles.

SAF Tire Pilot
Fuel consumption and tyre wear are two of the biggest factors that affect the profitability of a road transport business. So, how do you minimise tyre wear and maximise fuel efficiency? SAF-Holland has developed a system to permanently monitor and help maintain consistent tyre pressure, SAF TIRE PILOT.

SAF Holland has been globally supplying the Tire Pilot brand tyre inflation systems for over 10 years starting in Europe and expanding to Australia in 2016.

It is an intelligent assistant for fleets and helps to protect tyres and save fuel in the process. As soon as tyre pressure drops, rolling resistance increases which causes tyres to wear. This can also lead to environmental implications where road infrastructure is damaged over time and discarded, worn tyres are left to harm the environment. Of course, a more efficient journey will also minimise carbon emissions. Fitting SAF TIRE PILOT to heavy vehicle combinations is a win-win for industry and the environment. This tyre pressure refill system is available for rigid and steerable axles.

It can also be configured in a multi-weight setup for three-axle trailers. How much can this equipment generate in terms of a return on investment? See the payback calculator:

SAF Holland has extended the original SAF TIRE PILOT with TIRE PILOT PLUS™ SYSTEM developed in the US. Tire Pilot Plus™ not only controls pressure through inflation, but also maintains equal pressure across all wheels and features high pressure relief for overinflated tyres.

Looking to the future
There are two technologies on the SAF Holland drawing board: SMAR-te Tire Pilot Plus and Tire Pilot Plus with RTS (Real Time Sensing).

SMAR-te Tire Pilot Plus – a significant optional enhancement to the base TPP system that includes an electronic control module with Bluetooth capabilities. This system will automatically adjust tyre pressure setting per the tyre manufacturer’s axle load versus tyre pressure specification. This further enhances tyre life and fuel economy as well as provides a means to signal possible over-weight situations before the trailer is put in service.

Tire Pilot Plus with RTS – also based on the TPP system includes battery powered tyre pressure sensors in the air system to further expand the customer’s ability to monitor trailer tyre pressures, either on the road or when sitting idle at the fleet terminal yard.

The TPP with RTS can communicate through the fleet’s chosen telemetric supplier to facilitate a pre-trip ‘real-time’ tyre status inspection of critical trailer attributes while parked. The system can ‘ping’ an un-coupled trailer in the yard and read individual tyre pressure, and if a pressure issue is detected it automatically identifies the problematic tyre. This saves the fleet manager time and money by not only reducing required time for pre-trip inspections, but also by identifying an issue in advance and allowing maintenance to be performed before the trailer is scheduled for road operation.

While on the road, the TPP with ‘real-time sensing’ option constantly monitors individual trailer tyre pressures. If the system detects that a tyre’s pressure has fallen below the threshold setting it will automatically send an alert notification to the fleet’s telematics user dashboard, with the problematic tyre location pointed out. This feature assists with avoiding expensive roadside service calls by providing the ability to immediately seek service before the situation becomes critical.

Field trials are in progress and production serialisation is expected Q4 2021.

There are a number of advantages for fleets to invest in these technologies.

Reduced cost, maximised tyre life, optimised safety – to name a few. Starting July 2022, these systems will be mandatory for all new vehicles in Europe. In Australia we still have the option of adopting new technology. However, tyre pressure monitoring and controlling is becoming more and more accepted by fleets and operators, as well as in PBS applications.

Whatever the future brings, SAF-Holland will be there.