“One of the major differences between passenger car tires and off-road tires is the size,” says Continental’s Adrian Leu, expert for smart service solutions.
“We are concerned about the heat buildup, [because] you have a larger rubber mass, especially in the shoulder area of the tire," Leu says. "What makes our tires unique is that we have a sensor installed in the tire from the plant; all of our radial tires have sensors that give you information on the temperature and the pressure inside the tire.”
Continental includes sensors in all of its construction models, calling them “Intelligent Tires.” The sensors last up to 6 years/400,000 miles, the company says, and are mounted on the inner liner to avoid damage.
“The tire price doesn’t go up because of the sensors [included],” Leu adds.
Tire monitoring benefits
Monitoring inflation pressure and the true casing tire temperature can lead to a number of benefits, including increased mileage, longer tread life, longer casting life, reduced breakdowns, and reduced labor and tire maintenance costs (less time spent on manual tire pressure checks and repairing issues caused by underinflation).
Continental says keeping tires properly inflated can reduce total tire-related costs by $600 to $800 dollars annually per vehicle.
Depending on the needs of the individual fleet, a host of more sophisticated solutions flow from the base sensor technology.
The ContiConnect Yard Reader is digital tire monitoring with a web portal. It can be mounted in the fleet terminal or refueling area and can read sensors in a 65-foot radius. A mobile-friendly Web portal displays the tire data for all vehicles passing the yard reader. The product is designed to monitor vehicles that return to the fleet yard at least once a week.
ContiPressureCheck is an on-vehicle tire pressure monitoring system for long haul and over-the-road vehicles that don’t return to a yard frequently. An in-cab display informs drivers of issues in real time.
ContiPressureCheck Solo is a tire monitoring system for trailers, designed for drop-and-hook scenarios and trailer leasing.
Connecting to telematics
“In addition to [pressure and temperature], we use telematics solutions to have accurate information about the application, where we can get speed, distance, lateral forces, elevation change, all this information, and we analyze it, and we can go back to the customer and make specific recommendations based on that unique application,” Leu says.
This tire performance consulting comes courtesy of the company’s ContiLogger product, which enables route analysis for off-the-road surface mining applications.
“We can help optimize routes, watch elevations and harsh turns, and guide [the customer] to use tires more efficiently and extend their life,” says Marco Rabe, head of truck tire technology, Americas, for Continental.
In addition, the ContiPressureCheck Integrated product can be linked to users’ existing telematics systems to alert back-office personnel in real time to tire issues on the road. It can also alert drivers with an optional in-cab display. The system is available with telematics providers including Road Ready, Peoplenet (Trimble Transportation), Zonar, and Geotab.