Goodyear may make radio frequency tags standard for all tyres

Goodyear is considering making radio-frequency identification (RFID) a standard feature of its truck tyres, following a successful trial with Ewals Cargo Care.

The technology, which was first developed by Goodyear's truck racing division, works by inserting a small heat-proof transponder within the tyre on the production line. It contains the tyre's serial number, and can be read with a hand-held scanner. The system allows large fleets to keep a track of its tyres, and also helps to prevent theft.

Ewals Cargo Care, which has RFID fitted across its 3,000-strong trailer fleet, says the technology has numerous benefits.

Bart van Rens, fleet manager at Ewals Cargo Care , said: “RFID speeds-up maintenance as it allows us to very quickly and accurately identify the tires.”

He tells that it has also helped to reduce the number of tyres stolen. “Tyre theft is a big problem,” he says, “especially as you head east towards Russia.”

He explains that its trailers are often on the road for weeks at a time, and that it is all too easy for the subcontractor to swap premium tyres for budget or worn ones. Now it scans the tyres every three months, allowing it to prove that a tyre has been swapped.

Van Rens welcomes the day when every truck tyre is chipped, “because it will stop tyre theft altogether”. He also hopes Goodyear will take RFID a step further and hold more information on the chip, including tyre temperature and pressure.

Adam Stanton, Goodyear Dunlop's commercial marketing manager, says: “We are working closely with fleets, and asking them if they see it as a benefit.”