Haulage firm Frenni Transport is fitting its entire fleet with Wheely-Safe’s intelligent tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), wheel loss and brake temperature sensors.
The gear already features on 12 of the Pembrokeshire operator’s trucks and is currently being rolled out across the remaining 28 Volvos and DAFs. It is supplied and fitted by the firm’s local tyre dealer, Tuf Treads.
The external TPMS sensors replace the normal valve caps on each tyre and are fitted alongside a pair of wheel loss and temperature sensors. Solar-powered receivers are mounted in the truck’s cab to flag up any problems to the driver.
“As good as the latest truck tyres and traditional fleet inspections are, there will always be that element of human error that can creep in,” said Mathew Parry, director at Frenni Transport – which specialises in general haulage and palletised goods.
“Wheel loss incidents still happen far too frequently in the industry and the impact can be devastating. There’s so much reliance on the wheel nuts and maintaining sufficient torque to hold the wheel in place, often under very heavy loads. But this technology gives us the peace of mind that we will get an immediate alert if a wheel nut starts to loosen, and we may be about to have an issue, even mid-journey.”
He added that the systems had already flagged up a potentially dangerous issue. “We’ve had one alert so far, where the technology flagged a loss of pressure in the tyre. The driver was quite close to the Tuf Treads depot in Llanelli, so he pulled in and the technicians confirmed that the tyre had actually started to come away from the wheel rim.
“Had our driver continued on the journey, that tyre would have likely come off, or disintegrated, and could have taken the air tanks with it as well. So, we could easily have been looking at a bill of £1,000 or more.”