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January 17, 2023

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road safety

Mobile tyre-management station launched by National Highways

A new mobile tyre-management system has been launched to automatically detect tyre safety after research showed ’20 per cent’ of breakdowns on UK roads are caused by tyre failure – with the system detecting ‘23,000 issues’ in the first 112,000 checks.

National Highways has launched the new Mobile Tyre Safety Station which combines sensors with vision technology and software algorithms designed to read tyre pressure, tread depths and axle weight for vehicles up to 7.5t.

Any unsafe reading is said to be flagged to the transport manager for fixing.

The government-run company has been lending the new technology to operators of major fleets to inspect up to 1,000 vehicles a day and take readings in ‘less than 10 seconds’.

tyreAssistant Project Manager at National Highways CV Incident Prevention Team Anthony Thorpe said: “The mobile tyre safety station has tested more than 28,000 vehicles, and 112,000 individual tyres.

“12,000 of the vehicles inspected had a tyre inflation issue, with over 4,000 severely under-inflated. 23,000 individual tyres needed attention, and 7,500 required urgent attention.

“All of the vehicles we have tested so far with the mobile technology product belong to operators with excellent tyre management policies.

“It’s clear that vehicles benefit from being checked day-by-day because tyre pressure can alter quickly between even frequent inspections.”

It comes after data revealed one in five breakdowns on the strategic road network (SRN) is caused by tyre failure – which equates to 50,000 tyre-related breakdowns every year.

And ’30 per cent’ of those involve commercial vehicles.

One of the major causes of tyre failure is under-inflation, according to National Highways – a problem that increases friction, creating higher temperatures, and causing structural damage, premature wear, and a high risk of tread separation.

With under-inflated tyres, the vehicle handles less precisely, needs much longer stopping distances, and uses more fuel.

Thorpe added: “For depots to install the tyre technology is not an inconsiderable investment but it is extremely effective in identifying tyre safety issues and we encourage major fleets to consider this.

“They could see huge benefits and a substantial return on investment. We have a long line of operators which have already requested the use of the mobile tyre safety station.”

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