Highways England is undertaking live tests of a technology that could help reduce commercial vehicle tyre failures by 75% on the country’s strategic road network (SRN).
The technology is a drive over tyre pressure, tyre tread and vehicle weighing system. As drivers approach the sensors, an ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) camera reads and records the vehicle registration and a second camera photographs the vehicle.
The purpose of the equipment is to provide information to the driver or the fleet or transport manager, and not to say whether the vehicle is or is not roadworthy.
Having first assessed a pilot installation of WheelRight’s drive-over tyre management system at Keele Services (M6 southbound), Highways England is now running year-long tests of the technology with:
- John Lewis Partnership – Milton Keynes
- AW Jenkinson Transport – Penrith
- Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA vehicle check site) – Cuerden (M62)
WheelRight’s chief executive John Catling said: “These three pilots put the UK at the forefront of the transport industry, setting new safety standards that other road management bodies and transport planners across the globe will be keen to adopt.”
The WheelRight system comprises a set of high-intensity strobe lights, all-weather cameras and drive-over pressure instruments installed at the transport depot – all collecting data within seconds.
This information is then analysed to provide actionable results instantly to the driver and/or fleet manager. Daily and weekly reports include data on:
- Tyre pressures (pass or fail based on predetermined levels)
- Tread depths (pass or fail based on specified levels)
- Tyre temperatures (early identification of problem tyres or wheels)
- Tyre condition (via a 360 degree photographic image of the tread)
- Weigh in Motion data / axle weights
Highways England’s incident prevention team leader John Walford said: “It’s a proven technology that fleet managers really need to test out for themselves.
"In just a few months, drivers and fleet managers from John Lewis, AW Jenkinson and the DVSA are already seeing the positive impact this system is having on their tyre management and inspection.
"It’s making our roads safer, reducing operational costs and improving fleet efficiencies in one fell swoop.”