Logistics company Gist is the first UK customer for Michelin's Effitrailer telematics system.
The Effitrailer system uses dedicated trailer telematics equipment, featuring an on-board datalink, tyre pressure monitoring system and electronic braking system (EBS) data analysis. Once installed the equipment also enables constant tracking of every optimised asset in a company’s fleet.
Gist rolled the technology out across 58 tri-axle Gray & Adams double-decker trailers – which will be used on the company’s long-distance trunking routes – after participating in a 27-trailer pilot project and reporting promising results.
Gist engineering director Sam de Beaux described the programme as “the first important step on the road to predictive rather than reactive maintenance for commercial fleets”.
“During the pilot, which started in February 2015 and ends with this new contract, the system helped us prevent anywhere up to five trailer tyre-related incidents a week on the test trailers,” said de Beaux.
“If we prevent just five incidents a month on the 58 double-deckers the system will pay for itself within two years, based on engineering cost savings such as tyre fitter call-out costs and replacement tyres – that is without considering the impact on our customers due to breakdown delays. Michelin has underwritten these savings on the trailers to be fitted.”
Uniquely in the market, when a company signs up to an Effitrailer contract, Michelin Solutions will commit to reducing the number of tyre-related trailer breakdowns by up to 50 per cent – a commitment validated after diagnosis by a Michelin solutions logistic analyst.
If Michelin Solutions does not achieve this goal, the company will refund the cost of all breakdowns over and above the contractual terms.
The real-time data generated by Effitrailer telematics is sent to a dedicated fleet manager’s web portal, and details each asset’s exact location, mileage, the current pressure and temperature of every tyre on every axle, the length of any periods of abnormal downtime or ‘wait-time’, the ‘unhooked’ or ‘towed’ status of the asset and whether the trailer is overloaded.
De Beaux added: “The predictive capability allows an email to be sent to the owning depot of the trailer when tyre pressures are outside the ‘green’ set points. The typical time in the majority of cases before a tyre pressure becomes critical due to a slow leak is days rather than hours – this allows rectification in a planned manner, rather than an emergency situation at the roadside.”
“The safety enhancements of such systems are considerable, and will play an important role in Gist’s ongoing commitment to the safety of its people and their surrounding communities.”
As part of the programme, Michelin Solutions will prepare monthly and quarterly reports, highlighting important information such as utilisation rates and empty run mileage, plus trends and any changes across a company’s trailer fleet – not simply a mass of complex data, but key figures and a clear overview of actions and results. This allows informed business decisions by identifying underused assets and unearthing opportunities for streamlined fleet utilisation.
The solution is aimed primarily at fleets operating at least 100 trailers on any brand of tyres, and is available regardless of current or future tyre policy.