Continental debuts new tire monitoring system

The ContiConnect system uses a sensor mounted on the tire to record data that is transferred to the yard reader when the vehicle returns to the yard.

ContiConnect uses sensors to monitor tire pressure, temperature through web portal

With 34% of all tires still running underinflated in fleets, according to Continental, more solutions are needed. That’s why the tire maker has introduced a new, simple-to-use digital tire monitoring platform this week at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta.

ContiConnect provides remote tire monitoring through a simple sensor, a yard reader station and web portal. The platform allows fleet managers to see tire pressure and temperature data for a vehicle or the entire fleet each time a truck enters the yard.

Armed with that information, fleets can proactively fix potential tire problems before a vehicle hits the road and has an on-road breakdown. It also tells managers exactly which tire on which vehicle needs servicing, eliminating guesswork and time spent locating the proper tire.

“ContiConnect is the starting point for Continental to become a profound partner for tire-related data services,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the global Tire division. “With this digital tire monitoring platform we take a huge step forward in our evolution from a premium tire manufacturer to a solutions provider. We enrich our long-term experience in the tire industry with data created by sensors, starting with our truck, bus and earthmoving tires.”

Continental said that identifying problems before they become larger issues will improve removal miles and casing retreadability. Tire sensors can identify creeping air loss, one of the major causes of tire failure, the company said, before it would typically be noticed in a pre- or post-trip inspection.

The system records data via sensors which are mounted on the inner liner of the tire. The sensors record tire pressure and temperature. As trucks drive into the yard they pass by a “yard reader” that picks up the data stored in the sensor and transmits it to the ContiConnect web portal via cellular network.

The web portal provides the fleet manager with low pressure alerts – sent via text or email – and tracks data over time. Reports and analytics are provided to help manage the overall tire program.

Tire sensors are retrofitted onto a fleet’s existing tires through a simple installation process, Continental said. Select tire models are available direct from the factory with the sensors mounted on the liner during tire production.

Food service distributor Feeser’s has been testing the ContiConnect system. According to fleet manager Bob Herr, the fleet has traditionally relied on its 85 drivers for tire condition information. The fleet of 90 vehicles suffered one flat tire per week on average using a valve-mounted tire pressure monitoring system. The system’s sensors were also frequently damaged on the road, resulting in increased costs and tire failures.

Once installed, Feeser’s ContiConnect system started detecting low pressure in 4 to 5 tires per week on average, allowing service staff to address the issue right away and avoid the tires going flat overnight.

“This is a great solution for my regional application, and I would definitely recommend it to others,” says Herr. “I’m saving casings and time, and I no longer have to depend on my drivers to check tire pressure.”

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.