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Conti debuts TPMS for trucking fleets

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. is launching ContiPressureCheck system, a tire pressure-monitoring system for commercial trucks, in North America after a year of fleet testing throughout the continent.

The ContiPressureCheck system—developed jointly by Continental A.G.'s Commercial Vehicle Tire, Body & Security and Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket business units—uses sensors mounted inside the tires to provide accurate temperature and pressure readings that are displayed on monitors inside the cab.

The system, available as an aftermarket fitment only, can be used for tractors, trailers or in combination, Conti said at the launch of the product at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

The cost for the system will be less than what a highway breakdown might cost, which is estimated at between $700 and $900, according to Paul Williams, executive vice president, commercial vehicle tires in the Americas.

“If this system avoids just one roadside breakdown, it pays for itself completely,” he said. “That's the payback of adopting this system.”

The system also can save fleets and owner/operators time and money by alerting the driver of sudden inflation deviations as well as slow air losses to the tire, according to Clif Armstrong, director of marketing for truck tires, the Americas.

“By correcting these issues before the tire requires replacement, fleets and drivers can prevent vehicle downtime, extend the tread life of their tires and protect their valuable casing investment.”

Proper tire inflation also reduces a tire's rolling resistance and, in turn, fuel consumption and can reduce stopping distances and optimize vehicle control, Mr. Armstrong added.

First demonstrated at the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show, the system has undergone extensive testing with fleets throughout the U.S.

The system can be ordered directly from a Continental truck tire dealer or via the national account customer order desk. For small fleets or owner operators, ContiPressureCheck can be obtained by calling operators for Continental's emergency road service programs TrukFix, ContiFleet and TrukFix for OOIDA.

Fleets or owners installing the system need to make sure the tires they fit are equipped with the sensors, Conti noted.

The tire maker will continue to expand the system's capabilities, Mr. Williams said, with the next version likely to be integrated telematically into the vehicle's dashboard, allowing a fleet to be able to monitor the air pressure and temperature of the tires on its vehicles anywhere in the country.

Version three might add the ability to measure tread depth so fleets could then start planning their service intervals and measure cost per mile.

“You'll know exactly what the runout projection is on every tire because you'll know exactly what the tread depth is,” Mr. Williams said.
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