Michelin North America will soon be marketing WABCO’s Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring System (IVTM) in Canada. It’s been available to the European trucking industry since 2003. Distribution details remain to be worked out in Canada but expect its availability in early 2007. It’s ready now in the U.S.

The IVTM system offers real-time pressure information especially suited to trucks that don’t return to their terminal every night, or even every week.

An on-board monitor gives the driver a constant readout of tire pressure on tractor and trailer tires and can warn of improper pressure and slow leaks, thanks to an algorithm that constantly compares information between and across axles. The system helps drivers maintain tire inflation at the optimum level, and to control costs by reducing fuel consumption, tire wear and tire-related down time. The majority of all tire failures start with slow leaks,
Michelin says, which can be prevented by IVTM.

The system consists of external wheel-mounted modules that are connected to the tire valves with pneumatic hoses. The modules regularly measure and transmit tire-inflation data via radio frequency to an electronic control unit (ECU), which in turn transmits them to a dash-mounted display. Both visual and acoustic signals warn drivers of abnormally low tire pressure, slow leaks, and tire position — as well as the appropriate corrective action.

Trailers are individually equipped with their own IVTM ECU that transmits tire inflation data by RF to any IVTM-equipped tractor to which they are coupled. IVTM can also be connected directly to the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) databus and integrate tire inflation and early warning information into a vehicle’s multifunctional dashboard display. The system is compatible with existing telematic and fleet management systems, Michelin says.

The system can easily be retrofitted by a trained technician – in about three hours for an 18-wheel rig — and fits most North American vehicle configurations.

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