Tyres and Industry

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Friday, February 16, 2018

A study had evidenced that in excess of 60% of the sample had tyres that were under-inflated when compared to the vehicle manufacturers minimum inflation requirement. The subsequent study confirmed the prior evidence, more than one in every two cars was unsafe from a tyre’s perspective.

Read the full article here


The Chain of Responsibility

Friday, February 09, 2018

Tyres are a critical link in Chain of Responsibility (CoR). Due Diligence; are you aware of the role tyres contribute to your operations and safety?

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) is the overarching legal requirement that all parties in the supply chain from the consignor to the consignee have to ensure their legal responsibilities have been met.

As a Director of a transport operation your responsibilities extend to understanding every link of the entire chain throughout your business. Failure to appreciate all the aspects and respond accordingly could result in a legal liability including large fines and prison.



Friday, January 05, 2018

Investment in training has multiple benefits. Training increases productivity of the employees in manifold ways. Tyres, like training, provide a long-term return when treated with appropriate care. Ignore them and they come back to bite very quickly

Read the full article here


Retreading Pays Dividends - TyreAsia Magazine

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Belt end separation is one of the most common causes of rejection during the retreading process. Having removed the tyre from service before all of the tread is consumed specifically for retreading the tyre is now rendered scrap value only. The investment has not returned the economic benefits that retreading provides

Read the the full article here


Chain of Responsibility

Thursday, November 02, 2017

How tyres form a safety critical link in the Chain of Responsibility for not only personnel in the supply chain but also the actual vehicle safety systems.

The Chain or Responsibility (CoR) is the overarching legal requirement that all parties in the supply chain from the consignor to the consignee have to ensure their legal responsibilities have been met.

There are accreditation systems that cover heavy vehicles, the WAHVAS, NHVR, Trucksafe come to mind. There are many compliance systems that cover driver accreditation and matters like fatigue, journey planning, load restraint, fault registers and mechanical maintenance.

All vehicles on our roads today have a common factor, all vehicles, heavy, light, electric, diesel and even autonomous vehicles, they all ride on pneumatic tyres.

How is tyre maintenance evidenced within the CoR? Already I hear many groans but consider that a vehicle can be overloaded yet under mass. So even if all the matters above receive a tick the vehicle can be deemed unroadworthy. How is this so?

Tyres 101 tells us a tyres prime function is to contain the air within the tyre's structure. We all know that a flat (no or low air) tyre supports no load. Let’s look at an 11R22.5 16pr tyre for instance, at 120 psi this tyre in a dual configuration will support 2,725kgs, that’s 10,900kg for an axle (4 tyres). At 100 psi the same tyre supports only 2,470kgs, that’s 9,800kgs axle load. That’s a 10% reduction in load capacity. A 295/80R22.5 goes from 3,150kgs @ 120 psi to 2,770kgs @ 100 psi, that’s a 12% reduction in load capacity. How many tyres are operating at the level they are actually required to be at?

So if the tyres are not appropriately inflated for the load (and speed) on the vehicle then the vehicle will be overloaded, yes even if it is under the rated GVM.

There are weigh in motion devices on trucks, engine control modules that regulate the amount of power a driver can apply, GPS and speed tracking devices and even cameras to see when the driver is getting droopy eyes. When I ask a driver to stop his truck, open the engine cover, remove the radiator cap and dip a thermometer into the coolant to check the engine temperature they usually break out into laughter, until I ask them how they check their tyres. Putting a manual gauge onto a tyre is akin to the process I’ve just outlined, last used in the 1930’s.

Tyres support the vehicle in more than just a load carrying capacity. Drive, steering and braking efforts are all applied through the tyres. If the tyre is underinflated the tyre will not perform as the designer intended, will the vehicle perform as the designer intended?

When we consider the chain of responsibility we generally only think of the people involved but let’s apply it to the vehicle for a minute. The steering wheel is connected to the steering shaft and steering box, which is connected to the linkages that rotate the wheels around an axis. The wheels have tyres. The engine produces the power that is transferred through the clutch into the transmission that reduces the speed and increases the torque that is transmitted to the differentials and axles to drive the wheels. The wheels have tyres. The trailer axles have brakes on the wheel end, which are applied by the driver as required, the brake shoes or pads engage with the drum or disc and convert the kinetic energy into heat energy reducing the speed of the wheel. The wheel has a tyre mounted. The tyre connects the brake to the pavement. The tyre is like the consignee; it is the last point of contact. It has the responsibility to transfer the steering, drive and braking forces from the vehicle to the pavement. Why is this not important? Tyres are absolutely critical in vehicle safety. ABS, ESC, all sorts of electronic wizardry all depend upon the tyre to transfer the forces without diminishment.

Tyres provide not only safety but great economics as well. Tyres are one of the largest operating expenses for a heavy vehicle. They are one of the most uncontrollable expenses as well. If a tyre fails catastrophically then the damage can be considerable, busted guards and lights, lost time in awaiting a tyre service even the total loss of the vehicle. How? Just think of a truck driver’s worst nightmare, a steer tyre failing whilst at top speed. How many single vehicle accidents are the result of a steer tyre failure?

The upside of maintaining tyres is manifold in that not just do the tyres themselves last longer but the wheel ends and bearings, the transmission and driveline last longer, fuel burn is reduced by a couple of percentage points at least. Even driver fatigue is reduced! WHAT? I hear screamed! Think of a tandem drive, 8 tyres all driving. If the tyres are at different pressures, then they’ll all be driving at a different rate. Imagine thjis tandem drive set-up wearing a running shoe, teamed with a work boot, a golf shoe, a football boot, a slipper, another different running shoe and a dress boot. How are these all going to work at the same rate? If the tyres don’t work as a team then the driver will be constantly redirecting the vehicle as each shoe, sorry tyre, imparts its own effort in driving forward or around a corner. After hours of constantly providing subtle inputs to the steering why would a driver not be tired and fatigued? The driver may well be fatigued before the driving hours are up, just as the vehicle can be overloaded but under mass.

Aah yes, the perennial statement of “our tyre service has set the tyres during the last service”. So what have the tyres experienced since? Even if the tyres were all set to the same cold pressure before the vehicle departed in operation the tyres would not be at the same pressure during operations. Inside tyres are deprived of the same cooling as outside tyres are, steer tyres experience higher loads on downhill sections and at higher speeds, drive tyres experience more load on uphill sections. Inside tyres experience the waste heat from the engine and exhaust emission systems, high horsepower trucks are even worse, add long range fuel tanks and the ventilation goes to nada, zip, zilch, and the tyres? They just keep working but they are getting hotter, increasing in pressure and size resulting in the outside tyres scuffing every revolution.

BPW Axles report that a 5 psi difference between a pair of dual tyres is worth a 10% reduction in bearing life, a 10 psi difference is worth a 20% reduction. Transfer this wear back up the driveline exacerbating wear along the way until the engine is working harder wearing parts out, burning more fuel.

Maintaining tyres in real time is a no‐brainer, just as modern trucks have electronic gauges to monitor pressures and temperatures to alert to engines or transmissions overheating so they can be fitted with real time tyre pressure monitors to display tyre pressures without leaving the driver’s seat, they can be connected to data loggers or telematics to provide historical evidence but more importantly data to drive positive economic outcomes.

Just as a fatigue log book can evidence a driver’s work, an ECU can be downloaded to reveal the speed and driver attributes so tyres can be monitored and evidenced. The chain of responsibility does not stop with humans, it extends all the way through the vehicle, from the consigner the engine, to the consignee the tyres.

How do you evidence your chain of responsibilities? How do you keep your safety record in tact?  How do you maximise your bottom line?

If your tyres aren’t turning, they’re not earning©. We aim to keep them turning for longer.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Ignoring tyres will have catastrophic consequences. Maintaining proper tyre pressures is a simple means to ensuring personal and personnel safety with manifold positive economic returns

Read the full article here


When Quality Matters

Monday, January 09, 2017

There is a saying that sums up the feelings one gets looking back at a purchase or acquisition based solely on price.

When dealing with tyres the importance of this facet of procurement cannot be overstated.

A tyre is a complex machine made up of numerous different components which all have to work harmoniously as a single team, sorry tyre.  If any of the component parts do not interact or pull their weight then it’s almost certain that the tyre will fail prematurely, sometimes catastrophically.

I hear the questions already “Procurement has purchased these tyres what can we do, how can we get the most from this poor investment decision?”

Even with a low quality product if the maintenance is high quality then positive benefits may be realised.

The very first thing a tyre needs is the appropriate volume of air to support the load at the given speed.  It is expressed in TYRES 101 that the first three rules of tyre maintenance are:
1. Get the inflation levels right
2. Maintain the appropriate inflation levels
3. See rules 1 & 2

Everyone knows a flat tyre does not carry any load, but how many people actually check their tyres before commencing a journey?  Most just ASSuME that their tyres are “right”.  A quality vehicle inspection program will ensure that tyre pressures are included in the pre start check or that there is a system in place to verify the tyre inflation pressures are in the correct range for example a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Even the very best quality tyre will be compromised and degraded rapidly if the inflation pressures are not set and maintained to the expected load and speed requirements.  Buying a high quality tyre is not necessarily the answer, but maintaining your tyres goes a long way towards achieving the best returns from the investment made in the tyre(s).

For tyres which endure high loads and possibly high speeds there is another quality that is mostly overlooked.  This quality is critical to a tyres success, if the quality is not maintained at acceptable levels then even a well maintained high quality tyre can suffer.  The quality of the air delivered to the tyre is most important.  Many organisations provide nitrogen systems; at TyreSafe Australia we deliver 95% of those results with less than 20% of the costs.

Nitrogen is usually delivered in bottles or provided on site by a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit which extracts the 78% nitrogen from the dirty compressed air delivered by an air compressor.  

In the process of extracting the nitrogen all the moisture, oil mist and particulate contamination is removed so that only dry clean gas is delivered.  Most smaller commercial PSA units do not deliver the purity of nitrogen required to reduce the risk of explosion to below the threshold required.  If the tyre service crew even top up a tyre with normal compressed air all the benefits are lost.

“Why is this so important” is oft asked.  I question mechanical maintenance personnel about the quality of oil delivered to a machine.  New oil is normally delivered with a 10-micron count.  In some cases, lubricating and hydraulic fluids are put through a dialysis (kidney loop) machine which use the same principles as those used for provide clean blood to the human body for those who suffer kidney failure) and then the oils are returned to the machine with a particulate size of less than 2 microns.  The advantage gained is that the machines or hydraulic systems enjoy a longer life at a little extra cost.

If dirty air is delivered to a tyre, especially tubeless type tyres, the performance of the tyre will be compromised.  Any small amount of hydrocarbon (oil mist from compressors) will attack the halo-butyl rubbers that tyre manufacturers use for the liner (or tube) of the tyre.  Any compromise of the liner will permit the inflation medium to permeate through the tyre’s structure to the atmosphere, ergo the tyre needs to be constantly inflated.  Moisture forms a different issue for high performance tyres in that when water changes state (i.e. from liquid to gas/steam) it expands in excess of 1600 times.

TyreSafe Australia has direct experience where a 22.5” tyre working at the upper end of its operating range was inflated to 135 psi cold.  Using tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) the pressure was observed to be regularly in the 180 – 190 psi range, yet the tyre was not overloaded, nor was the vehicle over speeding.

On inspection of tyres which had been removed from service it became obvious that the quality of the compressed air was such that there was a discernible volume of water delivered on initial inflation and at each subsequent inflation top up.  The tyres were being pushed hard, working in the 70O – 90OC range with some going over 100oC by direct tread/belt measurement.  The water was simply following what it always does and changing state.  Once the quality of the inflation medium was addressed by delivering high quality air the over pressure problems simply disappeared.

If only 43.5 ml of water is included in air used to inflate a tyre then with an expansion ratio of 1600:1, 43.5 ml of water will expand to nearly 74 litres of gas (steam) at 100oC.  This is what influences the operating pressures in tyres that are working in the upper reaches of their capabilities.

Quality does not stop at the point of purchase where tyres are concerned.  If the maintenance applied to a tyre is not the highest quality available then the tyre user is not gaining the maximum return from the tyre, which leads to a previous question, “why are you throwing money away?”

It makes no cents to ASSuME, remember that monitoring, measuring, maintaining, makes money!

Tyre Temperature versus Tyre Pressure: Which gauge to use?

Monday, December 19, 2016

I am often asked about tyre temperature. In response, my direct question is “What is the temperature you are attempting to measure?” “Well tyre temperature of course”. When asked “what section of the tyre are you thinking of measuring” is usually met with blank looks. Tyres are composite construction, they are made from various and quite different rubbers, fabrics and steel in varying configurations. A race car tyre has a very lightweight construction compared to an OTR (mining) tyre and looks for traction as the ultimate property whereas the OTR tyre seeks load and life as prime qualities. The tread face of a racing slick may exceed 400˚C during hard braking. If an OTR tyre exceeds 150˚C at the tread belt interface it will more than likely suffer a heat separation and potentially fail catastrophically. A passenger car tyre can be sitting in the sun and rise tens of degrees without actually doing any work.

Many non‐tyre people relate to the ideal gas equation that relates exactly for rigid pressure vessels,we know the P1V1/T1 equation and I suggest it seems that this equation doesn’t exactly relate to composite flexible pressure vessels also known as tyres. The variance in a tyre’s volume during operation throws the calculation into chaos. Yes, a tyre is elastic, stretching and constantly being reshaped in response to load, speed, the interaction with the pavement, add friction, and the calculation becomes horrendous. Major manufacturers have all attempted to establish the correlation but it has continued to allude those who seek this Holy Grail.

The concept that a tyre’s cold pressure can be calculated from a hot pressure of fraught with unknowns and external influences such as wheel hub heat, brake radiant heat, being on the sunny side of a vehicle. The list of variables grows not to mention air quality but that’s another story for later.

At a point the person asking for temperature realises they have walked into a Tardis like situation where what appeared to be a simple external appearance takes on complexities of ever increasing magnitudes. Eyes widen and expressions indicate realisation that the Rumsfeld principle had hit home, they don’t know what they don’t know.

A tyre of any size is a container for the inflation medium. Whilst there may be macro variances within a tyre’s air chamber resulting from fluid dynamics and thermodynamic activity the pressure acting on the valve stem remains consistent, of course it varies as the tyre works but the applied pressure on the valve stem remains consistent (agreed not static!).

Think of a pimped up car with bling spinner wheel covers, you know the ones that keep spinning after the vehicle has stopped. Now, think about the air inside the tyre that has its own inertia and mass and will keep on moving even when the tyre is at rest until it consumes the inertial energy imparted by the motion of the vehicle. This motion causes eddies and vortexes that influencetemperatures and macro pressures, there are situations of partial pressures. When a giant OTR tyre stops turning the hot air will rise to the top of the air chamber as the laws of convection apply. Even in a TBR tyre, this is easily measurable.

Rubber is an extremely poor conductor of heat, with a heat transfer rate magnitudes lower than metals. This phenomenon is what permits the racecar tyre to survive the tortuous nature of having rubber applied to the pavement chasing traction. Rubber will commence reversion in a small temperature range about 105˚C when measured at the critical point between the belts and tread.Tread face and air chamber temperatures may be related as is the tread/belt interface but measuring it is a physical impossibility with current technology.

The inflation medium on the other hand imparts a consistent pressure on the valve stem from where it is trying to escape. The whole body of air is pushing on the valve core and valve cap as fluid dynamics dictate and as fluids move from a high pressure to a low pressure situation it makes logical sense to measure the pressure at the valve stem. Of course, this is how the industry has been measuring a tyres pressure since, well Mr Dunlop and Goodyear developed rubber‐impregnated cotton that formed the first pneumatic tyres.

So the question then arises how is a tyres performance measured when it is in use? It’s not possibly to attach a traditional inflation gauge to the valve stem but with the advent of microelectronics it isnow possible to attach a sensor and miniature radio transmitter to the valve stem relaying the tyre’s pressure to a monitor so that real time operating pressures can be observed.

With Nano‐technology developing rapidly, it is almost certain that tiny sensors can be manufactured to measure the temperature at different parts of a tyre. With carbon tube and piezo technology a particle that generates its own power when in motion and then transmits the data its internal sensors collect is no longer the thoughts of sci‐fi, it’s around the corner but for the moment we have to measure what we can, as we can.

Pressure is the prime metric for measuring the performance of a tyre, the consistency and accuracy of pressure to a tyres work capacity is well established. Road race teams as well as mining technicians utilise pressure as an indicator of the work a tyre has experienced. Having personally undertaken hundreds of tyre temperature tests for various manufacturers of OTR tyres I am yet to find any correlation between internal structure temperatures and surface temperatures even though the locations maybe only tens of millimetres apart. Using pressure / temperature devices that bleed air over a sensor, I am yet to find any direct correlation between the bled air temperatures to the critical temperature at the tread/belt interface.

When someone asks for tyre temperature my response is to simply ask, “Which temperature would you like?”, and then use the Tardis analogy, the complexities of the composite nature of a tyre are hidden from external gaze. On initial thought, a tyre is simple, as we industry members know a tyre is far from being a simple machine.

If we can’t save you money on your fleet operations, we’ll refund our costs at the 12 months mark,when we save your operation money we’ll accept a 25% share of those savings.

Look after your tyres and in turn, they’ll look after you, ignore them at your own peril.

Adam Gosling
TyreSafe Australia Pty Ltd

Foundation of our Societies

Monday, November 21, 2016

Every item that we consume, be it food or a material item has more than likely arrived to us via the support of tyres.
A city is dependent upon the army of vehicles to bring goods into the distribution facilities, yes granted some arrives via rail but it has been taken to and from the rail by vehicles with pneumatic tyres.

Tyres provide a reliable and dependant platform to base our modern transportation on.  Some jurisdictions are employing vehicles with multiple trailers for economy, platooning and even autonomous freight trucks are no longer something of science fiction, they’re here!

Yet all the developments are based on the foundation of the pneumatic tyre.

Tyres are being asked to do more, with less and at reduced cost.

Higher performance and reduced noise are predominant demands now.  Here’s a curved ball; electric cars may be required to have some audio device to emit warning sounds for pedestrians, what about a tyre that emits noise up to 20 km/hr then becomes progressively silent in comparison?

Then there’s the fact that tyres for most are a grudge purchase, why?  Why is it that people across many different jurisdictions all share the same complaint, “I have to pay for tyres again”?  These tyres enable the ease of movement in our societies, the transportation of goods from point of production to place of consumption, yet we begrudge paying the few cents a kilometre a tyre costs.  Some will even ignore the tyres requirements of just maintaining the appropriate inflation pressure.  Others will complain when a tyre wears in an irregular fashion but not consider the vehicle driving the tyres, “it’s the tyres fault” is an oft heard statement of grief.

Is it the duty of the rubber industry, which relies upon tyres if for nothing else but transportation of goods to educate the general public into understanding the complex role a tyre plays in our physical wellbeing, in our societies (regardless of politics or beliefs) tyres play the same role!

Tyres are truly the international ambassador of trade.  They are the same the world over, will fit the vehicles wheels in the same manner, will operate in the same manner and ask for the same respect to perform to their upmost, “please maintain the pressure at an appropriate level” is a simple request.

We place our trust in tyres to perform on our road systems, at different speeds and vastly different loads.  We trust our tyres to react whenever we steer the vehicle, accelerate or brake, our trust is total.  Did you check your tyres before you rode on them this morning?  

Why are tyres a grudge purchase? What can we as an industry do to cause a revision of this situation?  Why is it important?

As an industry providing a mobile foundation for society a lot is required, and a lot is requested.  The previous point about eco-friendly tyres, using less fuel, generating less noise, at a lower cost are all fair requests but the provision of these features requires massive R&D, which costs someone somewhere.  Why do people begrudge investing in their own safety?

Tyres, the foundation of our modern mobile society.  Invest a little time to understand how your tyres support you in everyday life, educate others to understand the critical role tyres play in our daily lives.  Generate some respect for the foundation that carries us to work and home every day, that enables us to have food on our plates.

Tyres, the forgotten factor in road safety.  When you ask for them to be there, you want them to perform to their upmost, it may mean the difference of today and tomorrow.

Look after yours and they’ll look after you!

Adam Gosling heads up TyreSafe Australia, the corporate mantra of “if your tyres are not turning they are not earning” is the basis for value adding and profit generation services provided on a global basis.

Tyre Safety. What does it mean?

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Tyre safety standards in Australia are being further called into question following the number of fatalities and serious injuries in the mining industry.

Not only the coroners but also the unions are pointing to a deficiency.

Australia has developed one of the few standards (AS 4457) for dealing with mining tyres anywhere in the world but injuries and deaths are still occurring.

Tyres are composite flexible pressure vessels. Unlike household gas cylinders which are rigid steel pressure vessels (like most compressed air receivers) a tyre has a load placed on it, is rolled over unkind surfaces and is generally ignored until it goes flat.

Tyres are specifically excluded from the pressure vessel standard (AS1210) with OTR tyres (>24” rim diameter) being covered under AS 4457 and any on road tyres falling under Section 25 of the Australian Design Rules (ADR).

When you stop to consider things in detail a tyre is the only connection between your vehicle and the road.

The average passenger car requires tyres to perform steering braking and some minor suspension functions as well as supporting the load (passengers and baggage). A giant mining truck tyre is required to support up to 100 tonnes, relying on the air it contains within to support that load. If there is insufficient air to support the load the tyre doesn’t complain or refuse to work like an engine or gearbox.

It just gets on with the job and literally tears itself apart performing the function we ask it to do, right up to the point where it can no longer function and fails, sometimes catastrophically. Tyres for passenger vehicles have large safety margins engineered into them during the design phase.

This is to provide a margin of safety for abuse or lack of attention but it is of course wiser to keep tyre pressure constantly monitored and the best way of doing this is to use an automatic pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

In the US, the TREAD Act mandated tyre pressure monitoring for all light passenger vehicles manufactured in that country from 2008 on.

The EU followed suite in 2012, Korea in 2013. The importance of tyre inflation pressures was mentioned by President Obama last year.

He indicated that safety on road networks is directly affected by poor tyre pressure maintenance, more fuel in consumed than is necessary thanks to tyres not being maintained correctly as well as resources being wasted.

To most people tyres are a grudge purchase. They shouldn’t be.

Tyres are what keeps us safe, keeps our vehicle on the road performs the steering and braking functions as well as ensuring comfort. It is not unusual to find that until a tyre goes flat there is little if any attention paid to it, yet the car has been washed and polished, the air freshener changed and windows cleaned.

For tyres that work hard (mining and transport) correct pressure maintenance is even more important. It is no longer adequate to check tyres when the vehicle has its periodic maintenance. Both the mining and the transport industries have for many years been monitoring engine oil pressures using gauges and electronic aids from inside the truck cab, even transmitting this data to the maintenance office so problems can be identified prior to failure.

Tyres on the other hand are still stuck in the 1950’s using a hand held gauge to check pressures, well, every so often.

So how do we tell what the tyre pressure is when we’re driving down the road? We don’t until it goes flat.

In 2015 electronic tyre pressure monitoring is not only feasible but is mandated on passenger cars. Passenger car tyres have an easy life, rarely carrying their full loads, over‐engineered and able to sustain a lot of neglect and abuse.

Compare air in a tyre to oil in an engine. If the quantity of oil in an engine is not correct then the engine will wear out faster, overheat and even destroy itself. If a tyre does not have sufficient air it too will overheat and wear out quickly.

It will also consume a lot more fuel as it overheats and then fails, sometimes unfortunately with disastrous consequences.

A tyre is not just a single piece of rubber but a composite of many different rubbers all performing a specific function.

There are steel wires within a tyre that perform other functions and all need to be operated within the manufacturers range of recommended inflation pressures. Like all mobile equipment if it is operated outside of the manufacturer’s recommended range then failure is probable if not imminent.

Whilst tyres appear simple they are a highly complex engineering feat. Adhering rubber to steel is a science all on its own, having certain types of rubber (such as tread rubbers) remaining hard enough to wear yet flexible enough to roll is another required attribute.

There are no hard and fast rules to identify issues or problems with tyres, the easiest suggestion is “if it doesn’t look right it’s probably not”.

Above all a tyre requires the correct inflation pressure. Every tyre has this same requirement.