NASHVILLE -- Michelin Americas Truck Tires is now embedding radio frequency identification (RFID) chips inside commercial truck tires and retreads, enabling fleets to better manage their tire assets throughout the full life cycle. Michelin made the announcement here at the ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council's Annual General Meeting.

"Michelin is the first manufacturer to integrate RFID into its full commercial truck tire portfolio," said Ralph Dimenna, chief operating officer of Michelin Americas Truck Tires division.

Installation of the RFID chips began last July, and currently, about 98% of the commercial truck tires produced globally are manufactured the embedded chips, Dimenna told HDT.

"The chips can give us a very accurate picture of all the work that tire has seen," says Dimenna. "And they are a real asset to fleets as they can help track tire life and service required of the life of the tire and even into the retreading process."

The chip is built right into the tire in a well-protected area during the manufacturing process. It's not added after the tire is built or stuck on under a patch after the tire goes into service. Dimenna says the chips will last beyond the life expectancy of most commercial truck tires.

Tire Care 2.0

Michelin also announced an upgrade to its comprehensive tire care service first rolled out in 2015. Michelin Tire Care has been helping fleets identify and address tire issues that lead to downtime, low mileage, high fuel costs and safety risks. In the past year, Michelin says 20% of vehicles inspected in the Michelin Tire Care program comprised a Red Tag event, or critical issues that require immediate attention to avoid an emergency road call or CSA violation. Meanwhile, 63% of vehicles inspected reported a Yellow Tag event, which is an issue resulting in additional long term costs.

“Since implementing Michelin Tire Care, Transervice has seen a definite reduction in our monthly emergency road service calls,” said Ron Reid, operations manager, Transervice Logistics, based in New York. “We are averaging 2.5 tire-related ERS calls per month — down from 5.5 per month last year — which helps us save $2,000 per month. And the Michelin ONCall program has reduced our average downtime by 35 minutes per ERS event.”

Michelin is introducing key upgrades and options to enhance Tire Care value for all types of fleets:

  • Improved program hardware and software: RuggedCAT Smart device has Android smartphone look and feel with 4G capability and PDA Windows App. New  measurement devices allow for faster and more accurate readings than ever before.
  • Actionable Fleet dashboard: Shows in-depth tire summary including critical analysis of Red Tag and Yellow Tag events, number of vehicles inspected, number of tires inspected and top 10 issues. The comprehensive reporting provides guidance for effective decision making.
  • Red Tag Resolution: As Red and Yellow tag event are identified during an inspection, Tire Care helps ensure that all critical issues are corrected. The vehicle history shows the work performed and when it was completed.
  • Pricing options: In addition to a flat per-inspection fee, a new hourly pricing option provides an easy tire maintenance program rolled into one set hourly rate.
  • Self Fit: An in-house solution that allows fleets to perform their own inspections via a flat monthly fee with no restrictions on the number of inspections.
  • Road Ready: This option offers on-the-road peace of mind by using a Love’s TirePass lane to perform Tire Care inspections, optimal for line haul fleets running coast to coast.