Snider Fleet Solutions is now offering a drive-over system that measures tire pressure, tread depth, vehicle weight, sidewall damage and tire temperature, flagging problems before the vehicle leaves the lot.
With the WheelRight system, vehicle ID and key data is captured in a 6-second roll-over. Commercial vehicles drive over a ground-installed sensor and camera system, which instantly records key data such as tire pressure, tread depth (measured in multiple spots), sidewall damage, vehicle weight and tire temperature. Potential issues are detected and flagged. The system works with the help of artificial intelligence technology, according to Mark Pruitt, senior director of strategic accounts for Snider, in an interview at Snider’s booth at the Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting in late February.
Snider is a major commercial tire and mechanical service provider. It is bringing this technology to the U.S. after making a significant ownership investment in WheelRight Ltd., a U.K.-based company that spend 10 years in research and development on the system. Pruitt said Snider has exclusive rights to distribute the system in North America.
Benefits include time savings, reduced fuel consumption, enhanced safety and compliance, and reducing costly emergency road service events.
Alerts and data are sent instantly wherever needed—or even printed for driver reference—and become part of the vehicle’s maintenance record. Aggregated data becomes a resource for analytical tools to improve maintenance forecasting and budgets.
“This is game-changing technology in fleet management,” said Keith Allen, VP of Sales for Snider, in a press release. “Air pressure and tread depth are just the beginning of what this technology will one day be able to provide.”
Initially Snider brought 12 systems over from the U.K. All those are already committed to customers, and the company plans to bring manufacturing to the U..S. “The first system went in last July, and [demand has] exploded” since then, Pruitt told HDT.
The advantage of the WheelRight system over other technologies currently available, he said, is that there’s nothing that has to be installed on a truck or trailer. In addition, you don’t have to have all one brand of tire.
The system is not cheap, but Mike Palmer, VP of fleet services with Estes Express Lines, recently installed the system in one service center where he believes he will see a return on investment due to lower emergency roadside service costs, not to mention benefits such as improved fuel economy and tire life and fewer man-hours trying to do manual tire checks.
Snider operates 11 distribution centers, nine retread plants, and 80 commercial and mechanical locations serving over 38 states.