Q. Why does the N-Tyre System (NTS) need to generate extra power when other systems merely employ long-life batteries?
R. Generating the extra power enables the NTS to process many sources of information simultaneously and submit a ‘data pulse’ every 15 seconds to the Main Control Display Unit (MCDU). Instead of merely monitoring tyre pressure, the NTS monitors many critical areas of operation and collects continuous data on the truck’s performance.
Q. How does the NTS pay for itself as a product?
R. The NTS is a product that very quickly pays dividends for the user. By catching problems such as leaking tyres, faulty brakes, bearings and detecting tyre tread separation,; the unit improves tyre retreading ratios, save fuel, prevents costly accidents, can decrease insurance premiums and excesses as well as reduce road damage and saves lives – not bad for only one product!!
Q. Because the N-Tyre main control display unit (MCDU) takes the place designed for the radio, does it mean that I will be without a radio facility?
R. Not at all! The MCDU has a built-in radio facility as well as an integral GSM unit. The radio will automatically fade out when warning signals are received from either the Hub Units or an incoming cellphone call. The system is also ‘hands free’ adding another NTS safety feature.
Q. When a trailer is changed between ‘horses’, does the operator have to manually input new data to advise the system of a trailer change?
R. No. The NTS automatically identifies the change (or addition) to trailers as soon as it starts to move above 10KMH . Each trailer is equipped with a separate transmitter (TIU) which helps the MCDU identify which trailer is attached.
Q. If I have an NTS do I also need to ‘tag’ all the tyres?
R. You don’t have to, but it makes the system much more effective and informative. By installing I.D. tags onto each tyre you are able to capture all the relevant data for that tyre including Date of purchase, make, specification, distance travelled, location, punctures experienced, number of re-casings, percentage wear and it even gives the tyre a value !!
Q. How is the data that the NTS accumulates, transmitted?
R. The MCDU stores all the relevant data sent from the hub units and can either download ‘on-line’ via the GSM link, or wait until the vehicle returns to the depot and then download data to a mainframe computer via a gate reader. (A laptop could also be used to download the information at any time).
Q. If the NTS has a built-in GSM system, can I use this for Geomapping or as an anti hi-jack system?
R. The NTS has its own geomapping facility which enables the system operator at the depot to load up any given route and set parameters for that route (for example, no deviation of more than 200M from pre-determined route). Negotiations are also underway to enable NTS users to link in with satellite tracking security companies at a reduced rate.
Q. Will I get a reduction in my insurance Premiums or Excess?
R. Because the NTS offers a considerable potential saving by the prevention of accidents and consequential damage, it should be possible for you to negotiate with your insurance company for a reduction in rates and lower excesses. NTS is also currently negotiating with major insurance companies on your behalf, and will advise all interested users on the outcome.
Q. Can the NTS give me comparisons between tyre makes employed?
R. Definitely. If the tag system is installed along with tyre makes then the NTS will log relative performances and failures. Which can assist the fleet owner to make evaluations and assist in future purchasing considerations.
Q. Can the NTS assist in analysing truck performances on different routes?
R. Yes. The NTS ,by virtue of logging all data whilst on any specific route, can be employed to analyse a specific route for punctures, break, bearing or tread separation statistics. Because it is also logging distance travelled, it can even tell you where the main problems occur during any given route thus enabling the driver to be extra cautious on areas highlighted as problem areas. It can also supply data on the costs of such a trip which will assist the costings department in quoting more accurately for any future trips.
Q. How does the NTS keep track of tyres sent to a Retreader?
R. The best way to monitor tyre movements to any given Retreader, is to ensure that the retreading company has an NTS ‘reader’ installed at the gates of their premises. This will enable you to know the tyres have gone into their premises and when they were dispatched. Your own gate reader will log the tyres coming back from the Retreader.
Q. Can a truck be stopped from leaving the depot if any of the tyres are under-inflated?
R. Yes. If the gate reader is linked to the operation of the security boom or a clearance system for security guards. The pressure reader can be set for any level that the company considers as critical. If the truck attempts to leave with any tyres below this pre-set level, then the boom will not lift, or the guard will be alerted. An audible siren can also be installed as part of such a system.
Q. How can the FD access data on the tyre stock in the company?
R. If the company has tagged all its tyres (recommended) and installed readers and followed all the procedures, then he can check tyre location and estimated values at any given time, by accessing the data from his mainframe computer or from the Website which can host your company’s specific data.
Q. Can the NTS supply an overall statistic as to how many retreads are being averaged for the tyre fleet?
R. Yes. By storing data transmitted from the vehicles’ MCDU, the NTS can tell you what your average Retreading ratio is for your entire fleet. It will also give you a history for comparison purposes so that you can check on company performance in this important costing area.
Q. How much manual input is required for maintaining the NTS database?
R. If the Tag system has been installed, then only the initial I.D. data on each tyre has to be detailed into the computer for subsequent history compilation. This is far in advance of any other existing software tyre data system most of which require considerable and on-going data input on a manual basis. The NTS thus cuts down on labour, as well as eliminating human input error which detracts from the efficacy of such systems.
Q. Will the NTS warn the driver if he is exceeding the specifications of any given tyre on his horse or trailer?
R. Yes, if the system incorporates the tag system, then the specifications of any particular tyre will be monitored by the NTS. Should the driver exceed speed or loading specifications of that tyre a warning will sound in the cab as for other critical areas of operation.
Q. If I don’t have an adequate computer system, will I lose the ability to access data produced by the NTS and the tag system?
R. In the event that you do not have an adequate computer system, NTS have the facility to log all your company’s specific data and host this information on our Website. You will be given a unique password which will enable you to access all your accumulated data over the Internet
Q: Can the NTS be used to indicate the condition of a Bus (for example) at the time of an accident?
R. Yes, because the NTS logs all information on a continuing basis, along with a real time clock facility, these details show:
1. The speed of the bus
2. Tyre condition (if puncture or blow-out was a factor)
3. Whether overheating brakes or bearings caused a wheel lock-up
4. If a tread separation took place.
5. If the driver had ignored warnings prior to the accident.
Q: Will the NTS warn you in the event of a Hub Unit’s battery running down too low?
R. Yes, the main control unit in the cab will warn you of such a condition. It will also warn you if the hub unit has stopped sending signals for any reason.
Q: Can a hub unit be swapped from one trailer or horse to another?
R. Yes, a hub unit can be swapped at any time and will not affect the data on the MCDU at all, however, the hub unit will need to be reset if it is installed in a different wheel position.
Q: What is the expected life of the NTS system?
R. The hub unit’s battery has an expected life of some 5 years. The hub unit will give more than 10 years’ service and the MCDU should last for 20 or more years, as there are no moving parts at all in the unit.
Q. The NTS does not currently have a front hub unit, is this being looked at?
R. Yes, the design will be a little different to the DHU but will be available early in the new year.
Q. If a spare tire is swapped with a faulty unit, will the NTS pick up that it was the spare that was employed?
R. Yes, there is a facility for this but it relies on the N-TYRE TAG system being employed for all tyres.
Q. Will the NTS pick up that a wheel is badly out of balance, or has loose securing bolts?
R. Yes, the system picks up either condition through the ‘Vibration’ warning mode.
Q. Is the NTS easily changed from one truck to another when upgrading the fleet, for example?
R. Yes, removing the Hub units, the MCDU and the receiver/transmitters will not take long at all.
Q. Can the GPS system incorporated in the MCDU be employed to set up zones where off-loading is permitted and thus prevent unauthorized offloading of goods?
R. Yes, such zones can be set up and ‘Reed’ switches can be installed to detect if a door is being opened as added security for ‘closed’ vehicles.
Q. What are the main wearing parts and how long will they last?
R. There are very few wearing parts on the NTS. The battery in the TAG will last around 4 years and the pack in the DHU around 5 years. The generator has a pendulum supported by a bearing, but is easily expected to last 10 years – as it has been ”over-engineered”. The balance is made up of electronic components, which could easily last 20 years!!
Q. Is it possible to employ the N-Tag system without the DHUs?
R. Yes, this is feasible but would severely limit the information you could expect to obtain from the system. Such a system would auto-locate on which truck (not wheel position) your tyres were installed and, possibly, the mileage traveled depending upon the type of odometer fitted. Any other information would have to be uploaded manually but into the NTS Hand Reader, before and/or after each trip.
Q. What happens if a TIU goes down?
R. The driver will be alerted within 2 minutes of the failure but the DHUs info will be lost until the TIU is repaired or replaced
Q. What happens if the DHU goes down?
R. Within 2 minutes the driver will be alerted .
Q. What happens if the Website is down?
R. The system will inform the driver and H.O. accordingly and the MCDU will continuously attempt to upload.
all data is thus retained in the MCDU ( sufficient back-up power for several months!)
Q. What happens when the MCDU goes down?
R. All current stored information relating to the ‘horse’ will be lost, but all other data is retained by TIUs
Q. What happens if the hand reader fails?
R. Non down-loaded data will be lost.
Q.What happens when the DHU Heat sensor fails?
R. There will be a warning via the MCDU that a temperature sensor has failed
Q.What happens if a pressure sensor fails on the DHU?
R. It will show up as the tyre as being flat on the MCDU
Q. How much labour do you save when pressure-checking with an NTS (also saves labour by obviating hand-written reports)?
R. The labour-saving capability of the NTS is one of its main features. How much labour any given company will save, depends on the amount of effort they put into their tyre management operation. It is conservatively estimated that the NTS will save between R500 – 2,000 on labour and calibration costs