Products for Truck and Bus

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This page is dedicated to us supporting you with your frequently asked questions. Topics such as products, technology, sustainability and our services will be frequently added to ensure we leave no stone unturned. 

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Q. Should fleets consider retread tyres?
iTire

A. Low-cost, single-life tyres may offer a cheaper option at purchase, but they are not always suitable for retreading and therefore cost more to scrap and replace. Premium tyres, such as those manufactured by us are designed and built with the ability to be retreaded in the future.

For us, retreads are an important part of our commercial vehicle offering, via both our ContiRe and Bandvulc branded product line up.

As well as being a more environmentally sound option, a correctly used retread is more cost-effective in the long term – answering both customer purchase drivers. For example, a retread costs around 70-75% of the price of a brand-new tyre, offering excellent value for money and significantly reducing running costs in a competitive market.

Q. Why are retreads better for the environment?
iTire

A. A retreaded tyre saves 80% of the materials required to manufacture a new tyre, therefore significantly reducing the impact on the environment. This means we are able to save 30kg of rubber compound, up to 20kg of steel and 60kg of CO2 on every retread tyre we produce compared to a new tyre.

In addition, retreading tyres reduces scrapping, exportation and incineration of worn-out tyres which, over the course of a year, can release over 160,000 tonnes of CO2 into the air.

Q. What does our future of tyre development look like?
iTire

A. The EU regulation on reducing CO2 emission levels and the need for more fuel-efficient tyres will continue to be the largest demand driver both from vehicle manufacturers, and major fleets. This requirement has to be managed in conjunction with tyre wear performance, which poses a key target conflict area.

We will not only continue to innovate our development of compound technologies and tyre design but will continue to provide our customers with the option of “Intelligent” tyres which feature built-in sensors to monitor tyre pressure and temperature.  The truth remains that even a tyre with the latest in cutting edge technology will not perform to its full potential if inflation pressure is not maintained correctly

As CO2 reductions rightly join efficiency and durability as key tyre choice consideration for fleets, which will drive greater complexity in tyre selection within a truck fleet. For example, a fleet who operates mostly on long-haul motorways will have very different requirements to a fleet who completes shorter start-stop journeys or who operates on rougher terrain.

For us, detailed customer consultation is the key to both understanding a fleet’s needs and providing the correct or most suitable tyre to match these needs. Only with full analysis of vehicle and tyre application and use, will optimal tyre selection and hence the most cost effective tyre management programme be achievable.

Q. What are the benefits of correct tyre inflation / tyre pressure monitoring systems for truck operators?
iTire

A. Underinflation of tyres significantly affects rolling resistance, increasing both fuel consumption and carbon emissions, as well as intensifying tyre wear and even reducing a tyre’s service life – all of which adversely affect operating costs. 

The use of tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), such as ContiConnect™ Solutions, minimises these issues, by ensuring that each tyre is operating at the correct pressure and temperature. Such systems work best when a sensor is placed within the tyre itself, transmitting visible and audible warnings to a display in the cab, and alerting drivers to potential problems. ContiConnect™ Solutions can also alert office-based fleet support staff to any problems which occur. Warnings provided from such accurate TPMS systems not only help avoid dangerous tyre blowouts, but also help prevent costly vehicle downtime, keeping the trucks on the road.

But safety warning is only one benefit of a TPMS system. Tyres are directly responsible for 5% of the total operating costs but have an influence over a huge 40% of overall costs because of the effect tyre rolling resistance has on fuel use, and subsequent maintenance costs.  Simply put, tyres which are operating at the correct pressure, maximise fleet efficiency and save money.  What is more, the added advantage of tyres which run efficiently is that fuel consumption is lowered, and tyre wear is reduced - both of which ensure CO2 emissions are cut, to help protect the environment.

The ContiConnect™ Solutions technology has been successfully integrated within many of our fleet customers operations for many years from the more traditional road trunking operation to arduous tipper applications and has proven itself to be one of the most robust and reliable TPMS systems on the market. 

Q. Which tyre pressure monitoring solutions are available and how should operators choose what is best for their fleet? How are these developed?
iTire

A. We have a wide suite of ContiConnect™ digital solutions available, and we work closely with each operator to ensure the right system is in place to meet their particular requirements.

Each solution starts with ContiConnect™ tyre pressure sensors, which are mounted onto the tyre’s inner liner. These sensors transmit real-time tyre pressure and temperature data, and depending on the system chosen, this data can be sent directly to a display in the driver’s cab, can be captured as vehicles return to base by the Yard solution or if a fleet needs remote tyre pressure monitoring, the sensors also connect to ContiConnect™ Live - a central web portal accessed by fleet managers.

ContiConnect™ Live is able to monitor the tyre pressure of multiple vehicles, regardless of their location, while they are on the road, whereas ContiConnect™ Yard, measures tyre pressure on multiple vehicles which regularly enter a yard, noting the date and time as the vehicle passes a dedicated fixed check-point, and reporting the status of each tyre to the web portal.

Tyre data can also be captured with our hand-held tool, which allows drivers or fleet managers to manually upload information and share to the ContiConnect™ web portal. This entry level manual solution is useful where live tracking is not required, for vehicles which do not frequently return to a dedicated checkpoint, or for instances when vehicles are not in range of ContiConnect Yard.  The hand-held tool provides a quick and easy alternative to using a gauge to measure tyre pressure.  Users simply scan the sensor from the side of the tyre, without any need to remove valve caps, measure, read pressure and replace the cap.   

ContiConnect™ is completely scalable depending on requirement, and we work closely with customers to understand how they wish to monitor tyre pressure, in order to provide the best solution to meet this need. Tyre sensor notifications are also customisable depending on which data a fleet manager needs to see, and how frequently, if not in real time. The system can also manage data from multiple vehicles, to help fleet managers who may wish to switch from less flexible manual service planning, to a more targeted proactive maintenance plan. Such predictive tyre management helps fleets reduce costs associated with unplanned tyre maintenance and replacements and helps safeguard the fleet’s safety.

Q. How do tyre pressure monitoring solutions work with trailer tyres?
iTire

A. In recent years there has been a steady increase in the popularity of TPMS systems on tractor-unit tyres, as fleet operators begin to understand the increased efficiency they bring, but traditionally accessing this data on trailer tyres has proven to be trickier, although no-less important. 

We are the first to offer a standalone TPMS system for trailers. The newly launched system is the first of its kind available in the UK and is designed to work both as a standalone trailer tyre monitoring package, or fully integrated into an existing truck TPMS system, as proven during a joint initiative with Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK which resulted in the system now being embedded into the Truck App portal on the new Actros.

The technology shows the tyre pressures of the trailer tyres in real time on a display mounted on the bulkhead. The driver is also warned of any issues while driving via an LED warning light system which is visible via the driver mirrors.

Plus we also offer their own driver app for Android phones which provides constant real time tyre pressure and temperature information to the driver via a dongle integrated within the trailer system.

The Continental-designed system is highly adaptable, and can be used with any trailer configuration, including multideck trailers, giving even better visibility of trailer tyre pressures to drivers and fleet managers.

Q. What is the future for tyre efficiency – will tyre pressure monitoring help?
iTire

A.We continue to innovate to provide customers with the tyre pressure monitoring they need to really drive efficiency. Today’s tyres include pressure and temperature sensors, but the tyres of tomorrow will be even more ‘intelligent’, with technology to monitor tread depth and tyre age data, for example.

The truth remains that even a tyre with the latest in cutting-edge technology will not perform to its full potential if inflation pressure is not maintained correctly. Accurate measurement and maintenance of tyre pressure, via intelligent systems such as ContiConnect™ Solutions will always hold the key to efficient, sustainable and safe fleet operations.

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Q. Which qualifications should tyre technicians hold?
iTire

A. Commercial vehicle tyre technicians are strongly encouraged to hold a REACT licence to work safely at the roadside (Roadside Emergency Action Concerning Technicians). This NTDA (National Tyre Distributors Association) licence, while not compulsory,  is backed by the Highways England and those who hold it must renew the qualification every five years for it to remain valid. 

NTDA licensing was set up to ensure safe operational standards for tyre technicians, who attend increasingly dangerous roadsides, at any time of the day or night. The training requires tyre technicians to complete written coursework, a theory assessment and a practical observation. Obviously, this is a huge time commitment for tyre service providers, and there can be reticence to release tyre technicians to train.

We have created a training programme to fit around the specific needs of each business and every tyre technician – to help service providers offer real value to attendees and reduce time away from the business.

Q. Which training do we offer?
iTire

A. Our ContiAcademy runs both conventional courses at our training facility in Lutterworth as well as hybrid courses, with theory-sessions held online, and the practical training undertaken at the customers site, all of which are aligned with national Covid-19 guidelines. The REACT hybrid course allows service providers to host practical assessments at their own facilities, where possible, allowing tyre technicians to complete assessments in specific time slots during the day, without the need for them taking an entire day away from work, and giving provision for several tyre technicians to be assessed on one day.

In addition, the ContiAcademy REACT training is based on a bespoke offering to meet the exact needs of each tyre technician. Some of the most professional, competent tyre technicians are not always the most comfortable in an academic environment and no one likes being tested.

Q. Why is ContiAcademy training different?
iTire

A. ContiAcademy’s teaching and assessment is based on the strengths of each candidate, who are assessed on the subject matter, and not their ability to understand the finer points of grammar or IT programmes.

Our training also includes a pre-assessment, which helps us adjust the teaching to meet the candidate’s need and experience level, as well as a measure to track progress. Often service providers use these pre-assessments to understand the fundamental skills tyre technicians can meet when they begin employment. 

The bespoke ContiAcademy assessment format not only helps tyre technicians gain or refresh their REACT licence but it can pick up on any additional training needs, and generate a professional development plan for tyre technicians, to fulfil short, medium and long-term training requirements. This type of investment in tyre technicians can have an incredibly positive impact on tyre technicians and lead to greater staff retention for service providers.

Q. Should training just be for technicians?
iTire

A. 

There is more to tyre knowledge that can benefit fleets than learning safe practices around fitting, because of the role tyres play in fleet efficiency, so as well as its REACT training, the ContiAcademy provides passenger-car tyre technician training, and a range of its own courses, designed to improve tyre husbandry for fleets of all sizes.

While tyres may only be directly responsible for five percent of a fleet’s total operating costs, they have an influence over a huge 40 percent of overall operating costs, because of the effect tyre rolling resistance has on fuel use and subsequent maintenance costs.

With this in mind, there is logic in other transport stakeholders understanding a little more about their tyres. Fleet managers, responsible for managing tyre use, setting policy and negotiating supply contracts, would do well to find out how they can maximise tyre use as a route to improving fleet efficiency. This is even more important as tyres become more specialised for application. Fuel efficient tyres are designed to lower rolling resistance and so save fuel, however in the wrong application such tyres won’t perform, costing fleets money.

ContiAcademy creates bespoke courses for a range of fleet operators, whether Continental customers or not, to drive such knowledge. The facility works with fleets who may not require tyre technicians on contract, but who need to train drivers or engineers in tyre husbandry, such as understanding how to get the most from their tyres by maximising service life, limiting damage and premature removal and optimal maintenance. This is equally beneficial for operators of light commercial vehicle fleets as well as heavy duty vehicle fleets.

 

Just as ContiAcademy trains tyre technicians so they can understand service level agreements, to fully appreciate how the tyres they fit will be used, we see real value in arming fleet managers with information on how tyres work. The broader their understanding, the more chance they have to drive down operational costs and ensure they get the best value out of the tyres for their fleet.

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Q. Where should you start when choosing commercial vehicle tyres?
iTire

A. Tyre choice is all about resolving many conflicting interests including wet grip, durability and rolling resistance. Balancing many of these performance requirements is a constant challenge. The key development focus areas are defined based on the fundamental requirements in the specific targeted application area for the tyre. The technical, highly sophisticated rubber compounds in modern premium tyres today contain silica, enabling priority to be assigned to suit many seemingly differing needs.


Q. How important are treads that can deliver higher mileage to operators? How are these developed?
iTire

A. Our tyre compounds are highly complex and may contain in the tread area three or four different specifications to try and bridge some of these performance conflicts. A typical example of this is known as cap and base technology, where the top compound, which is in contact with the road surface, will be designed to absorb energy to optimise the tyres performance for grip in both dry and wet conditions. The compound below this, known as the base, is designed to release energy effectively to optimise the tyre for rolling resistance, which will contribute to improving fuel consumption. 


Q. Can tyres help improve fleet emissions?
iTire

A. A tyre specifically developed to reduce rolling resistance and lower CO2 levels, has in the past had a negative impact on mileage. The challenge is to bridge this performance conflict, to ensure that the fuel consumption benefits from energy efficient tyres are not compromised by a higher tyre replacement factor. From a tyre development point of view, this is achieved by continuously developing even higher levels of compound technology, in conjunction with contour, pattern and construction optimisation.

For example, the Conti EcoPlus HS3 steer tyres feature a “Plus Volume” pattern design, where tread material is added in areas with low deformation and high contribution to mileage. Thus, providing higher mileage and lower fuel consumption. For the drive axle, the Conti EcoPlus HD3 features larger block widths to reduce tread deformation, and generate less heat, for reduced fuel consumption, with an additional sipe pattern design helping to keep the level of traction consistently high. Bridging this conflict is now more important than ever with the new EU CO2 emissions legislation and VECTO measurement tool now live. This will mean changes in tyre selection, with fuel efficient tyres taking priority for original fitment by truck manufacturers but with durability still being considered by some fleets as the primary requirement.


Q. How can tyres contribute to improved sustainability? Is it more than regrooving? How about tyre recycling?
Start

A. European Commission studies attribute 25% of overall CO2 emissions to road transport - trucks and buses.  To combat this, new CO2 reduction targets have been set, stating commercial vehicles must reduce CO2 output by 15% by 2025 and by 30% by 2030.  To ensure transparency, the commission launched the VECTO tool, as the first standardised methodology to simulate CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of all heavy-duty vehicles. The introduction of VECTO is driving tyre manufacturers to design tyres with increasingly lower rolling resistance coefficients (RRc) externally verified as part of submission to the VECTO regulation.

The challenge for tyre manufacturers is to continuously strive to bridge the performance conflict between tyre wear and rolling resistance to ensure that the fuel consumption benefits from energy efficient tyres is not compromised by a higher tyre replacement factor. The answer is to continuously develop even higher levels of compound technology in conjunction with contour, pattern and construction optimisation. Greater complexity in tyre selection within a truck fleet is becoming more apparent in light of these targets, with greater importance on understanding which variant works best within a specific fleet application. We highly recommend consulting with experts within the tyre industry before selecting tyres, to ensure your variant suits your application to yield best possible efficiency.

 


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