Dana’s cloud-based Rhombus TireAnalytics platform has been unveiled to offer added visibility into tire maintenance and management – complete with actual pictures of worn treads.
Insights from the data will help to identify trends in wear, standardize inspections, and support predictive maintenance activities, establishing the best timeframes for scheduled replacements, the company says.
“There’s a penalty for changing a tire too soon,” explains Tim Farney, vice president of global sales – commercial vehicles. And while repair reports show what is happening, they don’t explain why, he says. “Tire performance can vary from brand to brand as well, and it’s difficult to get an independent assessment.”
The right data can help to identify whether maintenance is improper or inconsistent, if there are mechanical issues with trucks, or whether drivers require added training, according to Dana.
The cloud-based system can draw data from existing mobile and desktop computers, so no extra hardware is required.
Paul’s Hauling, based in Winnipeg, was involved in beta testing the system. It has 250 tractors and 600 trailers operating out of four terminals with three shops and 70 technicians.
“Ensuring consistency is one of our greatest challenges,” says Trent Siemens, the fleet’s maintenance director. Formal policies, procedures, posters and memos were not enough to ensure best practices. “There are no two shops that train the same way. A lot of them do rely on tribal knowledge,” he adds.
The goal is to better manage the cost per mile, such as the cost of casings from birth to death. With the data, Siemens expects to maximize tire life, find the best treads for different applications, and minimize failures. The system’s dashboards have replaced the pivot tables and spreadsheets that were traditionally used to drive maintenance decisions, and in just three months led to a decision to replace valve caps.
“Tire wear tells the story. I now have that story available to me,” he said. “The pictures bring the tire to me in my office. I don’t have to go through a stack of casings now.”