Starting July 6, 2024, all newly-registered trailers within the EU must be equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This mandate is a key provision of the UN ECE R-141, the EU's latest Global Safety Regulations, which primarily aims to increase road safety for all while cutting down on unnecessary fuel wastage.

This update to TPMS regulations represents a proactive stride toward the future of road safety. Specifically, it works to mitigates the risk of tyre-related incidents and closely aligns with the transport sector's current sustainability objectives. But what does this update mean exactly?

In this guide, we’ll cover all the details of TPMS, providing you with essential insights to navigate the impending changes to EU TPMS regulations so that you can guarantee compliance with the evolving standards and thereby optimise your trailer fleet operations.

What is TPMS?

TPMS, an abbreviation for tyre pressure monitoring system, tracks the tyre pressure levels of a vehicle and promptly alerts drivers when a significant deviation or imbalance occurs. As such, these systems are vital for maintaining optimal tyre conditions, effectively averting blowouts, a notorious catalyst for on-road accidents.

How does TPMS Work?

Fundamentally, TPMS operates via compact electric sensors which are installed onto each wheel of a vehicle. From there they measure tyre pressure before transmitting this data, presenting a dashboard warning if it has dropped below a certain point. However, it's notable that TPMS comes in two distinct types: direct and indirect.

How does Direct TPMS Work?

Direct TPMS works through air pressure sensors situated on each wheel's valve which actively monitor tyre pressure. These sensors typically offer real-time readings for tyre pressure and temperature. Subsequently, the system wirelessly sends this data to the vehicle, triggering a dashboard alert in case of pressure fluctuations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct TPMS

Direct TPMS provides more accurate tyre pressure readings, eliminating the need for recalibration after tyre inflation or rotation. Additionally, its sensor batteries tend to have a longer lifespan, making it more reliable. Although, these sensors are more susceptible to damage during tyre changes, and the system itself tends to be more costly compared to indirect TPMS.

How does Indirect TPMS Work?

Indirect TPMS eschews air pressure sensors within the tyres. Instead, these systems rely on ABS wheel speed sensors to detect pressure loss. By analysing relative wheel speeds, the system generates pressure readings and compares them across all four tyres. The underlying concept is that an under-inflated tyre rotates at a faster pace than expected, triggering a dashboard alert.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Indirect TPMS

Indirect TPMS presents a more economical alternative to direct TPMS and demands less frequent calibration. On the other hand, it necessitates resetting after tyre maintenance and does not furnish precise pressure readings. For instance, slight variations in tyre sizes may lead to incorrect measurements.

Why is TPMS Important?

TPMS holds paramount importance due to underinflated tyres in commercial trailer vehicles being a stark precursor to serious accidents. Its single purpose is to avert such incidents by facilitating proper tyre maintenance.

Having said this, TPMS also contributes value to overall fleet management efforts by delivering:

  • Enhanced Safety: Optimal tyre pressure supports the safety and manoeuvrability of trucks and trailers, thereby enhancing road safety for drivers and other road users alike.
  • Cost Reduction: Keeping trailer tyres in optimal condition minimises unplanned downtime, translating to tangible cost savings.
  • Decreased Fuel Consumption: Properly inflated tyres yield improved fuel efficiency, leading to decreased expenses and reduced CO2 emissions.
  • Extended Tyre Lifespan: Consistently maintaining correct tyre pressures prolongs their longevity, lowering the frequency of replacements and associated expenses.

Benefit from TPMS with MICHELIN Connected Fleet

In essence, TPMS not only safeguards against accidents but also yields very real benefits in terms of safety, cost-efficiency, and environmental sustainability within fleet management operations. 

And so, while the addition of yet another regulation may initially elicit a negative reaction, failing to ensure compliance with TPMS requirements will actually place your trailer fleet at a severe disadvantage.

Recognising the pivotal role of TPMS, we at MICHELIN Connected Fleet have developed our own innovative solutions which empower fleet managers by providing real-time alerts for dangerously low tyre pressures alongside set temperature thresholds to identify when service interventions are needed.

If you're interested in mitigating major breakdowns, reducing costly repairs, minimising unscheduled downtime, curtailing excessive fuel consumption, and preparing for the regulation changes in July 2024 then be sure to make an enquiry into our services today.