- Michelin is adding radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to all of its truck tires in an effort to help companies save on fleet maintenance costs, as reported by Fleet Owner.
- The company began installing these RFID tags in July 2016 and says they are now in 98% of new commercial products. The embedded chips are built into the tire's sidewall or can be purchased as exterior patches. Using an RFID reader, fleet managers can track the life of a tire and all of the service it has received.
- Michelin's Tire Care service has also been updated to provide more information on issues via an electronic dashboard and offer different pricing plans for hourly maintenance by Michelin, self-inspections and truck stop inspections. More than 260 fleets currently use this service in the U.S.
Michelin has been working on the shift to RFID for more than 15 years, with the goal of offering information on a tire's temperature, pressure, ID number and history. The company claims these new chips will help reduce average inspection times from 15 to 5 minutes and help fleets better manage their inventory. Since it was rolled out last summer, this feature is likely already present in many collection vehicles.
Vehicle maintenance is an ongoing expense for any hauler, but these types of advancements can lead to even bigger savings when applied by larger companies across their fleets. Republic Services recently estimated that it has saved at least $100 million since switching to its standardized OneFleet maintenance program while reducing driver turnover. Having a better handle on fleet maintenance can also improve safety, which is an ongoing concern.
RFID chips are also becoming more common in the waste industry as a way to help track refuse or recycling carts. Cities such as Baltimore, Chicago and St. Paul, MN have all recently begun using them as a way to organize service complaints and bill customers. As other cities make the switch to these carts, RFID technology will continue to become a more prevalent part of the industry.