NASHVILLE. Dana Inc. has unveiled its new Rhombus TireAnalytics solution, a cloud-based platform designed to help truck owners and fleet maintenance managers better monitor and optimize tire lifecycle management. The technology is being showcased at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Exhibition here.
Leveraging Dana’s close collaboration with trucking customers and a focus on data-driven solutions, the new tire analytics platform is designed to provide valuable insights into the condition of tractor and trailer tires—visibility that helps
- identify and analyze tire wear trends,
- predict maintenance issues that can be addressed preemptively to minimize truck downtime, and
- establish optimal timeframes for scheduled replacement.
For larger fleets, it also facilitates the implementation of straightforward, standardized tire inspection and maintenance practices across terminals.
Available now in the U.S. and Canada, the Rhombus TireAnalytics system integrates portable communications and computing platforms, advanced data collection and analysis, information sharing, and dashboard technologies through a cloud-based solution. Truck owners can use the system with their existing mobile, tablet, and desktop assets, eliminating the need for any additional hardware purchases, according to Dana. The system requires no new hardware, and technicians can use existing tools.
“Over the lifetime of a truck, tire maintenance is a top spend item and a leading cause of over-the-road truck-down incidents that drive roadside assistance costs and late delivery penalties,” said Tim Farney, vice president of global sales for Dana Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies. “The Rhombus TireAnalytics solution is a first-to-market, easy-to-use solution that enables truck owners to thoroughly assess the success of their tire management strategies, establish operational excellence for this critical area of maintenance, and utilize Big Data and 21st-century cloud-based software to predict and optimize tire spend.”
Among the early customers is Paul’s Hauling Ltd, a 250-truck fleet based in Winnipeg. Trent Siemens, director of maintenance, explained to trucking editors at a Dana news conference that the fleet had “struggled with consistency” in the tire program—not surprising given the multiple terminals and shops that company has in central Canada. So he put together a “wish list” of capabilities we wanted in a new tire management tool.
“I had a vision of what this program needed to do. I needed a tool that did the data mining and exception reporting, and I need the information pushed to me so that I didn’t have to go muddling through the spreadsheet jungle—and then have to refresh and repeat every month,” Siemens said. “I needed a program that would assist me in enforcing company policies and procedures. I needed a tool that puts our policies and parameters in the hands of our technicians—in their face, all of the time.”
Even though the fleet has only been using the Rhombus platform for the three months, the system has already demonstrated its value when it comes to consistency: Siemens quickly noticed a problem with the high number of valve cap replacements, and implemented changes.
Longer term, he expects to use the analytics package to precisely measure tire performance and more accurately make casing and tread selections, creating a “best in class” tire management program.
“CPM [cost per mile] is my life as maintenance manager,” he said. “Tire wear tells a story, and I can now read that story anywhere, anytime. I don’t have to go through a stack of casings to see if we made a good decision.”