With bus fire prevention on everyone’s lips at the moment, the industry is increasingly turning to technology. LSM Technologies is seeing more operators take up tyre monitoring systems
With bus fi re prevention on everyone’s lips at the moment, the industry is turning to technology to run their business. Australian company LSM Technologies is seeing more operators take up its tyre monitoring systems
Acost-effective and reliable tyre monitoring solution is the key to preventing bus res, according to LSM Technologies.
The Australian company, which has been supplying tyre monitoring systems (TMS) to the truck, bus and heavy industry for over a decade, not only provides on-board monitoring for operators but also remote monitoring via an online telemetry system which allows fast and accurate management information.
Business development manager Brendan Villiers says overheating of brakes, failure in wheel bearings and low tyre pressure are the signicant causes of bus res.
LSM Technologies has seen a spike in customer numbers as a result of increasing res across Australia, he adds.
Last year’s report by the New South Wales Ofce of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) found a 38 per cent increase in bus blazes over two years.
Almost a third of the 40 bus res recorded in 2015 were attributed to the wheel well.
“There’s a big push in the industry now – particularly in NSW – and there’s currently a process in place to implement systems through transit buses in the state, but what we have found is that most of the operators don’t come forward until they have seen an issue,” Villiers says.
“We’ve been campaigning the industry, and the industry has done some research but this is still in its infancy. However, there are a few operators that have taken a proactive approach and put some systems in place.”
Not only does TMS reduce operational and maintenance time, it also makes tyre pressure management ef cient, saving hours of labor time and costs, Villiers says.
“A re could cost you a million dollars at least, while a system for your bus can cost you a thousand dollars – it’s not expensive to eliminate the potential risk.
“Our system is very robust. It comes from an industriallevel product as opposed to some other consumer-based products that are fairly cheap and not really built to a high physical standard, so we have a lot of reliability with the system and robustness particularly with the sensors.”
The system, which takes only a few hours to install, costs anywhere between $1000 and $1500.
Sensors are valve mounted and can be screwed on and removed when adjusting tyre pressures.
Each bus is tted with the incabin LCD display, which provides real-time updates on tyre pressure and temperature information with audio and visual alarms.
The international industry benchmark level, which lets out a warning with the objective to warn the driver before ames occur, is 80-degrees Celsius.
A re usually starts when the tyre temperature exceeds 300 degrees, Villiers explains.
“Our system not only monitors the pressure by giving you low pressure warnings, it also monitors air temperatures in the tyre so when it rises to 80 degrees Celsius it’ll give a warning. This is a good indication that there’s something not right in the wheel, but it’s also low enough that it’ll provide that warning before a re can take place.”
The company has seen at least 15 cases where operators experienced a high temperature warning, he adds.
“If they didn’t have a system, it could have turned into catastrophic wheel failure or a re, so the system does a lot of prevention there.
“A lot of people aren’t aware of the technology, and a lot of operators may not have experienced a wheel re like that. The ones that have [experienced it] realised they can’t have that happen again, so they’re looking at what’s out there to prevent that,” he adds.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT
With a team of 12 people across its Brisbane and Sydney ofces, LSM Technologies prides itself on customer service and provides expert training on tyre monitoring to customers.
“We can provide expert training to operators so that when there is a warning, or when it is telling them something, they know what it is and know what to do. Otherwise, they can be in the dark without that help,” Villiers says.
“We have a good backup and support network, so if there are any issues with the system, we provide immediate technical support on anything and warranty where necessary. Anyone can contact us by email any time, and we’ll respond within 24 hours to some technical issues.”
EASY TO MONITOR
The positive about tyre monitoring systems is that bus drivers don’t have to manually check tyre pressures – they can see it straight on the display within the cab.
“They’ve gained some benets out of being able to quickly and more efciently check and maintain their tyre pressures and get warnings if they get low pressures, and also warnings if they have any heat,” Villiers says.
LSM Technologies provides alerts and reports via web-based reporting, which can be accessed anywhere though an internet connection.
“Moving forward, it’s not just the bus driver that gets the warning, it’s someone back at the ofce.
“Therefore, they can see by the GPS system where the bus is, and look at the heat increasing over the time, so it helps the investigation and it helps look at things retrospectively as well.”
Our system is very robust. It comes from an industriallevel product as opposed to some other consumerbased products
Left: The cabin-mounted interface is easy to operate
Below: The system utilises unique tyre pressure and temperature sensors