Anthony’s Travel “Raises The Bar” for safety with new Michelin tyre technology

Anthony’s Travel has become one of the first passenger transport companies in the country to protect both its light and heavy fleets with the latest Michelin tyre-safety technology.

The Runcorn-based business has fitted five Mercedes Sprinters and two Hyundai i800 minivans with the Michelin Tyre Pressure Management System (TPMS) Light Fleet and all 10 of its larger coaches with the Michelin Wheel Security and TPMS Heavy Fleet.

The two products are the brainchild of official Michelin licensee Wheely-Safe, which has set its sights on revolutionising wheel and tyre security through the development of low cost and extremely effective systems which alert drivers to the problems of wheel loss, brake/hub over-heating and tyre under-inflation.

“Some coach companies can be reluctant to embrace technology and only invest in additional equipment if they’ve already had an incident. We, on the other hand, like to be at the cutting edge,” says Richard Bamber, Managing Partner, Anthony’s Travel.

“We look at the technology available on the market and see what’s out there that could enhance our safety levels. It’s about raising the bar and doing everything we can to provide as safe a service as possible for all our passengers.”

The Michelin TPMS Light Fleet is an intuitive retrofit TPMS, suitable for light vehicles, including cars, vans, minibuses and small trailers. It comprises robust sensors which replace the valve caps and auto-pair with a small solar-powered windscreen display.

This in-cab unit provides visual and audible alerts in the event a tyre becomes under-inflated, over-inflated, suffers fast leakage or an increase in air temperature – often the sign of an imminent tyre failure. It also incorporates a handy device which allows the driver to check all tyre pressures in under a minute before a journey – and without needing to connect a pressure gauge.

Larger vehicles in the fleet now benefit from the Michelin Wheel Security & TPMS Heavy Fleet, which is the world’s first in-motion driver alert system to detect the onset of wheel loss before detachment.

A sensor straddles two wheel nuts thanks to a specially designed bracket – with a pair fitted to each wheel – and if a nut starts to loosen by just 1mm of movement, a signal is instantly transmitted to the solar-powered display unit, alerting the driver to pull over. Due to its location next to the wheel rim and braking mechanism, the system’s onboard heat sensor can also detect brake issues involving low or high temperatures.

A TPMS, which functions in the same way as the light vehicle TPMS, is also included. Both benefit from an overnight alert function, that will monitor the overnight pressure of the tyres and warn of any issues prior to the vehicle starting its daily operation.

Having been impressed with the light vehicle system, Anthony’s Travel invested in the heavy vehicle solution as soon as the product became available.

“I believe we were the first bus or coach operator to have both systems fitted,” says Mr Bamber.

“We use a former senior consultant from VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) who does all our vehicle inspections and he recommended the Wheely-Safe technology to us. They sent us one of the Michelin TPMS Light Fleet systems to trial and we were really impressed with it. So much so that within a couple of weeks we had fitted the system to all our light vehicles.

“I’d been speaking to them about the new wheel security system for full-size coaches, and as soon as they got in touch to say that it was being launched, we immediately ordered 10 kits to fit to all our large vehicles.”

While it is still early days, the award-winning, family-run company has already begun to see impressive results.

“We are really pleased. Tyre pressure-wise, we are starting to see an increase in fuel efficiency, and we’ve certainly noted that tyre wear is reduced. That extra longevity will make a real difference and reduce our tyre expenditure in the long run.

“The wheel security system is fantastic. To have that system in place to notify the drivers immediately if a wheel nut is coming loose or if the hub is getting hot gives us great peace of mind.”