Every fleet manager knows the importance of effective tire management for commercial vehicle performance. Worn tires, loss of traction or even a slight loss in tire pressure can add up to significant losses after thousands of miles on the road.
But tracking the usage of individual tires throughout their lifecycle is a huge challenge. The primary reasons for this are the difficulty of identifying individual tires, and a reliance on manual data collection.
Mobile data capture now makes it possible for technicians and service partners to automate tire data collection by instantly scanning tire DOT numbers, commercial tire serial numbers, vehicle license plates and more. By integrating this technology into any standard smart device, tire manufacturers and their customers benefit from end-to-end tire traceability and can truly get the most out of every tire.
In this blog, we will explain:
- How to scan a tire with a smart device
- What are the benefits of commercial tire scanning?
- How to improve tire visibility in your supply chain
- Why tire sidewall scanning is easier to use than RFID chips
- How to measure the tire tread depth
- How to integrate commercial tire scanning into your app or website
1. How to scan a tire with a smart device
Commercial tires carry a lot of useful information on their sidewalls, but unfortunately, most people don’t understand what any of it means! Luckily, with tire scanning software, it is easy to decode and unlock the hidden story behind the numbers.
Scanning a tire is as simple as taking a photo with your smart device. The user simply opens the scan function, holds the device in front of the number, and the data capture technology – known as optical character recognition (OCR), immediately digitizes the characters. The end result shows the characters, and if required, a confirmation image which can be compared.
2. What are the benefits of commercial tire scanning?
To see how this works in action, we have created a mockup app with real-life footage of our mobile data capture solutions. In this example, we recreate the inspection process of a technician who is tasked with replacing the tires on a commercial truck.
To open a new case and register the truck, the technician would start by scanning the vehicle license plate. Moving around to the tires, the technician would then scan the tire DOT number, followed by the Commercial Tire Serial Number on each tire.
As we can see in this demonstration, the integration of Anyline data capture enables the technician to collect three data points, the license plate, DOT and Commercial Tire ID of the first tire – all in under 10 seconds. The actual data capture takes place in a millisecond, with far greater accuracy than manually writing or typing the data.
3. How to improve tire visibility in your supply chain
Until recently, there has been no way to efficiently track tires throughout their lifecycle once they leave the OEM and enter circulation. With multiple data points and no ‘single source of truth’, even simple tasks like identifying tires for inventory management can be needlessly time-consuming.
This makes traceability extremely difficult for both manufacturers and fleet managers, along with their many partners who handle their tires. Unidentified tires can sit unused for years, losing value and taking up space. Incomplete or incorrect electronic job sheets can lead to a lack of service partner transparency, and ultimately lead to incomplete fitment policies.
Introducing mobile data capture to your apps or website makes it possible to keep track of your assets at every step of their lifecycle – from purchase through to inspections, casing management, retreadings and ultimately recycling. Rather than tires being over- or under-used, having end-to-end traceability means you can improve your profitability by maximizing usage of every tire.
4. Why Tire Sidewall Scanning is Easier to Use than RFID chips
In recent years, there has been much discussion about the usefulness of RFID chips implanted into new tires. In theory, RFID chips offer huge benefits to technicians and fleet managers, who can read the tire data from the chip using a dedicated device. This would allow the user to identify the same information as normally provided on the tire wall.
However, complete dependence on RFID chips for commercial tire management comes with a number of downsides. Firstly, to have complete traceability throughout your supply chain, all partner organizations who handle your tires must purchase specialized devices in order to read the RFID chips, creating a financial barrier and disincentive for adoption.
Interference can also be an issue. Depending on the device used and tires in stock, technicians can sometimes have difficulty identifying the RFID chip of a specific tire among a stack of tires, as each chip ‘competes’ for attention! As a result, the wrong tire can be chosen and incorrectly recorded in the internal system.
Finally, it may well be many years before RFID chips become standard across all manufacturers – if at all. During this time, many ‘analog’ tires will remain in circulation, meaning the solution will not be standardized across a full inventory. As a result, many technicians and employees will continue to use their old systems of typing data, or scribbling it down with their old pen and paper!
5. How to Measure the Tire Tread Depth
If you also want to measure the tire tread depth, this can also be easily achieved. Working with our partners at Zebra Technologies, we offer a combination of mobile tire tread depth measurement alongside our data capture solutions for the tire DOT, commercial tire ID, license plate scanner and other solutions.
Using Zebra’s new laser-based tire tread depth reader accessory, technicians can visually show the status of their tire tread depth. A color-coded chart clearly indicates the safety levels of the tire tread depth to indicate when new tires are needed.
This solution was recently rolled out by Discount Tire, the world’s largest independent retailer of tires and wheels, with almost 1,100 stores across the United States.
6. How to integrate commercial tire scanning into your app or website
Mobile data capture for commercial tire management can be easily integrated into your current apps or websites, rather than requiring a new process to be built for them. The Anyline SDK (software development kit) is natively developed for iOS, Android, and UWP, but supports also common integration frameworks such as Xamarin, Cordova, React Native and Flutter.
What’s more, by choosing a vendor that offers on-device data processing, as opposed to server-side, your team will be able to scan data anywhere and at at any time, even when offline.
If you are looking for a single-vendor solution for collecting multiple data points for commercial tire management, you have a number of options.
Commonly asked Commercial Tire Scanning questions.
- Lorry/Truck Tires (Light, Semi and Heavy)
- Aircraft and Airplane Tires
- Tractor Tires
- Digger/Excavator Tires
- Bus Tires
We offer our packages on the basis of annual licenses and tailor our solutions individually to the needs of each of our customers. Please get in touch regarding your individual quote.
Yes. Since the Anyline SDK does not require an internet connection, and because we do not store any data on ours or third-party servers, it is compliant with the GDPR, DSGVO, APIS and the CCPA.