Keeping the wheels turning with Van de Brug International

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Over the past few years, the team at Celerity DRS have worked with some fantastic customers and end-users of the PSI Automatic Tyre Inflation System.

One such company is Van De Brug Int. based in Putten, Holland, which was founded in 1963 by the father of the current management, Mr Evert van de Brug. Specialising in the transportation of vegetable and animal oils and fats, Van De Brug has been a key customer and user of the PSI system. We sat down with Evert van de Brug to find out more about the PSI system and why it is installed on every new addition to their fleet.


Why did you choose PSI?

The easiest way I can explain it, is by comparing it to a bicycle’s tyres. If your tyres are not properly inflated, you have to cycle much harder and faster to achieve the same result. The same goes for commercial vehicles. If the tyres are not properly inflated, the truck must put in a lot more work to keep things moving at the same speed. And what do you do when you go cycling? You make sure you pump up your tyres! This also applies to truck and trailers and if it can be done automatically for your trailer, then that is an easy win for me. Many people also don’t know that a tyre loses pressure over time via osmosis – even the best tyre. When you drive away, always check your tyres, with your car, with your truck, with your trailer and especially with your caravan!

What does your fleet look like?

In Putten we have 88 tractors and 122 trailers, 75% of which are fitted with the PSI system. The first systems were fitted in around 2010 and we are currently use Magyar trailers combined with Jost axles. The PSI system is supplied via Ton van Ooijen (OO-Tech via TPE). We drive about 100k km-120k km per year with a semi-trailer, and for us, the cost of the PSI system is easily covered and it can easily last 20 to 25 years. The PSI system is a miniscule cost compared to a trailer of 160,000 Euros. Now if a trailer without a PSI system is being renovated, we make sure to retrofit it and put one on! When it comes to tyres, we use Remix from Michelin and we also have them re-treaded – but always our own carcasses.

What do you transport?

We mainly transport vegetable oil and fats, prepared products, and raw materials for these vegetable oil and fats – And always at the maximum weight of the trailer. The maximum allowed is 40 tonnes and the consequence of that weight is that the tyre becomes much hotter.

What is the cost reduction of the PSI system?

One key area for us is savings made from the preventions of blow outs. This saves money by not having to replace tyres and have vehicle downtime. It’s very difficult to measure the fuel consumption. Every truck drives differently, trailers are changed and even wind has an influence – for example a bad storm can easily use an extra one litre of diesel over 2.8km.

The big advantage of the system is simple to explain. Just assume that you will never get a flat tyre. Imagine it is 4 o’clock in the morning and you are loading your vehicle for a new day, and then one of your tyres turns out to be flat. What then? Do you have to replace that tyre, cause delays, and the rest of the week must be turned around. We drive with a load factor of 78%. That is quite high, and if a ride has to be rescheduled, that can be very difficult. That will create problems for the rest of the week.

We are also a member of the RDW in Lelystad, an independent test laboratory for vehicle technology that offers a unique combination of measurements including tyre traction on wet road surface and tyre rolling resistance tests. There, the trailers are inspected for the road and they were very impressed with the PSI system. When a tyre is empty, it is re-inflated to the optimum pressure in 7 or 8 minutes. Impressive! They thought so too!

What do you think of the quality of the system?

The life of the system has been very good. The rotor, almost infinite., and this part has now been further developed so it will last even longer. We have been driving with Jost axles for 3.5 years now without issues. I am 100% convinced of the tubed system and Magyar fulfils this without any problems at our request. With regards to the warranty on the system? It is a situation that Van de Brug has never had to consider! There are always things that can happen, but we are solutions providers and we always work on any issues together.

What possible improvement did you want to introduce?

The main improvements we were looking for included; Fewer tyre blowouts, increased road safety, fuel savings, extended tyre life and a reduction in maintenance costs.

Does the system work? Yes. You only need to measure its impact for a little while to see that it works, and it saves on labour costs too, which is often overlooked. If a driver is running late or is short on time, they often ignore the tyre checks… Do these people also know that you should only check the tyres when they are cold and how important it is?

With the PSI system, the driver knows that their vehicle’s tyres are in good condition. That is also why the axles are tubed, because the driver knows immediately that his tyres are good. The system pumps several times and then stops. Then the driver knows that his tyres are full, and they can set off on their journey.

What problem would influence the purchase of the PSI system?

That is an easy one – you have had a tyre related problem! For example, just recently one of our drivers was traveling across Germany and had noticed that two other vehicles were standing on the side of the road with tyre issues. After stopping at a service station, the driver discovered a puncture in one of their tyres; caused by an 8mm bolt which had entered the tyre “head” first.

However, the tyre remained fully inflated and the Tyre Inflation System was working perfectly – occasionally pumping air into the tyre and keeping it at the optimum pressure.

Not only did this allow the driver to continue their journey and make it home safely, but it also saved us between €800-900 for an emergency weekend repair and a new tyre. As far as proof of the system in action, we would say this proves it works perfectly!

What other possible solutions have you considered?

Our problem is solved with the PSI system. With a standard Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) you don’t know if the air in the tyre is actively leaking or just underinflated. Half a bar, what does that say? Is the tyre cold or hot? Measuring is nice, but it’s no use other than knowing you have a problem! Stopping and inflating tyres all take time. Our drivers always know for sure what is happening with their tyres. and with the PSI system you know where you stand.

What would have happened if you had NOT made the purchase?

A lot more blow outs!

What measurable benefits have you seen?

We have certainly had less blowouts, that’s for sure. And with that, we have made savings by not replacing tyres, paying for emergency call outs and missing delivery deadlines. You just know that your return increases enormously!