The relationship between tires, cost control, fuel efficiency, and safety is getting a lot of attention in the transportation industry. What is the impact of tire pressure technology on dry van trucking?
Transport Topics has highlighted an ongoing discussion surrounding tire inflation and the costs when things go badly. It’s deserving of this priority, as tires are often times among the top three expenses in a fleet’s operation. Running tires underinflated even just 10% below their recommended pressure can reduce the life of those tires by 20-25%. Replacements are costly.
Underinflation also impedes fuel efficiency. Underinflated, tires flex more and create more heat and rolling resistance. This increases the amount of energy the truck spends and decreases fuel economy.
Depending on the weight of loads carried and the climate in which the truck operates, a truck tire can lose up to 2 psi every month. Some fleets have turned to tire monitor and automatic inflation systems in order to maintain optimal tire pressure. A tire pressure monitor sends real-time alerts when tire pressure falls below the recommended psi. A conscientious driver can then stop and remediate. Such systems have already been mandatory additions on all vehicles in America less than 10,000 pounds beginning with 2008 models.
According to the Transport Topics report, studies of tire pressure monitors in light vehicles indicate commercial fleets could see a 9- to 12-month return on investment for their own newly installed monitor systems. A tire inflation system automatically replaces lost air. It may also make a punctured tire functional until the driver can stop. Many feel this technology pays off in better fuel efficiency and less driver time spent on inspections. It may also prevent tire blowouts and costs associated with replacing and repairing damaged equipment–not to mention safety.
CCC agrees and uses the award-winning Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS™) by P.S.I. The Meritor system uses the trailer’s controlled air supply to automatically route air to any tire that falls below optimal pressure, even while the vehicle is rolling. Our investment in tire inflation systems is part of our longstanding commitment to putting safety first–safety of our drivers and of those with whom we share the roads. That kind of return on investment is immeasurable.