As more and more fleets take to automatic tire inflation systems, the numbers are starting to roll in. Take Overnite Transportation of Richmond, Va., for example. The nationwide LTL carrier reports a 55% reduction in tire maintenance costs since it began using the Pressure Systems International system. The test was conducted on 1,304 new trailers, 150 of which were equipped with the PSI system. On the PSI-equipped trailers, breakdowns were off 69%, road calls were down 84%, and preventive maintenance declined by 52%.
PSI estimates that a typical trailer equipped with the tire inflation system would save $1,000. That figure includes maintenance savings (someone spending 25 min./month checking and filling tires at $25/hr.); blowout prevention (one service call and the cost of a new tire); fuel saving (assuming 90,000 mi./yr., 6 mpg, and $1/gal.); and 10% increased tread wear on eight tires traveling 90,000 mi./yr.
Mission expanded! In response to public concern over commercial vehicle safety, which has become one of the greatest obstacles to the future growth and well-being of the trucking industry, the Transportation Safety Equipment Institute (TSEI) has expanded its mission.
The 35-year old organization, which lists 27 members, is dedicated to promoting the development of advanced performance standards, as well as state, federal, and international regulations for the commercial vehicle safety equipment industry. TSEI also promotes the integrity of the industry through government enforcement, compliance activities, and product certification and testing.
Zip rate As the industry continues its electronic march, Roadway Express introduced, E-ZRate, an online version of its shipment rating application. The new version allows customers to receive instant rate quotes for shipments based on origin and destination zip codes via the World Wide Web (www.roadway.com). Users can select the freight class and enter the weight of up to six shipments at the same time, reviewing the specific charges. If no class or weight is entered, the application displays a comprehensive rate table.
Way to go The Celadon Group awarded a brand new Freightliner Century Class tractor to a driving team that logged one-million miles in the same tractor without an accident during the past four years. The drivers, James Walton and Fredericka J. Smith of Anderson, Ind., also received million-mile gold watches and safety awards. They were given the opportunity to spec the tractor and have their names painted on each door.
On a roll Taxes that had forced private carriers to pay taxes on the cost of delivered goods have been overturned in both Massachusetts and Virginia, thanks to the efforts of the National Private Truck Council.
In Massachusetts, the court struck down an income tax on out-of-state companies whose only contacts within the state were the solicitation of orders and the delivery of ordered goods in the companies' private trucks.
In the Virginia case, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling overturning an income tax on revenue derived from private fleet deliveries into the state.