Hardware Report: Inflation monitoring

Aug. 4, 2016
Proper tire pressure remains an effective way to reduce costs

As fleets continue adopting tire inflation and monitoring systems, suppliers are making new solutions and features available.

Late last year, for example, Meritor and Pressure Systems International (P.S.I.) celebrated the production of the one-millionth Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS) by P.S.I. since 1993.  MTIS by P.S.I., which can be installed on all major trailer axle models sold in North America, connects tires to a controlled air supply and automatically routes air through a control box and trailer axles to fill underinflated tires.

Looking ahead, Meritor is assessing MTIS for tractors. “We know there is a high level of market interest, so we are closely evaluating the project to determine if the costs of sustaining the program are in line with an acceptable payback,” says John Bennett, general manager, Global Product Strategy.

Newly introduced this year by Michelin Americas Truck Tires is Michelin Auto Inflate, a system that uses Halo automatic tire inflation technology from Aperia Technologies to maintain pressure in drive and trailer tires.

Halo uses a hub-mounted, self-powered pump that monitors and adjusts air pressure on dual and wide-base single tires with each wheel rotation.

Josh Carter, CEO of Aperia, notes the rising interest in inflation monitoring, with a growing number of fleets moving from testing to purchasing. Halo is being sold through select truck, tractor and trailer dealerships.

Several new features have been introduced for the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS, including a dual tire imbalance warning to alert drivers and technicians when there is more than the prescribed percentage deviation in pressure between the two tires. Bendix also released rim labels that contain the tire sensor ID code, eliminating the need for a special tool for system reprogramming, and it is introducing the ability to program a sensor using a pressure change.

SmarTire uses wheel-mounted sensors and a wireless receiver to send tire pressure and temperature information to an in-cab display, which alerts the driver when tire pressure is too low or temperature is too high. On trailers, sensors in tires and another wireless receiver provide a lighted indication on a lamp the driver can check in a side mirror.

For all Hendrickson trailer suspensions and axle systems, TireMaxx Pro features internal axle hoses and a ventilation system to help prevent wheel-end contamination without pressurizing the axle. In addition to providing automatic inflation, the system responds to changes in outside temperature by relieving air from tires when necessary.

The Spicer Optimized Tire Pressure Management System from Dana gives linehaul and vocational drivers control over tire pressures on steer, drive and trailer axles. At the push of a button, a driver can select empty or full load and highway or emergency modes. The system automatically detects and adjusts tire pressures using the existing vehicle compressor.

New from Stemco and developed with TrackPoint Systems is a system that monitors tire pressure on untethered trailers. Using Stemco Bat RF sensors and TrackPoint Systems solar-powered monitoring technology, the system can be used by fleet managers to track tire pressures and mileage.

The PressureGuard trailer tire inflation solution includes a warning system when a tire’s pressure has decreased by at least 20 psi. PressureGuard also offers add-on modules for any make of automatic tire inflation system. Included are a relieving functionality module that allows the system to reduce pressure in over-inflated tires, and a wheel-end isolation module that identifies a loss of pressure. 

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