Fleet Owner Magazine

Hardware Report: Inflationary measures

Automatic systems for tire health deliver the goods

The benefits of automatic tire inflation and monitoring are well documented. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studies show 10% longer tire life with inflation systems. Another FMCSA study indicates that a 1.4% average improvement in fuel economy per vehicle is possible when these technologies are in use.

Fleets are choosing tire inflation and monitoring systems for many reasons including the fact that underinflated tires are the leading cause of blowouts.

Automatic Inflation Systems

The Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS) by P.S.I. routes air from the trailer air supply to a central control box and then into each axle. The axles act as conduits to carry air through a rotary union assembly, which distributes the air to each tire as needed. Options for MTIS include ThermALERT heat-sensing technology that immediately alerts drivers to overheating wheel ends and an in-cab display to signal a warning to the driver when the system detects a leak.

A look at various systems.

Hendrickson TIREMAAX PRO, an auto­matic tire pressure control system, uses a trailer’s air supply to inflate/deflate tires to a preset level based on changing environmental conditions. Internal axle hoses and rotary unions with sealed bearings in an integrated hubcap manage tire pressure without pressurizing the axle.

Aeris by Stemco is an automatic tire inflation system using air from the trailer’s compressed air tank to automatically inflate tires that are below a target pressure setting. Rotary sealing technology and one-way pressure relief valves prevent higher pressures needed to inflate commercial tires from leaking into the wheel end. Integrated check valves isolate damaged/leaking tires from the system.

The Spicer Optimized Tire Pressure Management System from Dana is designed to give drivers control over tire pressures. At the push of a button, the driver can select empty or full load, and highway or emergency modes. The tire inflation system, which displays when a problem exists and indicates the nature of the malfunction, works with steer, drive and trailer axles.

Michelin Auto Inflate is a self-contained bolt-on tire inflation device for tractors and trailers that monitors and adjusts for low air pressure with each wheel rotation. Powered by the Halo Tire Inflator from Aperia, the device utilizes the automatic tire inflation technology to maintain proper pressure in dual and wide-base single tires.

Inflation Monitoring Systems

SmarTire from Bendix CVS for trucks and tractors uses wheel-mounted sensors and a wireless receiver to read and send tire pressure and temperature information to an in-cab dash display. The system alerts the driver when tire pressure gets too low or temperature gets too high.

The Wabco Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring (IVTM) system provides drivers with updates of tire pressures directly from each monitored wheel on a dashboard display. In combination with the company’s TrailerGUARD telematics solution, IVTM reports tire pressures to a web portal and warns fleet managers via SMS or email of tire inflation issues.

The ContiPressureCheck system from Continental continuously measures the pressure and temperature of a tire using sensors mounted on the tire’s inner liner. A central control unit receives sensor signals, evaluates data, and provides the status of all tires on an in-cab display or to a telematics system to warn of pressure loss.

TireVigil TPMS from Tire Stamp is a tire monitoring system that uses an in-cab display to alert drivers of under­inflation, overinflation, differences in dual tire pressure, and overheating. Alerts can also be delivered to any Internet-connected device. The system automatically converts hot tire pressure to cold inflation pressure to provide alerts faster and eliminate false alarms.


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