High confidence in tire pressure systems: report

TORONTO, Ont. – Tire pressure systems continue to advance, and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) says the confidence in adopting such equipment should be high – as long as fleets focus on selecting the best systems for specific needs.

The conclusion emerges in the council’s update to an original Tire Pressure Systems Confidence Report, first published in 2013, and reflects the tire pressure monitoring systems that can watch over the pressure and sometimes the temperature of individual tires.

There is clearly a need to address tire pressure. Only 45% of tractor tires and 38% trailer tires fall within 5 psi of their target inflation pressures, NACFE says.

Today’s tire pressure systems fall into five categories, including tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), dual tire pressure equalizers, automatic tire inflation systems (ATIS), central tire inflation systems, and passive pressure containment approaches.

The tire pressure monitoring systems and automatic tire inflation systems are both recognized as tools that can be used to help meet Phase 2 of Greenhouse Gas regulations.

Early adopters of such equipment include tankers; vehicles with high trailer miles or low trailer-to-tractor ratios, such as reefer units; and fleets that experience duty cycles with diminishing loads, where the tire pressure for fully loaded and empty trailers can help to avoid tire wear, NACFE says.

“With approximately 70% of new trailers being equipped with ATIS, it is likely the most specified option on trailers today because of the validated ROI,” said Jim Sharkey, Pressure Systems International’s vice-president — global sales and marketing.

When tractor automatic tire inflation systems (ATIS) are combined with predictive analytics, fleets find an operating model that’s “predictive, proactive, proportionate, portfolio-wide,” added Judith Monte, Aperia Technologies vice-president – marketing and customer service. “The benefits will be significant, realized as better decisions, time savings, and unlocked capacity from vehicles reallocated to revenue miles and manager time redirected toward higher-value work.”

A satisfactory experience will rely on factors such as matching needs with a system’s specific capabilities, training personnel, and the integration of alerts, warnings and reports into normal fleet operations without requiring significant oversight or maintenance, NACFE notes.

The council is in the midst of updating all of its existing Confidence Reports.

“For much of last year we focused our efforts on emerging technologies and published Guidance Reports on commercial battery electric vehicles, but we also recognize the importance of keeping the industry up to date on developments in existing fuel savings technologies,” said Mike Roeth, NACFE Executive Director. “Throughout this year we will continue to review and refresh each of the Confidence Reports on existing technology while continuing our work on emerging technologies.”

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