In July's "Trailer Trends" article, we mentioned Hendrickson's new TireMaax Pro automatic tire inflation system, but did not do a good job of explaining it.
TireMaax Pro continuously monitors and adjusts trailer tire pressure by inflating or deflating tires based on changing conditions and is the first automatic tire inflation system in the trailer industry capable of active tire deflation. If the ambient temperature increases, the system will relieve air when necessary to prevent over-inflation, helping to achieve maximum
Some competitors have questioned the need for such a product, so we asked why Hendrickson believed it was necessary, and why now.
Matt Wilson, business unit director for Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems' Controls Business Unit, explains:
"All of the tire inflation system manufacturers ... realized that changes in ambient temperature could cause tires to become overinflated. However, we all felt that this was a minor problem compared to the one inflation systems solve - underinflation.
"I do not think the impact of a slightly overinflated trailer population was ever noticed in dual tire applications. Talking to the tire manufacturers, it seems that dual tires are more forgiving when it comes to inflation pressure. The scenario that really pushed Hendrickson to develop TireMaax Pro was the increased popularity of wide-base single tires. The wide-base single tire seems much more sensitive to inflation pressure. We felt that a system that could more accurately control the pressure over the life of the tire could have a significant positive impact on tire wear for a wide-base single tire.
"Even though the issues with wide-base singles initiated the development of TireMaax Pro, I think we have learned that there will be benefits across all tire configurations. For example, I do not believe that many fleets that operate inflation systems truly understand the impact of overinflation, or the number of tires that are affected. So, even fleets that run dual tires can experience benefits with TireMaax Pro."