While tire management systems have been available for trailers for a number of years, Dana says it will be the first in the market to offer fully integrated, electronically controlled systems specifically engineered for the more complex demands of tractors.
The system is based on Dana Spicer Central Tire Inflation System used for military and some vocational vehicles and could be ready for commercial use in a year or so.
Dana says its tire pressure management technology can improve fuel economy by 1% by making periodic checks to ensure that each tire is properly inflated to a pressure equalized with the other tires on the tractor.
The technology automatically initiates periodic system and pressure checks while driving, eliminating the time drivers would otherwise spend checking tire pressure at stops. As needed, it inflates tires to the optimum pressure and can equalize pressure in all tractor tires, minimizing tire dragging and premature wear. A closed design isolates the tires, preventing a hose failure or tire puncture in one tire from affecting the other tires.
Maintaining proper tire inflation also increases tire life. Driving on under-inflated tires damages the tire casing, preventing the tires from being retreaded. Under-inflated tires are also more likely to fail from excessive heat that is caused by operating at low pressure.
Dana has supplied a "how-it-works" schematic that illustrates the flow and pressure. For more information, visit www.dana.com/commercialvehicle