Developments in tire pressure monitoring and inflation led to NACFE's update of its Tire...

Developments in tire pressure monitoring and inflation led to NACFE's update of its Tire Pressure Systems Confidence Report.

Photo: Jim Park

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency recently completed a revision of its Tire Pressure Systems Confidence Report, originally published in 2013. NACFE is currently assessing other reports to update.

Developments in tire-pressure monitoring and inflation led NACFE to revise the report, which noted that while fleets will see increased productivity when tires are properly inflated, statistics show that only 46% of all tractor tires and 38% of all trailer tires inspected are within 5 psi of their target inflation pressure.

The report concludes that tire pressure systems continue to advance, and the confidence in adopting such equipment should be high – as long as fleets focus on selecting the best systems for specific needs.

The report identified five types of tire pressure systems:

  • Tire pressure monitoring systems
  • Dual tire pressure equalizers
  • Automatic tire inflation systems
  • Central tire inflation systems
  • Passive pressure containment approaches

Since the original report was released, tire pressure monitoring systems — which monitor pressure and in some cases temperature for each individual tire – have become the “enabler of tire management systems,” according to NACFE. It noted that both tire pressure monitoring systems and automated tire inflation systems are recognized efficiency options in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Model of the Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 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 in its report.

Today, most truck manufactures have some type of tire pressure system that can be spec’d on a new vehicle. “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, vice president of global sales and marketing, Pressure Systems International.

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 revision of the Tire Pressure Systems Confidence Report is part of NACFE’s effort to update all existing Confidence Reports. The reports on idle reduction technologies and 6x2 axles were updated in 2019, with the remainder to be updated later this year.

“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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