There is a wide variety of tire inflation technology available, both in TPMS and ATIS form. Let’s take a quick look at some of the offerings.
Ed. Note: This story was originally published in May of 2018, and was updated with new information on Sept. 9, 2020.
Halo Connect from Aperia uses machine learning to sense and detect tire issues in advance, allowing fleets to be more proactive in their service, according to the company. Halo Connect actively measures and adjusts tire pressure in real time while sharing relevant analytics to the fleet. Halo Connect features vehicle location and service insights, in addition to tire tread depth and replacement tracking.
“The crisp accuracy of Halo Connect yields the fewest alerts, which engenders confidence and unlocks fundamentally different behavioral response compared to manual or monitoring-only approaches,” says Judith Monte, vice president of marketing and customer success for Aperia. “These capabilities drive meaningful fleet-wide savings.”
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems offers the SmarTire TPMS, a real-time system that measures the contained tire pressure and temperature of each individual tire on a vehicle and trailer. Fred Andersky, director of customer solutions – controls for Bendix, highlights several key features of the system: Temperature Compensated Pressure alerts; Dual Tire Imbalance Alerts, which let you know when one dual has lower pressure than the other; High Temperature Warnings; and Drop and Hook Monitoring of both tractor and trailer tires, which allow for quick changeover between different tractors and trailers. “Depending on fleet operations, ROI comes in as little as eight months through improve tire wear, reduced road service costs and improved fuel economy,” Andersky says.
Among Continental’s TPMS offerings is the ContiConnect Yard digital tire monitoring system, which allows fleet managers to see tire pressure and temperature data for the entire fleet in a single web portal, every time trucks return to the fleet yard. It is a yard-based system that reads tire sensors in an approximate 65-ft. radius.
“The solution features Slow Leak Detection, an algorithm that can detect a slow leak in a particular tire over the course of several days, typically before it would be noticed by fleet personnel,” says Helmut Keller, Continental’s head of product and brand management for commercial vehicle tires in the Americas region. “Repairing tires immediately after a puncture or other slow leak is detected can ensure the tire returns to service, and also protects the tire for retreading.”
The company also offers on-vehicle systems. ContiPressureCheck TPMS monitors all tires on the vehicle in real time, delivering information to the driver via an in-cab display.
The ContiPressureCheck Integrated solution takes it a step further, connecting the on-vehicle ContiPressureCheck system with a telematics partner. Tire alerts are displayed within the telematics portal so a fleet manager or dispatcher can see the information remotely.
The company also offers ContiPressureCheck Solo, a stand-alone tire pressure monitoring system for trailers.
Continental also recently announced an integration with Truck-Lite’s Road Ready system for trailers, allowing trailer fleets to monitor tire pressure no matter what tractor they are connected to.
Mobile Awareness offers MobileTraq TPMS, which comes in two forms: MobileTraq Vue is a customizable in-cab monitoring device, while MobileTraq Que is a non-display device that allows for remote truck or trailer monitoring.
In 2018, P.S.I. added the TireView TPMS to its tire inflation offerings. According to P.S.I., TireView options include a standalone solution for the truck and tractor market; solutions for trailers as an enhancement for P.S.I.’s automatic tire inflation system (ATIS) for trailers or as a standalone; and an optional flow-thru kit, which enables the sensors to remain mounted to the axle during routine tire maintenance while still providing damage protection and theft resistance, according to the company.
TireVigil Cloud offered by Tire Stamp calculates inflation pressure 24/7 using algorithms and employs predictive analytics that provide advanced notifications of developing tire issues anywhere from five hours to more than 30 days in advance of a tire failure, the company says. With this visibility, the company says, tire problems can be addressed long before damage to tires occurs and emergency breakdown situations arise.
The TPMS solution from ZF (which recently acquired WABCO) is WABCO OptiTire, which the company says helps to maintain tire pressure at the recommended level and detect slow punctures early.
“Valve-mounted or strap-mounted, WABCO OptiTire internal sensors provide a continuous correlation between tire temperature and pressure to improve reliability,” says Collin Shaw, director of marketing and communications and business development for ZF Commercial Vehicle Controls Systems. “The external sensors provide precise information on tire pressure and enable a particularly easy retrofit as the tires aren’t removed from the rim during installation. WABCO OptiTire delivers continuous updates on tire pressure and temperature from each monitored wheel to drivers or fleet managers.”
In addition to its TPMS offering, Aperia is the maker of the Halo Tire Inflator for tractors and trailers, a self-powered, bolt-on inflation technology that uses a wheel’s rotation to maintain optimal tire pressure. Halo is installed on both dual and wide-base single tires on drive, tag, and trailer axles to maximize uptime, fuel economy and tire life, the company says.
Hendrickson recently released Tiremaax Pro-LB, a new generation update of its Tiremaax pro product which adds the ability to adjust tire pressure based on load.
“Hendrickson developed Tiremaax Pro-LB to address the issue of optimum tire pressure for both loaded and empty trailers,” says Matt Wilson, Hendrickson Controls Business Unit Director. “Tiremaax Pro-LB will provide the optimum tire pressure for a fleet regardless of loading conditions.”
That wasn’t Hendrickson’s only tire pressure-related product released in the past year; the company also debuted the Watchman wheel-end sensor, which is built to give fleets access to tire and wheel data when paired with Tiremaax Pro.
“Adding Watchman wheel-end sensors to a Tiremaax Pro system will allow a fleet to monitor tire pressure in real time,” Wilson says. “Watchman technology makes it easy to identify, locate and repair minor tire issues before they become major problems on the road.”
Meritor offers its Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS), which automatically and immediately provides air pressure to any trailer tire should the pressure fall below the desired setting. In addition, Meritor offers its ThermAlert wheel-end heat sensing technology as standard on its MTIS products. ThermAlert immediately alerts drivers of overheating wheel ends so that drivers can take preventative action to avoid damage.
P.S.I. ATIS can be installed on most major trailer axle models. It is available for new trailers from the OEM and can be retrofitted on trailers already in service.
According to P.S.I., this is how the system works: A pressure protection valve is installed on the trailer air supply tank. Pressurized air flows into the system control box where the pressure is regulated to the pre-set tire cold pressure setting. Regulated air flows from the control box through the hollow axle tube to the rotary union located in the wheel end. Air is transferred pneumatically as needed via the rotary union into the tire hoses, then into the tires. An on/off valve located on the control box allows for ease of maintenance.
SAF-Holland launched SMAR-te Tire Pilot in 2019, which the company describes as an intelligent tire management system that is engineered to specifically work with SAF integrated suspension systems.
Bill Hicks, SAF product manager for SAF-Holland, describes SMAR-te Tire Pilot as an ”advanced smart tire management system.”
“These advanced systems offer features of electronic controls systems which are typically more accurate, programmable and can export data, communications and alerts on a real-time basis,” he explains. “In addition, these systems can be programmed to measure axle load and proportionally inflate/deflate the tire to match the load which optimizes overall tire life, rolling resistance and tire contact patch. SMAR-te Tire Pilot is one such smart system which can set tire pressures via load monitoring, is programmable and can communicate electronically with other agnostic systems on the trailer to provide critical control/service information in a real-time format.”
Tire pressure telematics offerings
Dana manufactures the Rhombus TireAnalytics solution, a cloud-based platform that enables users to identify best practices for tire maintenance and optimize tire lifecycle management.
“Rhombus TireAnalytics by Dana provides immediate benefits, allowing a fleet visibility and control of its tire program by providing a platform with which to hold its team accountable in following digital best practices,” says Mike Schwanzl, director of field sales and service for Dana. “Rhombus gives instant visibility across a fleet; real-time detection and notification of tire and policy compliance issues; cost-per-mile comparisons to help make informed purchase decisions and increase negotiating power; and more. The Rhombus system allows a fleet to improve its uptime, on-time delivery record and CSA scores while reducing costs.”
The Smart Wheel Connectivity Solution combines Maxion Wheels’ MaxSmart wheel sensor technology with ZF’s integrated TAG sensor platform for an integrated wheel connectivity solution.
Matt Brest, senior sales engineer for Maxion Wheels, explains how it works: “Mounted directly to each wheel rim of the vehicle, the Bluetooth tags track humidity, tire temperature, air pressure and vehicle load as well as wheel position, speed and vibration across nine axes. Information is collected in real time and wirelessly transmitted to the vehicle’s telematics on-board unit before being transferred to the ZF Cloud. The data can then be read and analyzed via PC, smart devices or sent to a third-party system of the customer’s choice.”
Late last year Pressure Systems International (P.S.I.) introduced TireView Live, a data analytics platform for tires.
Craig Smith, marketing manager for P.S.I., explains how it works: “Data is provided in real time and stored for analysis that can provide insight to the root cause and corrective action. Extending the application of the pressure sensors to the brake system also provides big-picture information in terms of having sufficient air in the system to release the parking brakes and whether there is sufficient pressure to activate the ATIS. We are also adapting a version of our sensor to read the temperature of the wheel end, to provide visibility of wheel end thermal conditions.”