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.
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.
Continental manufactures the ContiConnect 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. In addition, the company recently announced ContiPressureCheck Solo, a stand-alone tire pressure monitoring system for trailers that is expected to be available by the end of 2018.
Dana offers the Spicer Optimized Tire Pressure Management System, a TPMS that, as the name implies, comes three optimized application-specific versions: vocational, line-haul and military.
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.
TireStamp Inc. offers its TPMS 2.0 system, which connects each fleet vehicle to the cloud via TireVigil onboard equipment. Data can be viewed in the company’s TireVigil Cloud (seen above).
WABCO’s TPMS offering is known as IVTM, which helps to maintain constant pressure levels, and extend tire life by up to 20% by adhering to recommended tire pressure levels, among other benefits, according to the company.
Hendrickson’s Tiremaax Pro is an ATIS specifically for trailer applications. “The system draws from the trailer air supply to help keep all the trailer tires properly inflated and rolling smoothly,” explains Matt Wilson, Hendrickson’s controls business unit manager. “Tiremaax Pro detects pressure dips below a preset level in one or more tires and directs air to the affected tire(s). The system responds to changes in outside temperature and prevents over-inflation by relieving air from the tires back through the controller.” According to Wilson, ROI on Tiremaax Pro is seen in less than a year.
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 the 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. “With MTIS, payback is possible within one year. By continuously maintaining proper tire inflation, MTIS can deliver an average annual savings of $1,960 per trailer,” says Dave Pritchard, general manager of trailer for Meritor.
Michelin Auto Inflate is a wheel-mounted ATIS solution, developed jointly by Michelin and Aperia Technologies, that can be added on to new equipment or retrofitted onto existing vehicles. Sharon Cowart, product marketing director for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, says that the Michelin Auto Inflate solution is virtually maintenance-free, with a two-year guarantee and only three to four possible failure points per wheel position. Cowart says that this system can save fleets an estimated $2,400 per tractor-trailer annually by reducing tire-related downtime events, extending tire life, improving fuel economy and increasing safety.
Stemco manufactures both TPMS and ATIS products. The company’s TPMS offering is known as BatRF, a handheld unit that wirelessly gathers and stores data. Aeris is Stemco’s ATIS product, and the company touts the fact that it will not compromise the life of wheel end components by pressurizing the wheel end.