Additionally, improvements are in the works for the next generation of SmarTire TPMS, which is currently undergoing fleet testing and is planned for release in 2016. In particular, the company has integrated the SmarTire and ABS ECUs and plans flexible mounting options by offering a new TPMS sensor that will have an optional internal valve mount to complement the current strap mounting solution.
Assessing next steps
Meritor is also working on a tractor system, notes John Bennett, the company’s general manager for global product strategy. “We are currently assessing the next steps for the Meritor Tire Inflation System, and we are testing the product with fleets,” Bennett says. “Now that we know there is a high level of market interest, we are closely evaluating the project to determine if the costs of sustaining the program and the future marketability of the product are in line with an acceptable payback.”
The one millionth Meritor Tire Inflation System, MTIS by PSI, was recently manufactured and sent to OEMs for installation. Available with MTIS is Meritor’s wheel-end heat sensing technology, ThermALERT, that detects abnormally high wheel-end temperatures caused by wheel bearing, seal or other internal wheel-end problems and gives an early warning that inspection and repairs should be made to reduce the risk of serious failure.
Hendrickson currently supplies the Tiremaax Pro as a factory installed option with all major trailer OEMs. Tiremaax Pro actively manages tire pressure and can equalize pressure across all wheel positions. In addition, Tiremaax Pro can respond to an overinflated tire by adjusting the pressure to accurately meet the target pressure.
WABCO’s Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring (IVTM) system for commercial vehicles provides drivers with constant updates of tire pressures directly from each monitored wheel on a dashboard display and records pressure information from tractor and trailer tires.
Pressure information can be transmitted via CAN-bus or wirelessly, and in combination with the company’s TrailerGUARD telematics solution, IVTM reports tire pressures to a web portal and to fleet managers via text or email.
Stemco’s AirBAT RF tire pressure monitoring system combines sensor and data management solutions and features LED low-pressure indicators that visually indicate a tire problem on untethered trailers. Aeris by Stemco is a tire inflation system that the company’s SmartSense technology uses to notify drivers of specific tires taking on air, and of urgent, critical leaks.
Stemco also produces the AirBAT RF DAS (Driver Alert System) and AirBAT Tractor Interface Module (TIM) for use with AirBAT RF sensors. The TIM provides tire pressures every two seconds and wirelessly transmits the readings to an in-cab display , which can send text message and email alerts to maintenance personnel if the system detects any issues.
Close to 100 fleets with anywhere from ten to 150 trucks are using or actively testing the Aperia Halo Tire Inflator. The self-powered, bolt-on inflation technology uses a wheel’s rotation to maintain optimal tire pressure in dual and wide-based tires on drive and trailer axles used on trucks, tractors, trailers and buses.
“We’re building higher volumes every November,” says Josh Carter, CEO and co-founder of Aperia. “That’s proof that proper tire inflation is a challenge that has proven far too important to ignore. Considering the risks and costs associated with under-inflated tires, fleet managers are clearly and increasingly recognizing the benefits of tire pressure management.”