SAF-Holland has launched SMAR-te Tire Pilot. According to the company, it is an intelligent tire management system that is engineered to specifically work with SAF integrated suspension systems.
The system was developed in partnership with AKTV8 LLC, combining patented electro-pneumatic controls with the SAF Tire Pilot Plus tire pressure management system (TPMS), which was engineered specifically for its CBX and ULX Series suspension systems. SMAR-te Tire Pilot takes things a step further, dynamically changing tire pressure up or down based on the axle load. Tire pressure is adjusted to better follow the tire manufacturer’s recommendations for tire life and reliability.
The reasons for using a tire inflation system, whether TPMS or ATIS, are clear. Tires are the second highest vehicle operating expense. Improper tire pressure causes 80% of premature tire failures. Proper tire pressure is critical to tire life and yet industry data suggests that 66% of fleets have tires operating at more than 5 PSI from the proper setting and 22% have at least one tire more than 20 PSI from the proper setting, according to SAF-Holland.
Bill Hicks, SAF-Holland’s trailer suspension axle systems product manager, says that SMAR-te Tire Pilot was made to address an increasing need for fleets to improve today’s trailer tire inflation systems to include the ability to dynamically change tire pressure based on trailer load.
A recent position paper from the ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) tackled this exact topic, making the case for a comprehensive, automated system to handle tire inflation.
According to the paper: “TMC recommends development of an integrated tire inflation pressure control system that can compensate for various operating conditions and provide an automated means of inflating and deflating each tire to match the conditions encountered.”
The new SMAR-te Tire Pilot does just that.
So how does it work? SMAR-te Tire Pilot incorporates AKTV8’s iAir controller, an electro-pneumatic control module with integrated solenoid valves and sensors to dynamically measure and adjust tire pressure based on trailer axle load. The smart diagnostic LED light warns of minor tire leaks, severe leaks, and overload conditions. Bluetooth and CAN connectivity allow enhanced configurability and serviceability with optional telemetry integration.
As with Tire Pilot Plus, SMAR-te Tire Pilot was designed specifically to work with the CBX and ULX Series suspensions.
Unlike traditional mechanical tire inflation systems, SMAR-te Tire Pilot requires no maintenance or calibration, the company says. The ability to more accurately control the proper tire air pressure per the tire manufacturer’s load and inflation standards reduces tire stress, resulting in optimized tire tread and casing life and reduced rolling resistance. Additional benefits highlighted by the company include safe and reliable tire performance, enhanced fuel economy and GHG reduction, as well as reduced tire and vehicle maintenance.