SAF-Holland Inc. announced the introduction of its SAF Tire Pilot Plus tire pressure management system engineered specifically for its CBX and ULX Series suspension systems. Tire Pilot Plus allows fleets to protect tires by reducing tire wear and the costs associated with it, improving fuel efficiency, reducing service and optimizing uptime, the company said.
Proper tire inflation has a direct effect on tire wear and fuel economy. According to TMC, trailer tires can lose up to 2 PSI per month through the inner liner and casing, regardless of use. The TMC calculates that tires underinflated by 10% will wear 9% to 16% faster than properly inflated tires. TMC also reports underinflated tires add rolling resistance that can reduce fuel economy by as much as 2%. Tire Pilot Plus provides consistent and proper inflation to compensate for PSI loss.
Tire Pilot Plus not only controls pressure through inflation, but also maintains equal pressure across all wheels and features high pressure relief (HPR) for over inflated tires, which could occur from extreme temperature changes during operation. According to SAF-Holland, ROI is realized in less than one year. The company stated that Tire Pilot Plus manages costs by decreasing maintenance in six ways:
- Reducing time spent on tire repair and replacements.
- Eliminating the need for routine pressure checks.
- Durable components in a non-pressurized axle environment increase the system’s life.
- Incorporating knurled connections at both the cap and tire ends of the stainless steel hose, for easy hand-tighten connections without a wrench.
- The unique design of the hubcap with fins that protect the air fitting connections from damage.
- The polished steel/flexible tubing insert shaft and internal double lip seal provide a robust seal that allows for potential axial misalignment and years of trouble free service.
Tire Pilot Plus simplifies driver pre- and post-trip inspections in addition to reducing driver stops to check tire pressure levels, SAF-Holland stated. The system’s warning light on the front wall of the trailer illuminates only when it senses a reduced pressure of 20 PSI on the regulator setting, indicating to the driver to immediately seek service. This greatly eliminates false-flag type notifications when the system is required to temporarily operate to manage small tire differences. The indicator light can also be tied into a fleet’s telematics system to indicate that the light is on and that there is a major tire problem that needs to be addressed.
To further reduce maintenance and replacement costs, Tire Pilot uses a braided stainless steel air hose to mitigate cut, kinked or damaged hoses. Knurled fittings at both hubcap and tire ends of the air hose make for hand-tightened connections without a wrench. The multi-functional hubcap of Tire Pilot has an integrated guide lip on the inside of the cap to enable improved alignment, sealing the surface to prevent oil escaping. Air supply to the tires flows through integrated passageways in the hubcap to the hose fittings. The hose fitting locations are plumbed through the sides of the hubcap and protected by its patented integrated fins, above and below the connection.
Dedicated airlines from the Tire Pilot Plus control box to the wheel ends maintain pressure at pre-set levels, eliminating the need to pressurize the axle. To prevent air loss, the bronze bushing ensures proper alignment of the rotating shaft, and a double-lipped radial seal (O-ring) prevents the system air from escaping into the axle wheel end, the company stated. The patented vented axle spindle plug within the axle spindle end keeps the system’s air dry, clean and free of contaminants to avoid wheel-end failures due to contamination or blown bearing seals.
For easy installation, Tire Pilot has a customized plug-in electrical harness to fit various applications, and it maintains tire pressures even when the system is not connected to the tractor. Tire Pilot Plus is backed by a five year manufacturer warranty. It will be available in the second half of 2018 and can be retrofitted to SAF-Holland suspension systems.