22 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags: American Freight Trucking
<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/articles/m-inflation-2.jpg" border="0" alt="
Bendix SmarTire monitoring system's sensors are installed on the wheel, inside the tire, where they're protected from road damage – something appreciated at Boyle Transportation. Photo: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
Bendix SmarTire monitoring system's sensors are installed on the wheel, inside the tire, where they're protected from road damage – something appreciated at Boyle Transportation. Photo: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems">
Keeping tires properly inflated is elementary to good maintenance, and products that aid in that quest can be valuable.
“In tractors, anything that keeps air in the tires makes tires last longer and stay on the road” is a plus, explains Ben Curtis, fleet manager at Boyle Transportation, Bellerica, Massachusetts, which transports security-sensitive and hazmat cargo. “And trailers are often ignored.” That's why Boyle has used tire inflation systems on trailers since 2001 and a monitoring system on tractors since 2009.
Curtis tends to order the Hendrickson TireMaax Pro on trailers with Hendrickson axles and suspensions, and the Meritor Tire Pressure Inflation System by P.S.I. on others. He likes the fact that the Meritor/P.S.I. system can alert you to a hot wheel end. While noting that the latest TireMaax systems are relatively trouble-free and that he gets great support from the company, he's not as wild about the fact that TireMaax reduces air pressure when tires get hot. “I don't want it to let air out,” he says. “It lets out about 10 pounds. I don't know how much of an advantage that gives you.”
The advantage, Hendrickson explains, is longer tire life. Over-inflation can happen when hot air expands inside the tire.
“Over-inflated tires are harder than properly inflated tires, making them more susceptible to tread surface cutting, punctures and impact breaks,” explains Tiona Campbell, a program manager at Hendrickson. “Over-inflation also changes a tire's footprint, which can affect tire traction and lead to irregular wear patterns. TMC Recommended Practice RP 219B, Radial Tire Wear Conditions and Causes, indicates that the probable cause of excessive wear found on both shoulder ribs of trailer tires