AVON, Ohio – In support of National Tire Safety Week 2022, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is reminding North America’s fleets and owner-operators just how much tire pressure matters to safety on the road.
Sponsored annually by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, National Tire Safety Week spotlights the essentials of proper tire care and maintenance. It occurs this year June 27-July 3.
“Those air disc brakes you invested in? Improperly pressurized tires can hurt their performance,” TJ Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions of Controls Group at Bendix, said. “Same goes for advanced driver assistance systems, from full stability up to collision mitigation: They can’t fully deliver on their potential to enhance safety if they are riding on incorrectly inflated tires. Fuel efficiency, tire life, downtime – they’re all impacted by tire pressure on your tractors and trailers.”
Pressure monitoring made easy
Pre-trip checks and inspections during breaks are good for spotting signs of rapid tire leaks but using a gauge to measure each tire’s pressure at every stop isn’t a practical solution – and still might not alert you to slow, gradual leaks. A tire pressure monitoring system is one of the most effective safety tools for protecting tires from underinflation.
“Without a gauge, it’s unlikely that even a sharp-eyed driver can tell by looking whether a tire is properly inflated to 105 psi or underinflated at 95 psi,” Mark Holley, director of marketing and customer solutions of Wheel-End at Bendix, said. “And that relatively small difference can have a big impact. Industry research has shown that just 10% underinflation can reduce fuel economy by 1.5%, and about 90% of tire blowouts are the result of underinflation, since it leads to increased stress and higher running temperatures.”
Additionally, 20% underinflation leads to an approximately 30% reduction in tire life. And on dual-tire wheel-ends, uneven pressure can cause premature wear even if there’s a difference of just 5 psi between two tires on the same wheel-end – since the lower-pressure tire will drag, while the higher-pressure tire carries a greater share of the load.
Fleet data and uptime
“TPMS can also provide valuable information that enables fleets to more effectively plan maintenance and tire management,” Thomas said. “With a tool like SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS, for instance, you can analyze tire pressure monitoring system information in near real time, and use the information to optimize scheduling already planned, lowering your total cost of ownership – to say nothing of helping to avoid the hassle and additional expense that comes with a tire failure on the road.”
Thomas said no commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.
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