Extending Tire Life

Using technology to help maintain proper air pressure provides numerous benefits

For small to medium size fleet and service operations with a central depot, fixed nitrogen tire inflation systems are a good option, he says. These operations should verify the capacity of their existing compressed air system while taking into consideration any additional requirements of the nitrogen inflation system.

Generally, systems will require 12 scfm (standard cubic feet per minute of air) at 110 to 160 psig (pound-force per square inch) for each 4 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of nitrogen, says Harold Wagner, national sales manager, Kaeser Compressors. The amount of air will only be required while the nitrogen generator is in operation. Depending on the number of vehicles, multiple nitrogen generators may be required.

The air should be clean and dry, he goes on. The existing clean air treatment equipment ought to be checked to ensure it provides a maximum dew point of 50°F and that the system includes a coalescing oil removal filter to eliminate trace contaminants.

Further, Wagner recommends identifying and repairing air leaks. Studies indicate that as much as 35 percent of all compressed air produced is lost to leaks. In addition to increasing energy costs, this can also reduce the effective capacity of the system.

Larger, heavy duty fleets can be more of a challenge, observes Lawton. Not only are tractors and trailers often stored in different locations, but the conversion phase will require more resources than the maintenance phase. In these situations, mobile tire inflation systems that combine a small portable, gas driven compressor and a high purity nitrogen tire inflation system are ideal. These units are completely contained and include all necessary equipment and accessories.


Taking advantage of technology to keep tires properly inflated helps increase vehicle safety, improves fuel economy, enhances vehicles performance and increases tire and tread life, say tire professionals. But there are additional benefits as well.

By being more fuel efficient, less fuel is consumed. This saves money at the pump, decreases petroleum fuels demand and reduces emissions and pollution.

Along with lasting longer, tires that are well maintained have improved retreadability, which conserves natural resources and helps the environment by reducing solid waste disposal problems.

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