Dana Holding Corporation introduced tire pressure management technology optimized for line-haul tractors, the first internal axle system of its kind for powered commercial vehicles.
Currently undergoing initial road testing on commercial-vehicle tractors, these concepts have been engineered to automatically maintain proper inflation for drive and steer axles, significantly increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and reducing maintenance.
While simple tire management systems have been available for commercial-vehicle trailers for a number of years, Dana will be the first in the market to offer fully integrated, electronically controlled systems specifically engineered for the more complex demands of tractors.
"Proper tire maintenance is critical for fleet owners to maximize vehicle uptime and get the greatest return on their investments," said Pat D'Eramo, president of Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies at Dana. "This technology is uniquely designed to keep commercial-vehicle tractors out of the maintenance bay and on the road – operating at peak efficiency."
Only 44 percent of all tires on commercial vehicles are within ± 0.3 bar of target pressure, and under-inflated tires decrease fuel economy. Dana's tire pressure management technology can improve fuel economy by 1 percent by making periodic checks to ensure that each tire is properly inflated to a pressure equalized with the other tires on the tractor.
Dana's tire pressure management technology for line-haul vehicles automatically initiates periodic system and pressure checks while driving, eliminating the time drivers would otherwise spend checking tire pressure at stops. As needed, it inflates tires to the optimum pressure and can equalize pressure in all tractor tires, minimizing tire dragging and premature wear. A closed design isolates the tires, preventing a hose failure or tire puncture from affecting the other tires.
Maintaining proper tire inflation also increases tire life. Driving on under-inflated tires damages the tire casing, preventing the tires from being retreaded or regrooved. Under-inflated tires are also more likely to fail from excessive heat that is caused by operating at low pressure – resulting in costly repairs and lost time on the road.