International Marketing, Inc (IMI) officially launches 'Operation Extra Mile' Monday evening at the TMC's 2013 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition. Operation Extra Mile focuses on extending tread life and longer use of the most fuel-efficient part of commercial tires, in all wheel positions, by reducing uneven wear and vibrations.
When trucks arrive at a fleet, they come with balanced components- all the way through the engine, transmission, and into the drive train. These components are balanced to protect the engine from self-destructing, as well as the efficiency and longevity of the truck. The only rotating parts that come not balanced are the wheel assemblies. While most fleets take delivery and then balance steer tires, almost no one balances drive tires. As a truck goes down the road at 66 MPH, the tire and wheel assembles rotate 563 times per minute. With each rotation of an out of balance assembly, a vibration occurs and the tire develops irregular wear.
The commercial tire industry doesn't currently recommend balancing all wheel positions but it is time to get better tire life, fuel economy, and driver comfort. "Remember when truck alignments were mostly performed on only the front end?" says Robert Fogal, President and CEO of IMI. "Today, total vehicle alignment on all axles has become a standard. The time for total vehicle tire/wheel balancing has come as well. Tire are simply too expensive to continue to ignore and waste."
EQUAL, the original internal balance compound, keeps all tires, regardless of wheel position, in balance for the life of the tread. By maintaining a continuous mass balance, EQUAL reduces vibrations and uneven wear caused by speed, the load, and the road. Irregular tire wear in turn hurts the fuel efficiency of the tire by causing early tire removal. Reducing irregular or uneven wear makes it possible to take advantage of the last few 32nd's which are the most fuel efficient portion of the tire.
Once EQUAL is in the tire, the bag breaks apart and not only balances, but provides the best vibration damping available. Vibration damping not only helps to eliminate irregular wear but also reduces fore and aft cab movement caused by drive tire imbalance. This type of vibration is one of the most physically exhausting ride issues for drivers.
In addition to all of the benefits offered by EQUAL, it also provides time savings. For example, one reason the commercial tire industry has not embraced drive or trailer tire balancing is the time involved in balancing a commercial tire. With EQUAL, balancing a single tire typically takes 20 minutes, but only takes seconds with the drop-in-bag. Simply drop a bag of EQUAL in each tire to balance all wheel positions.