Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, in support of the goals of the 2013 National Tire Safety Week, June 2-8, stresses the importance of proper tire inflation and monitoring in safe commercial vehicle operation. Bendix offers the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS, which monitors pressure and temperature of tractor and trailer tires. SmarTire TPMS offers fleets and drivers insight on tires that leads to improved fuel economy, reduced downtime, and improved roadway safety.
Sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association to raise consumer awareness about tire safety and fuel economy for cars and trucks, the annual National Tire Safety Week focuses on the simple steps that vehicle operators – from motorists to fleets – can take to ensure their tires are in good working condition.
Tires driven while significantly underinflated experience increased stress and higher temperatures, which increases the risk of failure. Industry statistics show that 90 percent of blowouts are caused by underinflation.
Tire performance is also factored into CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scoring, as drivers and fleets can face penalties for improperly inflated or poorly maintained tires.
"Because tire care, inflation, and maintenance are crucial to vehicle safety, Bendix has long focused on developing methods for warning fleets and drivers of tire-related problems before they pose a safety hazard," said Jon Intagliata, product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) at Bendix.
The SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System for tractors and SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS continuously monitor both tire pressure and temperature at each wheel location, offering real-time status information to the driver or maintenance technician. An in-vehicle dash display shows both the actual tire pressure and temperature, along with a deviation value that shows the amount of overinflation or underinflation from each tire's cold inflation pressure (CIP).
"The deviation values for each tire are important because they automatically take into account the increase in pressure due to temperature that naturally occurs as a tire is in operation. Since our sensors are located inside the pressure vessel, they provide a direct temperature measurement that allows our system to automatically adjust alerts to the driver, taking into account this natural increase in pressure. Cold tires at 100 psi alert differently than warm tires at 120 psi – the system needs to make this adjustment automatically," Intagliata said. "Tire pressure rises when the temperature increases through travel or external conditions. SmarTire's capability to calculate the CIP deviation means drivers and fleets can accurately maintain their pressures whether a truck has been parked for some time or has traveled hundreds of miles. The temperature compensation feature also allows the system to provide earlier warnings of a tire problem."
The SmarTire system is the industry's only TPMS available as a factory-installed option through original equipment manufacturers. Volvo Trucks NA, International Trucks and Kenworth all offer it as an OEM-installed option.
SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS wirelessly transmits information from trailer wheel-ends directly to the in-cab display of tractors equipped with the latest version of SmarTire. If the tractor is not equipped with SmarTire, the trailer TPMS system can use a lamp mounted to the nose of the trailer to notify the driver of trailer tire pressure or temperature problems.
Proper tire pressure management also helps fleets address the increasing costs of fuel and tires. Tire underinflation by as little as 10 percent results in a 1.5 percent drop in fuel economy, which can increase fuel spending by up to $1,000 per year for a single truck. Underinflation by 20 percent results in a 30 percent reduction in tire life.
The SmarTire system offers additional benefits when it is linked with Safety Direct from Bendix CVS, a Web portal that allows fleet owners to analyze real-time, wirelessly transmitted safety information. As tire pressures, temperatures, and alerts are sent to the back office, fleet maintenance teams can plan vehicle service before it even reaches the shop. Fleets and drivers can also conduct tire inspections and maintenance more efficiently since terminal operators can tell in advance which tires may need pressure adjustment.
The SmarTire systems from Bendix CVS are part of the company's ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets' success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to improve highway safety for everyone, while helping fleets and drivers strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology.