Tires are the number one maintenance cost for fleets.
Photo credit: Ervin
Tires are the number one maintenance cost for fleets. In efforts to help its customers extend the lives of their tires, Ervin Equipment has formed a vendor/customer relationship with San Antonio-based Pressure Systems International (P.S.I.) to begin offering the Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. on its used and new trailers.
Fleets require trailer tires to run at anywhere from 85 to 125 psi. The Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. keeps trailer tires at the correct pressure while they are rotating via the tractor's onboard compressor. Air lines have a pressure protection valve and control box to regulate the tire pressure. The system offers a fuel mileage increase of 1.4 percent, a forecasted 10 percent extended tire life, and an ROI that makes the product well worth the money spent.
Underinflated tires are susceptible to internal heat buildup and increased rolling resistance, causing up to 5 percent reduction in fuel economy. Tires underinflated by only 6 psi could lead to tire failure and as much as a 25 percent reduction of tread life.
Fleets sometimes overinflate tires to compensate for the lack of attention trailer tires get while in daily service. The automatic tire inflation system prevents overinflation and keeps the tires at the proper cold temperature inflation level, allowing the tire to perform to its engineered potential all the time.
Fleets average one tire blowout per trailer per year, due to underinflated tires. New tires cost $350-$1,000, and roadside assistance costs anywhere from $130 for a tire change out to $400 for a tow. Add in downtime and penalty costs for a late delivery, and blowouts become very costly. Preventing just one blowout with The Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. makes the system worth the upfront cost. And, with a unit that's expected to last 8-10 years, the cost savings are monumental.
"This one-time investment will most likely pay for itself in the first 12 months, and customers then benefit from the unit for the next 8 to 10 years. By the time you trade the trailer in, the automatic tire inflation system will have saved the fleet owner a healthy chunk of cash," said Ervin Vice president of sales and marketing Jeff Weber.
Further, Weber says, customers who pay for the automatic tire inflation system gain up to 50 percent of the original systems purchase price back during the resale of the trailer. According to Jonathan Gravell, sales and marketing coordinator at P.S.I., the unit also makes the trailer easier to sell.
Weber says the product has been a wise investment for Ervin and its customers. "We want to solve problems for our customers. Anything we can do to help with a customer's business, help them save money, retain drivers and improve the safety of their fleet, that's important to us," Weber said. "It's one of those no-brainers that we feel is a sound business decision."
With the PSI System, ThermALERT, an optional wheel end heat indicator is also available. The system prevents wheel offs and possible trailer fires due to undetected wheel end heat buildup.