Because there’s no such thing as taking too much care when it comes to tires, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is sharing suggestions for National Tire Safety Week, and stressing the important role tire care plays in commercial vehicle highway safety.
Sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, National Tire Safety Week (June 1-7) is part of the association’s year-round efforts to raise awareness about the importance of keeping tires in good working condition.
“The importance of proper tire maintenance, regular inspection, and correct inflation can’t be overstated when it comes to safe and efficient commercial vehicle operation,” said Jon Intagliata, product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) at Bendix. “Tire pressure and upkeep have a direct impact on the performance and longevity of tires themselves, and further-reaching effects in terms of fuel savings and fleet operating costs.”
Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, sees National Tire Safety Week as the ideal time to discuss both immediate and long-term steps that fleets and drivers can take to maximize tire safety.
Develop a Plan
Fuel and tires are typically among fleets’ largest expenses, and the two are inextricably linked: Research by the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has shown that tire underinflation by as little as 10 percent can result in a 1.5 percent drop in fuel economy, and underinflation by 20 percent results in a 30 percent reduction in tire life. The right equipment and organizational planning can help address both.
Tire pressure monitoring systems, like the SmarTire® Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS for tractors and SmarTire® Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailer systems, can play a key role in this planning. By offering real-time status information to drivers or maintenance technicians, a TPMS can warn fleets and drivers of tire-related problems before they pose a safety hazard. Downtime is reduced by eliminating the need for manual pressure checks.
Additionally, when SmarTire is linked with SafetyDirect® from Bendix CVS – a Web portal that allows fleet owners to analyze real-time, wirelessly transmitted safety information – tire pressures, temperatures, and alerts are sent to the back office. This means fleet maintenance teams can plan specific vehicle service in advance, while fleet managers can use the data to help shape a fleetwide tire strategy.
Pay Attention to Temperature
“Tire pressure rises as tire temperature increases during regular operation or due to external conditions, presenting a challenge when maintaining pressure or alerting the driver to a potential problem,” Intagliata noted. “For that reason, Bendix engineered the TPMS technology to take tire temperature into account and compensate accordingly.”
SmarTire and SmarTire Trailer-Link continuously monitor both tire pressure and temperature at each wheel location, using sensors mounted on the wheel and inside the tire for direct and accurate measurement. These sensors provide both the actual tire pressure and temperature information, as well as a deviation value that shows the amount of overinflation or underinflation from each tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP). This deviation value automatically takes into account the increase in pressure due to temperature that naturally occurs as a tire is in operation and adjusts the system’s alerts accordingly. This compensation also allows the system to provide earlier warnings of a tire problem.
Address Low-Pressure Situations Quickly
Daily pressure checks are a must, and low-pressure situations should be remedied the same day they are discovered. 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.
Properly maintained tires also optimize the performance of active safety systems such as the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system and Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology.
Prompt attention to pressure issues is crucial in today’s environment of Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), since underinflated tires are violations that can impact a fleet’s CSA scoring.
The SmarTire systems from Bendix CVS are part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments delivering on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets’ success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency, and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix helps fleets and drivers strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology, which in turn improves highway safety for everyone sharing the road.