Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC is supporting National Tire Safety Week (May 24-30, 2015) by offering expert insight on the role that proper tire maintenance, regular inspection and correct inflation play in the safe operation of today’s commercial vehicles.
Sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, National Tire Safety Week is part of the association’s year-round efforts to raise awareness about the importance of keeping tires in good working condition.
“Simply put, safe and efficient trucks run on properly maintained and regularly inspected tires,” says Jon Intagliata, product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) at Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles. “Tire performance and longevity are directly related to proper tire pressure, as are other fleet concerns such as fuel economy and maintenance costs.”
Research by the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has shown that tire under-inflation by as little as 10 percent can result in a 1.5 percent drop in fuel economy, and under-inflation by 20 percent results in a 30 percent reduction in tire life. Fuel and tires are typically among fleets’ largest expenses, and maintaining the right tire pressure day in and day out pays dividends in both fuel savings and tread life, Bendix says.
Technologies like the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS for tractors and SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS for trailer systems are available through all major North American truck manufacturers or as aftermarket kits, and offer real-time status information to drivers and maintenance technicians. They provide early warnings of tire-related problems and reduce downtime by eliminating the need for time-intensive manual pressure checks, which fail to address changing road conditions that can affect pressure during operation.
When linked to a back-office Web portal such as SafetyDirect from Bendix CVS, these systems allow fleet management to analyze real-time, wirelessly transmitted safety information such as tire pressures, temperatures, and alerts. Using this data, fleets can develop comprehensive tire management strategies by examining tire replacement frequency, downtime due to tire repair, and occurrences of roadside breakdowns due to tire failure.
Properly maintained tires also optimize the performance of the active safety systems in growing use across the commercial vehicle industry.
“There are dozens of makes, models, and tractor-trailer configurations on North America’s highways, but all of them have this in common: Only their tires touch the road,” Intagliata said. “We can’t overstate the importance of tire care when it comes to keeping trucks on the road and in good working condition, and Bendix will continue to work toward that goal with fleets and drivers everywhere.”
Bendix’s SmarTire systems are part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that deliver on safety, actionable information, reliability, fuel economy, and stopping power: areas critical to fleets’ success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency, and providing thorough post-sales support to the industry, Bendix helps fleets and drivers strengthen return on investment in the technological advancements that make the highways safer for everyone.