Meritor is introducing the industry’s first automatic tire inflation system for linehaul tractors this week at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Meritor says the MTIS Tire Inflation System for Trucks automatically monitors tire pressure while the vehicle is in motion and inflates an underinflated tire. If there are issues requiring continuous inflation, the MTIS system alerts the driver to check the tire or find service as soon as possible. The system extends tire and wheel component life, improves fuel efficiency and reduces tire wear and maintenance, the company says.
“We listened carefully to customers who have expressed a need to lower costs due to tire underinflation,” says Jay Craig, president and chief operating officer for Meritor. “We’re leading the industry in automatic tire inflation systems, and our MTIS system is one of many new products the market can expect to see from Meritor that will help end-users operate their vehicles more efficiently.”
Underinflated tires can decrease tread life up to 20 percent and impact tire retread, according to tire manufacturers.
“Maintaining proper pressure requires constant attention,” says Ken Hogan, general manager, Rear Drivetrain for Meritor. “In addition to reducing tire and fuel costs, the MTIS system enhances performance. Tire companies have stated that up to 80 percent of roadside tire failures are a direct result of creeping air loss.”
Although pressure leakage up to 2 percent per week is common for tire systems, additional pressure loss can be expected with puncture wounds from nails, a contaminated rim flange or bad valve stem.
Validation testing with several fleets began in 2014 and will conclude in 2015. The company expects the MTIS system to be available to OEMs in North America on a limited basis in 2016.