ArvinMeritor and Pressure Systems International Inc. (PSI) of San Antonio, Texas, have agreed to a new long-term collaborative arrangement to continue marketing and distributing automatic tire inflation systems.
All key global commercial vehicle markets are included in the arrangement, first established in 1999. Nearly two million Meritor Tire Inflation Systems (MTIS) have been sold since the original agreement was signed between the two companies seven years ago. The system automatically monitors and maintains consistent air pressure in heavy-duty trailer tires, helping to decrease tire blowouts and greatly reduce tire maintenance costs.
PSI manufactures the system at its facilities and test laboratory in San Antonio, Texas, and assists Meritor and its North American sales and service team with customer support and service issues.
"The ongoing close collaboration with PSI gives us the opportunity to continue offering our customers the industry-leading trailer tire inflation system and further differentiates our expanding axle product line with both OEMs and end-users," said Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business. The PSI system helps truck operators with problems such as in-service failure, increased fuel consumption and excessive tread wear. It uses compressed air from the trailer air system to inflate any tire that falls below a pre-set pressure while the trailer is moving.
"Our tire inflation system has helped countless fleets of all sizes to operate their trailers on proven cost-per-mile tire life benefits," said Tim Musgrave, president and CEO of PSI, noting that new products are under development and will be launched in the next 12 months. "Our system is the original automatic inflation system and has been the market leader since 1993." According to Barry Eckel, newly-named Director-Global Sales and Marketing for MTIS and 16 year veteran at ArvinMeritor, more than one of every 10 new trailers in North America are delivered today with MTIS, and the number of retrofit opportunities is expected to double this year.
Tires are the second-highest cost for the trucking industry, and the primary maintenance expense for fleets. The American Trucking Associations reports that 90 percent of all excess rubber on U.S. highways is due to under-inflation. Trailer tires that are under-inflated by just 10 percent lose 16 percent of their usable life, and those under-inflated by 30 percent lose up to 55 percent. In addition, fuel efficiency can decline up to 10 percent.