SAF-Holland rolled out its new Tire Pilot Plus tire pressure management system (TPMS) at TMC this year. The system is designed to reduce trailer tire wear and the costs associated with it and improve fuel efficiency, all while reducing maintenance service.
“Tires represent the second highest vehicle operating expense for fleets,” said Roger Jansen, SAF-Holland’s product manager for trailer axles and suspensions. “The reality is that most tires do not achieve their tread life potential. One reason for that is premature failure – and 80% of [tire] failures are directly related to tire inflation pressure.”
He added that TMC research indicates trailer tires can lose up to two pounds per square inch (psi) of inflation pressure per month through the inner liner and casing, regardless of use. TMC also calculates that tires underinflated by 10% will wear 9% to 16% faster than properly inflated tires, with underinflated tires adding to rolling resistance that can reduce fuel economy by as much as 2%.
To negate all of that, SAF’s Tire Pilot Plus provides consistent and proper inflation to compensate for psi loss. The system not only controls pressure through inflation, but also maintains equal pressure across all wheels and features High Pressure Relief (HPR) for over inflated tires, which could occur from extreme temperature changes during operation, Jansen said. By reducing tire wear, decreasing downtime by reducing maintenance, and improving fuel economy, SAF believes its Tire Pilot Plus system offers a return on investment (ROI) estimated at less than one year.
Leveraged from a tire inflation system platform designed by SAF for the European trailer market back in 2013, Tire Pilot Plus will be available second half of this year as Jansen said the company is wrapping up validation testing right now.