In manufacturing and technology, once a good idea takes hold, there is little the market can do to stop it. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems better known as TPMS started popping up in the 1980’s as a performance feature for high end sports cars. They improved safety ratings by helping the driver know when and where his tires were low on pressure by using sensors mounted along the inside of the rims. Because they were built to the individual vehicles specifications they were an accurate and reliable method of checking the tire pressure. Finding a TPMS system for trucks became difficult because factors like tire, wheels sizes, frame-rail composition and trailer brand could all vary from tractor to tractor.
As part of the TREAD Act passed in 2005, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems with a light indicator became required on all vehicles with a gross weight under 10,000 pounds (Source). Policy makers and manufacturers realized how important it is for the driver to know the current levels of pressure of his or her vehicle. Though there isn’t a similar law in place for Class 8 vehicles yet, it is still a very good idea to install a form of tire monitoring in your vehicle to reduce the time from having to do a manual inspection, even though a supplemental, daily manual inspection is generally a good idea. In general, TPMS systems for heavy duty trucks involve individual sensors for each tire on the vehicle feeding into an onboard monitor within the cab of the vehicle. Some systems have the figures on the tires themselves and involve checking them by hand.
The HawksHead system of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems allows for a hook and drop method of installation. This let’s fleet owners quickly switch the monitors between trailers. The HawksHead system also can register multiple tractors or trailers to the same monitor with an easy system to switch between vehicles.
Some of the direct benefits of running a TPMS system on your truck or fleet of trucks are:
- Increased fuel efficiency as a result of proper inflation levels
- Less dangerous and costly blowouts
- Accumulate data on which trailers and tractors go through tires faster to see if adjustments can be made
- Less time in the shop and less time manually checking inflation levels
Best practices on Tire Maintenance by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Associations and some facts related to tire maintenance.
- About seven percent of all tires are under-inflated by 20 psi or more. Just 44.15% of all tires stay near ±5 psi of their optimal pressure.
- For-hire carriers generally have a better track record than commercial fleets in tire maintenance.
- Tire related maintenance is the greatest annual expense in commercial vehicles.
- Tractors with mismatched dual tires are at a special risk for varying pressures. Approximately 20% of all vehicles with tires that differ in pressure by more than 5 PSI.
If you have any questions about purchasing a system for your vehicle or fleet make sure to call our parts specialists. They can assist with any project you have in mind regarding your rig.