In day-to-day commercial vehicle operations, tire costs are often taken for granted. Tires rank behind only labor and fuel in the operational cost of doing business. While tires aren’t cheap, it’s the hidden cost of running tires with improper air pressure that can really hurt a fleet over time.
Improper inflation accounts for 80 per cent of retread separations, cuts, bruises, flats and blowouts.
Interestingly, for every 1 PSI of underinflation there is a 0.8 per cent increase in fuel consumption. And underinflation of just five PSI reduces tire life by 25 per cent.
Here are some other facts you should need if you operate a truck or other waste collection or transportation vehicle.
Even without punctures, tires lose two pounds of pressure a month just by air permeating the inner liner. Air also escapes between the bead and wheel, tire valves and valve cores.
Only 22 per cent of drivers check pressure before each trip, and only 37 per cent of those use a pressure gauge!
Yet there is a way to reduce or eliminate these costs. The VIGIA Automatic Tire Pressure System checks tires automatically while you drive and maintains tire pressure even with a puncture.
The system works by controlling the pressure for all tires mounted on one or more axles. Should the pressure drop in one or more tires, the regulating valve draws air from one of the vehicle’s compressors (not from other tires) and feeds it to the proper tire or tires.
Gauges in the cab keep the driver fully informed at all times. In the event of a leak, the system alerts the driver via gauges, lights and sound and, without any action by the driver, the tires that are leaking are automatically re-inflated to their proper pressure. In the event of an extreme air loss, such as a blow-out, the control system’s safety valve will shut off all air flow. The vehicle’s pneumatic system is then fully safeguarded against a loss of air pressure, ensuring normal brake and suspension operation.
The system supplies air to the tires through the axle so no lines are externally visible. The exclusive and durable VIGIA rotor is placed outside the hubcap preventing water and other contaminants from entering the hub.
Components of the system include:
An instrument panel containing analogue dials showing tire pressures;
Tire valves, check valves and connecting hoses;
Wheel-mounted rotors that feed air into the rotating tires;
Complete mounting brackets, support pipes and connections.
The company offers a full range of central tire inflation systems for trucks, tractor-trailer combinations, buses and trailers only.
Roberto Rivela is president and general manager of Vidia Canada in Toronto, Ontario. Contact Roberto at email@example.com