Proper tire pressure is the most important component of tire care for your fleet.
Monitor your Pressure your Pressure
Fleet operators can accurately check tire pressure in seconds, which minimizes labor costs and errors associated with manually checking each tire with a gauge. With the new Doran 360 SmartLink Tire Pressure Monitoring System, wireless sensors are screwed onto the valve stems of the trailer tires, and the tire pressure information is sent to a trailer-mounted receiver/transmitter that collects and transfers the data to a cab-mounted display unit. The wireless sensors mounted on the truck tires are also programmed to the monitor in the cab.
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TireStamp's president, Peggy Fisher, is an icon of the truck tire market. She was president of Roadway Tire Co. and served as general chairman of TMC, where she won just about every award the Council gives. She was also a director of the International Tire and Rubber Association and president of the Tire Industry Association.
The TireVigil system developed under her leadership can generate reports as frequently as every hour, so managers can determine any tire troubles, often before drivers can sense them. Drivers still get real-time readings in their cabs.
Considering that a set of tires for a 10-wheel, ready-mix truck can cost $4000 to $5000, it's a small investment to pay $1500 for hardware and $10/month/ truck for a telematics subscription. As Fisher says, “Now a manager gets to make the decision for the driver, rather than having the tire make it for him.”
But she also reminds us that there is still no substitute for the driver's visual inspection. “No TPMS can identify cuts, nails, bolts, chunks missing from the tread, and irregular wear patterns. Only the driver can do that,” says Fisher. But a modern TPMS will relieve the driver of the most time consuming pre-trip chore: gauging the tires.
Paul Abelson is a former director of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association and is currently on the Board of Truck Writers of North America. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.