ELYRIA, Ohio — Often in trucking, it takes just a small change to make a big impact. This is especially true in tire pressure, where the difference of a few psi can directly affect mileage, maintenance, and safety.
During Newsal Tire Safety Week, May 20-27, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems stresses that with all that is riding on a truck’s tires — driver safety, operating performance, timely cargo delivery, and more — it’s vital to be sure of the right pressure in them.
Sponsored annually by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Newsal Tire Safety Week is an initiative aimed at providing information on the essentials of proper tire care and maintenance.
“Proper tire inflation will substantially impact your tire and ultimately your vehicle’s performance,” said Jon Intagliata, Bendix product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). “Fuel consumption can increase, stopping distances can increase, and tread life can decrease if the tires run on significantly different psi than what is recommended by the manufacturer — all of which can dramatically affect a fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long haul, too.”
According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. The more miles driven and the more wheel-ends in a fleet, the bigger the impact those few psi have on the bottom line. Underinflated tires also experience increased stress and generate higher running temperatures, compounding the risk of tire blowouts – about 90 percent of which are the result of underinflation, according to industry studies.
Real-Time Info on the Road
“Gradual tire pressure loss can be difficult to detect, and you could be quite a way down the road before you have a chance to notice it at the next spot check,” Intagliata said. “That’s why the best tool for tracking the proper psi on each tire is a technology like the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System by Bendix CVS – or the SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailers: When drivers get real-time information and pressure alerts, they’re better equipped for safer trucking. Early notification makes all the difference in addressing problems before they become hazards.”
It takes as little as a 5 psi difference between dual-mounted tires to create problems, including irregular or accelerated tire wear.
Bendix uses wheel-mounted sensors inside the tires on its SmarTire systems, allowing the TPMS to continuously monitor temperature inside the tire as well as pressure. This means the system can provide a deviation value showing the amount of overinflation or underinflation from the tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP), automatically taking into account any increase in pressure due to temperature to provide early alerts of tire pressure issues. Reading temperature also helps the system alert the driver to potential wheel-end issues, such as dragging brakes, and may help the driver mitigate potential tire fires.
Fleets running TPMS-equipped vehicles can also use the system data to shape their tire strategy and maintenance plans by using a back-office system like SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS – a web portal that allows analysis of real-time information from TPMS and other connected safety technologies. Fleets can maximize uptime by planning vehicle service in advance and more effectively address issues such as frequent tire replacements and tire failures on the road.
High Tech, High Stakes
As vehicle safety technologies have advanced and higher regulatory standards have evolved – antilock brakes, Reduced Stopping Distance requirements, and the full-stability mandate, for instance – the importance of tires in good condition running at proper inflation has increased. Moving forward, collision mitigation and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) remain dependent upon precise and controlled interaction among the men and women behind the wheel, their vehicles, and the road itself – where tires are the sole point of contact.
“Today’s integrated vehicles mean you need to equip the best set of tools on your tractor and trailer to maximize performance,” Intagliata said. “TPMS can play a critical role to guarantee your advanced safety systems – including air disc brakes and advanced driver assistance technologies – are functioning at the optimal levels.”
According to Intagliata, “Like any safety system, a TPMS is meant to complement safe driving practices and is not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No technology can replace skilled, alert drivers exercising safe habits, or the support of proactive, comprehensive driver training – the safe operation of any vehicle remains with the driver at all times.”
Bendix® SmarTire and SafetyDirect are part of Bendix’s full suite of technologies delivering safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, backed by unparalleled post-sales support: areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators. By strengthening return on investment in advanced equipment that puts drivers behind the wheels of safer trucks, Bendix lowers total cost of ownership and helps enhance highway safety across North America.
To learn more about Bendix TPMS, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit . For deeper insight on Bendix technology and the commercial vehicle landscape through podcasts, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Knowledge Dock at .
Bridgestone adds to Ecopia commercial truck tire portfolio
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas has made a new addition to its fuel-efficient Bridgestone Ecopia commercial truck tire portfolio.
The Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire is a SmartWay verified trailer tire the company said is engineered to deliver low rolling resistance and exceptional wear in long-haul and regional service applications.
Because of to its low rolling resistance design, the Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire delivers nearly $400 in fuel savings over 100,000 miles when compared to the Bridgestone Ecopia R197 tire, according to Kyle Chen, brand manager, truck and bus radial tires, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO).
“Bridgestone Ecopia tires are designed with features that reduce fuel consumption, and they are engineered to be fit for retreading later on, making them a smart, sustainable business choice for fleets on a number of levels,” Chen said. “Fuel-efficient tires that also deliver big on performance are a demonstration of our dedication to help lower the total cost of tire ownership and drive efficient mobility for all fleets.”
Chen said the Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire is engineered with features such as an IntelliShape sidewall designed to reduce the overall tire weight and minimize rolling resistance.
The tire also uses patented NanoPro-Tech polymer technology to limit energy loss and help improve fuel economy, he said.
Additional innovations include:
- A fuel-efficient tread design to lower rolling resistance and improve fuel economy
- An innovative tread pattern to increase traction and grip on wet roads, as well as absorption of tread edge stress to promote long, even wear
- An optimized tread volume that allows for long removal mileage, and;
- A specialized defense groove structure that helps establish even pressure at the tire shoulder and minimize tread edge wear.
“Fleets can leverage fuel-efficient tires and retreads together to extend the life of their tire casings, further reduce fuel costs and lower the total cost of tire ownership,” Chen said. “Designed to maximize the total tire lifecycle, the Bridgestone R123 Ecopia tire provides excellent retreadability and works together with Bandag FuelTech retreads to capitalize on tire performance potential, drive down fuel costs and make mobility more efficient for fleets.”
To learn more about the Bridgestone portfolio of Ecopia fuel-efficient tires, .
Class 8 build rate: When change comes, it’s likely to come fast
COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, current Class 8 build rates suggest upside to the 2019 forecast, but large new truck inventories and deteriorating freight and rate conditions suggest erring on the side of caution remains the right call: When the change comes, it is likely to come fast.
“Since March 2018, ACT’s forecasts have targeted third quarter 2019 as the quarter in which the supply of Class 8 tractors and demand for freight services were likely to tip so far as to break the current period of peak vehicle production, as demand reverts to the mean,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president. “Current data and anecdotes make a strong case that the call for a third quarter 2019 inflection point expectation remains intact.”
Regarding heavy vehicle demand, Tam said, “At the heart of our cycle duration prediction, carrier profitability and production peaks always lag the freight cycle, so capacity building always accelerates relative to freight growth at exactly the wrong time. Hence, cycle duration ultimately comes down to timing and excluding the pre-buy and housing bubble impacted 2004-2006 cycle, peak of cycle build rates has historically lasted between 13 and 15 months. For this Class 8 cycle, we date peak build rates to June 2018, so we are currently in 12 months.”
Regarding ACT’s medium duty forecasts, Tam said slower orders are negating upward pressure previously exerted on the forecast.
“For trucks, segment analysis preliminary May orders were more than 2,500 units below the 12-month trend, with similar developments in the bus and RV segments leading to a like comparison for the total Classes 5-7 market,” he said.
ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.
More information can be found at .
Double Coin and CMA say Thailand facility now at full capacity
MONROVIA, Calif. — Double Coin and CMA, a tire manufacturer and marketer say their Thailand manufacturing facility is now working at full capacity to produce over-the-road (OTR) and truck bus and radial (TBR) products.
“Our new Thailand manufacturing facility has full OTR and TRB availability and the production capacity to fulfill container-level orders,” said Tim Phillips vice president of marketing operations for Double Coin/CMA. “Not only does this production facility have the capacity to meet the demand for commercial tire products, we are offering them at competitive prices since they are not subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties or tariffs penalties associated with products produced in China. With many of our competitors having to rely on China alone, Double Coin customers will be in an excellent purchasing position in the face of product shortages and higher prices from China.”
Phillips said some U.S. suppliers claim they have production availability in Vietnam or Thailand, but it remains to be seen if older plants in these areas that are already running at full capacity can offer any additional TBR and OTR products.
“The combination of our new state-of-art manufacturing facility and warehousing in Thailand where we can offer very competitive pricing, Double Coin is emerging as the clear choice for TBR and OTR tire products,” Phillips said.
Built on a 3.6 million square-foot site, the Thailand facility has the capacity to manufacture over 1.8 million TBR tires as well as over 50,000 OTR tires. The entire plant is controlled by the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and is integrated with the SAP management system. Plans for expansion at the Thailand facility are currently underway.
“In addition to our production capacity at our Thailand facility, we currently have full capacity of Double Coin tires at our five warehouses in Memphis, Tennessee, Rancho Cucamonga, California, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, San Jose, Costa Rica, and Queretaro, Mexico,” Phillips said.
For more information about Double Coin Tires, visit .