NASHVILLE, Tenn. — PSI and SkyBitz have teamed up to provide fleets using the trailer tire pressure management system with real-time visibility.
More than 40% of trailers sold into the US market are currently equipped with PSI’s tire inflation management system, which continuously monitors tire inflation pressures then adds air as needed to maintain the desired psi.
Al Cohn, director new market development and engineering support with PSI, said his company commands 90% of the total market and that this year there will be more than one million PSI-equipped trailers in service globally.
John Higgins, vice-president of sales for trailer tracking provider SkyBitz, indicated his company boasts 800 customers and tracks 280,000 assets, making it a good fit to team up with PSI.
Today, drivers pulling a PSI-equipped trailer are notified of an air loss by a light mounted on the trailer that’s visible in their mirror. This informs them there is air leaking from one of the trailers and that the system is actively adding air to the affected tire.
However, drivers who ignore the light and don’t report it to maintenance, run the risk of allowing a slow leak to develop into a full-blown roadside failure. Integrating with SkyBitz allows PSI customers to receive alerts in real-time when a tire leak occurs and the PSI system is actively adding air to a tire. Fleets can then prompt drivers to pull over to attend to the issue or schedule the trailer for service when it arrives back in the yard.
“Trailer tires historically have the poorest air pressure on an 18-wheeler,” said Cohn. “By providing tire fault alerts into SkyBitz’s system, customers can monitor tire pressure in real-time and avoid costly roadside breakdowns.”
“We now interface our device so when the light goes off, I capture information about the trailer and communicate it back to whoever is set up to receive this information,” added Higgins. “I can indicate how long the light was on, when it was on and how long the driver went before the vehicle was stopped.”
SkyBitz can also generate reports so that fleets can determine which trailers are experiencing the most tire issues.
PSI itself delivers a payback in less than a year, Cohn said, noting more than 70% of the top US fleets are using the system. Some have seen a tenfold reduction tire-related service calls. Fuel economy improves as well because the trailer tires are always running at the appropriate inflation pressures.
The system is available with ThermAlert, which can prevent tire fires. At a pre-specified temperature, a plug is designed to melt, triggering a loud audible alarm and activating a warning light. This warns the driver a tire fire is imminent and enables them to pull over before it’s too late. More than 50% of PSI systems are being ordered with ThermAlert, Cohn said.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies