TRAILER-TIRE MONITORING

Fleets and drivers will soon be able to deploy the claimed fuel-economy and safety benefits of the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on their trailers.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems says it will release the system in the third quarter of 2012 as an aftermarket retrofit kit. A typical kit would consist of eight wheel sensors, harnessing, and a wireless receiver. The company also intends to make it available to OE trailer manufacturers.

SmarTire technology continuously monitors the pressure and temperature of each vehicle tire to provide real-time tire status information to the driver or maintenance technician. When paired with the latest version of SmarTire for tractors, the new system will wirelessly link with the trailer, displaying both the truck and the trailer tire information on the existing TPMS display.

It warns the driver of tire-related problems before they pose a safety hazard. The temperature-compensation feature — an “exclusive”, says Bendix — allows the system to provide earlier warnings of a tire problem. Particularly relevant for trailers, the high-temperature warning is potentially invaluable feature that can warn the driver of problems like an overheated wheel-end due to a bearing or brake issue.

SmarTire TPMS provides drivers with the information they need to keep tires properly inflated, thus extending tire life.

The in-vehicle dash display provides information including actual tire pressure and temperature for each wheel location, along with a deviation value that shows the amount of over- or underinflation from each tire’s cold inflation pressure. This deviation value provides the user a deviation from target pressure, regardless of tire temperature, an important gauge because tire pressure rises when a tire’s temperature increases from use or outside conditions.
 
Industry-wide, Bendix notes that underinflation and excessive heat are responsible for 90% of tire failures, and almost half of all emergency service road calls are tire-related.

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