Peace of mind for waste management drivers


Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

Smooth running tires assure peace of mind for drivers concerning their vehicles. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) constantly monitor tire pressures and warn of low tire pressures. Only about 10 percent of tire-induced breakdowns are due to sudden tire damage; the remaining 90 percent start with slow leaks. However, drivers usually notice this gradual air loss too late, and more serious consequences arise such as being stranded on the road (or a bridge) with a blowout, causing a delay in their schedule. TPMS identifies these slow leaks and warns the driver in time—before the tire risks irreversible damage and disintegrates. The driver can react immediately and avoid problems on the road; inflating a tire and/or fixing a tire is less costly than buying a new one and/ or repairing your vehicle.

Correctly inflated tires ensure the best vehicle handling and shortest braking distances. Monitoring helps avoid unexpected and unnecessary tire-induced vehicle downtime and the ensuing ramifications. In most cases, an investment in a TPMS will pay for itself on the very first occasion a puncture is detected, via preventing further major costs and downtime.

Major Components of TPMS
Although there are many types of TPMS on the market today, the most user friendly ones are those that have the sensors externally mounted (the sensors replace the valve stem caps rather than those which are internally installed inside the tires). There are two major components to most tire pressure monitoring systems:

  • Sensors—They simply screw onto the valve stems, replacing the caps. Sensors continuously assess the tire pressures, and wirelessly transmit each tire’s pressure to the monitor, located in the dash area. One can even check pressures while driving down the road.
  • Monitor (dash-mounted)—Reads up to 34 tires (up to 64 tires for tractor-trailers). Most types of monitors can either be plugged into the cigarette lighter receptacle, or they can be hard-wired.

Refuse truck companies already know that more fuel is being used when they have underinflated tires that will result in an “early death”; the resulting expense is significant. The Department of Transportation Economic Analyses estimates that 37 percent of all tires on American roadways are underinflated. Tires running low on pressure require more fuel to overcome rolling resistance, thus robbing the driver and the company of getting better gas mileage and reducing tire costs. Properly inflated tires will reduce wear and tear on tires also, cutting down on accidents caused by blow-outs, etc. In addition, low-pressure tires have decreased tire life due to the added sidewall flexing. Furthermore, low-pressure tires require greater braking distances and cause deteriorated handling and performance, meaning less safety for the driver and others on the road.

By investing in a tire pressure monitoring system, drivers can experience less downtime and decreasing costs while extending tire life and improving performance. Because there is an increasing cost of petroleum, tires, insurance, downtime and maintenance costs, interest in tire pressure monitoring is sparking like never before. In every market, from refuse trucks, light trucks, tractor/trailers and industrial equipment, truckers are recognizing the importance of tire pressure—on fuel use, tread wear, tire life, time performance, safety and, now, environmentally.

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