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The Importance Of Proper Tire Pressure Monitoring

One of the tasks that every truck driver must complete in their pre-trip inspection is measuring the pressure on each of the tires. This is important for several reasons including, semi-truck safety, improved fuel efficiency and longer tire life. When it's particularly cold, windy and wet out, however, truckers may be tempted to skip this step, or only measure the pressure in the outside tires. While it's understandable that they don't want to be out in the cold any longer than necessary, this is a potentially dangerous practice. For this reason, many fleets incorporate Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), which continually monitor the tires for both pressure and temperature.

Improved Safety

Properly inflated tires are vital to the safety of any fleet. If tires lack proper inflation, it increases the distance it takes to stop the vehicle, which can lead to accidents, especially on slick winter roads. Additionally, under-inflation reduces the overall handling capabilities of the truck, meaning it is harder to navigate turns and curves and more difficult to maneuver it in heavy traffic situations. While it's up to the driver to check the pressure and adjust it accordingly, some drivers don't always follow protocol. When a TPMS is used, the driver receives an alert when tire pressure is low, thus, allowing them to address the problem in a timely manner, which helps to avoid these issues entirely.

Increased Fuel-Efficiency

Federal law requires that all heavy duty trucks achieve improved levels of fuel-economy by 2018. Tire pressure plays a major role in accomplishing this goal. In fact, under-inflated tires cause the truck's engine to work harder, which increases fuel consumption. It is imperative, therefore, that the tires are kept at the manufacturer's recommended pressure at all times. That means checking the pressure before each trip, and anytime it appears that the tires are low on air. With a TPMS, this is done automatically, reducing the amount of time a driver has to spend each time, while still ensuring the tires are properly inflated.

Extended Tire Life

On the low end, semi-truck tires cost, on average, right around $500 a piece. It's easy to see why, then, it's important to extend the life of every tire on every vehicle within a fleet. The alternative is replacing tires more often than necessary, which eats into a company's profit margins. What's more, tires that are chronically low on air are prone to uneven wear, which leads to a myriad of problems including missing tread, thin tire walls and increases the potential for flats, blowouts and other problems on the road. A reasonable deduction would be then, that keeping tires inflated correctly saves money by reducing the number of tires needing to be replaced for each vehicle.

If you're a truck driver, or you own a fleet of trucks, checking tire pressure should be at the top of your list of important tasks. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with under-inflated tires that are potentially dangerous, gobble up fuel at increased levels, and need to be replaced more often than you'd like. By installing TPMS in your vehicles, you can minimize this issue so you can focus on what matters most, getting that cargo where it needs to be in a timely fashion.