Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Mike first became aware of the benefit of having a tire pressure monitoring system when he drove solo and regionally for one motor carrier. (See a photo at right of this device installed on the rim of an outside trailer tire.)
He was preparing to take off after his mandatory 10-hour rest break as soon as he finished his pre-trip inspection.
Using his handy-dandy tire thumper, he inspected the various parts of his tractor and trailer, thumping tires to "hear" if they were properly inflated.
(Note: We know that using the tire thumper method of checking tire pressure can be inaccurate; still, it can detect some problems to the skilled listener. For the most accurate tire pressure readings, use a tire pressure gauge like the one shown here.)
The sounds as he bounced the tire thumper off the tires went like this:
"Uh-oh," Mike thought as he heard that thud. "I've got a flat."
So, he contacted his driver manager about the problem.
No problem, Mike heard him say. You've got a tire pressure monitoring system on that trailer. If everything else is okay, just roll down the road about 100 miles and see if the tire will reinflate.
Reinflate? Wow! What a concept! It sure would save Mike some time not having to stop to get a repair done.
(Back in those days when he drove regionally, he was not paid "breakdown pay" or anything extra any time he stopped for a repair. Breakdowns and getting repair work done can affect a driver's ability to earn money. Since he was paid by the mile at that time, no miles meant no pay. That's the way it worked.)
So, Mike did as he was instructed. About 100 miles up the road, Mike parked his rig and checked the tire. Sure enough, that tire pressure monitoring system reinflated the tire that had had low pressure. Cool!
There is another kind of tire pressure monitor, but one that just tells you at a glance whether or not your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure. It doesn't reinflate tires. It's actually a tire pressure equalization system.
The Crossfire Dual™ Tire Pressure Equalization System is designed to show one of three colors:
This is the kind of system on the some of tractor and trailer tires that Mike now hauls with his local truck driving job.
It should be pointed out that this system only shows a driver at a glance the inflation of tires. Increasing or decreasing the pressure in the tires so monitored must be done manually.
There's no sense in paying to have a tire pressure equalization system on your tires if you won't keep the pressure where it needs to be. With such a system in place, strive to keep the "yellow" or "proper inflation" color at all times.
Money saving tip: Having your tires properly inflated provides these benefits:
A tire pressure monitoring system allows you to maintain proper inflation of your tires to provide all these benefits. Given the prices of tires these days, you need to get as much mileage out of them as possible.
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