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Small difference, big impact: Keeping track of tire pressure

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Small difference, big impact: keeping track of tire pressure
According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Often in trucking, it takes just a small change to make a big impact. This is especially true in tire pressure, where the difference of a few psi can directly affect mileage, maintenance, and safety.

During National Tire Safety Week, May 20-27, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems stresses that with all that is riding on a truck’s tires — driver safety, operating performance, timely cargo delivery, and more — it’s vital to be sure of the right pressure in them.

Sponsored annually by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), National Tire Safety Week is an initiative aimed at providing information on the essentials of proper tire care and maintenance.

“Proper tire inflation will substantially impact your tire and ultimately your vehicle’s performance,” said Jon Intagliata, Bendix product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). “Fuel consumption can increase, stopping distances can increase, and tread life can decrease if the tires run on significantly different psi than what is recommended by the manufacturer — all of which can dramatically affect a fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long haul, too.”

According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. The more miles driven and the more wheel-ends in a fleet, the bigger the impact those few psi have on the bottom line. Underinflated tires also experience increased stress and generate higher running temperatures, compounding the risk of tire blowouts – about 90 percent of which are the result of underinflation, according to industry studies.

Real-Time Info on the Road

“Gradual tire pressure loss can be difficult to detect, and you could be quite a way down the road before you have a chance to notice it at the next spot check,” Intagliata said. “That’s why the best tool for tracking the proper psi on each tire is a technology like the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System by Bendix CVS – or the SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailers: When drivers get real-time information and pressure alerts, they’re better equipped for safer trucking. Early notification makes all the difference in addressing problems before they become hazards.”

It takes as little as a 5 psi difference between dual-mounted tires to create problems, including irregular or accelerated tire wear.

Bendix uses wheel-mounted sensors inside the tires on its SmarTire systems, allowing the TPMS to continuously monitor temperature inside the tire as well as pressure. This means the system can provide a deviation value showing the amount of overinflation or underinflation from the tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP), automatically taking into account any increase in pressure due to temperature to provide early alerts of tire pressure issues. Reading temperature also helps the system alert the driver to potential wheel-end issues, such as dragging brakes, and may help the driver mitigate potential tire fires.

Fleets running TPMS-equipped vehicles can also use the system data to shape their tire strategy and maintenance plans by using a back-office system like SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS – a web portal that allows analysis of real-time information from TPMS and other connected safety technologies. Fleets can maximize uptime by planning vehicle service in advance and more effectively address issues such as frequent tire replacements and tire failures on the road.

High Tech, High Stakes

As vehicle safety technologies have advanced and higher regulatory standards have evolved – antilock brakes, Reduced Stopping Distance requirements, and the full-stability mandate, for instance – the importance of tires in good condition running at proper inflation has increased. Moving forward, collision mitigation and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) remain dependent upon precise and controlled interaction among the men and women behind the wheel, their vehicles, and the road itself – where tires are the sole point of contact.

“Today’s integrated vehicles mean you need to equip the best set of tools on your tractor and trailer to maximize performance,” Intagliata said. “TPMS can play a critical role to guarantee your advanced safety systems – including air disc brakes and advanced driver assistance technologies – are functioning at the optimal levels.”

According to Intagliata, “Like any safety system, a TPMS is meant to complement safe driving practices and is not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No technology can replace skilled, alert drivers exercising safe habits, or the support of proactive, comprehensive driver training – the safe operation of any vehicle remains with the driver at all times.”

Bendix® SmarTire and SafetyDirect are part of Bendix’s full suite of technologies delivering safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, backed by unparalleled post-sales support: areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators. By strengthening return on investment in advanced equipment that puts drivers behind the wheels of safer trucks, Bendix lowers total cost of ownership and helps enhance highway safety across North America.

To learn more about Bendix TPMS, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit bendix.com. For deeper insight on Bendix technology and the commercial vehicle landscape through podcasts, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Knowledge Dock at knowledge-dock.com.

 

 

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Kenworth to collaborate with Meritor on T680E Electric powertrain development

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concept photo of Kenworth electric model
The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4x2 and 6x4 axles and as a 6x4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth has announced it will collaborate with Meritor on electric powertrain development for Class 8 Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicles.

The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4×2 and 6×4 axles and as a 6×4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

“The Kenworth T680E development in collaboration with Meritor is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth’s evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Initial production of the Kenworth T680E is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2020 and ramp through 2021.”

Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan.

“We look forward to working closely with Kenworth to help develop the Kenworth T680E as an important, viable battery-electric answer for the day cab market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor.

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New Kenworth parts, service locations now open in Maryland and Nebraska

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Kenworth service location in Maryland
West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City, Iowa, and located along Highway 275, a major trucking route in the area. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

WESTMINSTER, Md. And West Point, Neb. — Kenworth now offers additional locations for parts and services. Mid Atlantic Kenworth has added a full-service location in Westminster, Maryland, while Sioux Falls Kenworth has opened a new parts and services dealership in West Point, Nebraska.

Maryland

In Westminster, Maryland, the 17,400-square-foot facility features a full parts and service department, with 10 service bays to maximize customer uptime for truck operators passing through the area. A drivers’ lounge is available to customers while their trucks are serviced.

The facility, Kenworth Mid Atlantic Westminster is located on three acres, which offers customers ample room to park their trucks.

The Westminster, Maryland facility is located at 821 Baltimore Blvd. and its hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Nebraska

With its new parts and service dealership in West Point, Nebraska, Sioux Falls Kenworth can now offer expanded support to fleets and operators in the greater Sioux City, Iowa area.

West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City and located along Highway 275. The 12,800-square-foot building is situated on 3.5 acres. The facility features an 8,600-square-foot service department with eight service bays. Also included is a 1,200-square-foot parts retail display area and a 1,900-square-foot space for bulk storage.

The West Point facility is located at 1805 Sycamore St. in West Point. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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Agility partners with XStream Trucking to distribute aerodynamic TruckWings

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a patented design allows truckwings to swing out and retract
The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract at lower speeds. (Courtesy: Agility Fuel Solutions)

COSTA MESA, Cali. — Agility Fuel Solutions and XStream Trucking have announced that Agility will be the exclusive distributor of Xstream’s TruckWings aerodynamic systems for compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks in North America. Agility will also distribute TruckWings on a non-exclusive basis to the diesel truck market.

The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract against the rear of the cab at lower speeds to leave room for turning maneuvers.

“TruckWings is the first device which completely solves the turbulence problem created by the open area between the tractor and trailer that contributes significantly to a truck’s overall aerodynamic drag,” said Daniel Burrows, XStream Trucking’s founder and CEO. “We are pleased to now partner with Agility to offer TruckWings as a factory option for CNG trucks in North America.”

Agility, a business area of Hexagon Composites ASA, and XStream Trucking have previously partnered to provide TruckWings systems for over 750 CNG trucks used by major fleet operators. Agility’s leadership in providing clean fuel solutions for commercial vehicles coupled with its extensive customer base and value-added aftermarket services will expand XStream’s TruckWings solution to reach the growing CNG truck market throughout North America.

“Agility’s trucking fleet customers are focused on fuel cost savings and on increasing the fuel economy of their CNG trucks. TruckWings are a great answer to this problem, as we’ve demonstrated in real-world use with some of our major fleet customers,” said Eric Bippus, Agility’s senior vice president of global sales and marketing. “We are very pleased to enter into this distribution agreement and to continue to work with XStream Trucking to deliver clean and efficient transportation solutions for the North American trucking market.”

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