Is a tire pressuring monitoring system a necessary piece of equipment?
By Jim Samocki
The dangers of buses and motorcoaches rolling down the road on under-inflated tires are no secret. Fleet managers know they can maximize tire life and improve safety simply by maintaining proper air pressures. Nonetheless, they also struggle with how to implement a reliable, cost effective solution. Despite their best intentions to manage tire pressures through preventive maintenance programs and tire programs, it continues to be a significant challenge to keep the air pressure at or near the manufacturer recommended levels.
Tires lose air pressure over time and proper gauging is time consuming, dirty, often error-filled and sometimes painful — especially on inside duals. Getting the same PSI on the tire gauge at different intervals does not always happen. All this has led to the all too common practice of “thumping ‘em” to feel if tires are filled enough. Obviously, this is a very poor substitute for proper PSI gauging.
A reliable tire pressure monitoring system is reliable and more cost effective alternative for accurate tire pressures digitally in real-time at the press of a button. Optimally programmed, a system such as the Doran 360™ can trigger audible and visual alerts when the pressure in a tire drops below the recommended level. A dash-mounted 12-volt LCD monitor/display allows for a customizable baseline tire pressure for each tire position by programming each wireless valve stem mounted sensor to specific location on the display. In addition to the standard alarms at 12.5 percent and 25 percent below the baseline pressure, a patent pending FastLeak™ alarm is activated with any drop of 2.8psi in less than 12 seconds. The system also features alarms for high temperatures and high pressures.
A growing number of fleet operations are discovering they can justify their investment in tire pressure monitoring systems by the savings in redirecting costs allocated to tire maintenance programs. They are realizing extended tire life, protection of casings and minimal costly road calls relating to catastrophic tire failures.
Fleet managers can capture tire pressure readings off the onboard system to minimize dependence on the driver to acknowledge a tire pressure alarm and fix the problem. The data is useful in proactively identifying problems, improving driver training and enhancing tire management programs.
Overall, tire pressure monitoring systems are proving to be a reliable and durable solution with low on-going maintenance costs.
Jim Samocki is general manager at Doran Manufacturing, Cincinnati, OH.