Commercial vehicles: Automatic tire inflation for commercial fleets

Commercial vehicles fleet maintenance vehicle maintenance Meritor P S I tire inflation commercial fleets

San Antonio—Vehicle maintenance: Meritor Inc. (NYSE:MTOR) and Pressure Systems International (P.S.I.) celebrated P.S.I.’s 20-year history of producing automatic tire inflation systems for commercial vehicles during their Annual Fleet Technology Event held May 7-8 in San Antonio, Texas.

Automatic tire inflation as a new technology for commercial vehicles was born in San Antonio in 1993 when Marvin L. Berry, P.S.I.’s founder, acquired a patent for an inflation system to solve a tire-wear problem for an aggregate hauling fleet of 250-plus trailers that he owned. During the next twenty years, with product improvements and a partnership with Meritor, P.S.I. has maintained and built upon its leadership role in automatic tire inflation systems. Attendees at the 20th Anniversary Fleet Event included representatives from many fleets who have played an important role in the development of P.S.I.’s automatic tire inflation system and its acceptance by fleets. One was Steve Maxson, vice president of equipment, Averritt Express who addressed the group as the recipient of P.S.I.’s 20th Anniversary Fleet of the Month award for May. Also, Congratulation on the 20 Year Anniversary, via a live video feed, was received from Governor Bill Graves, president and CEO, American Trucking Association.

Brock Ackerman, president of K&B Carriers, opened the Wednesday morning session with a presentation outlining his fleet¹s recent success using the Meritor Tire Inflation System by P.S.I. In 2011 when K&B Carriers was starting to replace their entire trailer fleet of 975 reefer units, Ackerman attended his first Meritor/P.S.I. Fleet Technology Event to look at MTIS for his equipment. He immediately made the decision to retrofit 150 trailers just off the assembly line and add the system to the remaining 825 units on order with Wabash. Since outfitting this trailer fleet with MTIS, Ackerman told the attendees that they have lowered operating costs from decreased tire wear, increased fuel mileage due to proper and uniform tire inflation, have reduced their CSA points at scales and inspection sites, increased profitability through better equipment utilization and  enhanced their customer service. He estimated an annual savings for his company of $582,120 with a reduction in operating cost per mile from reduced tire wear based on sixty-nine million miles operated last year at $.0084. Ackerman concluded his presentation “MTIS has been the best business decision we've made for our fleet.  What I saw when I visited P.S.I. in 2011 convinced me that MTIS and the people that represent it would positively influence our bottom line and our customer service. Our experience has now confirmed that.” K&B Carriers, a premier refrigerated carrier specializing in the transportation of perishable food products, was established in 1986 with a history of steady growth. The company is privately held, owner managed and staffed by a dedicated team of transportation professionals.

Other presentations and demonstrations featured during the 2013 Twentieth Anniversary Fleet Event included:

•    The ThermALERT option, an early warning system to prevent wheel end failures. ThermALERT is a patented warning device that signals drivers of excessive wheel end heat and has become popular with fleets because of its safety and cost savings benefits. It is now included on more than half of MTIS production.
•    The simple design of MTIS. With only one moving part--the patented rotary union--the system is easy to install on new trailers and as a retrofit.  And, it requires little to no maintenance.
•    A full retrofitting of a used trailer with MTIS by P.S.I. Began at 8 a.m. by Velociti, a P.S.I. partner, it was completed, with one man, in fewer than four hours showing how quickly retrofitting can be accomplished.
•    P.S.I.’s mobile R&D facility, a tractor and trailer completely outfitted with new technologies being developed and tested in real on-highway operations.
•    A facilities tour including a newly remodeled west wing featuring additional offices and conference area, a new test laboratory and a display showcase area with hands on working models.
The Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS) by P.S.I. was in use on trailers operated by 70 percent of the Top 100 for-hire carriers and 60 percent of the Top 100 private carriers in North America during 2012.  MTIS by P.S.I. is supported by P.S.I.’s dedicated sales force including full-time field service managers along with the entire Meritor DriveForce and CVA fleet sales team and the North American Trailer OEM sales force.  MTIS by P.S.I. adds life to tires, increases fuel efficiency, improves safety, maximizes recap potential, and keeps trailers on the road, ultimately delivering loads on time. The fully automatic system keeps trailer tires inflated to the proper pressure.  MTIS by P.S.I. has been the market leader since 1993.

For more information about Pressure Systems International or other tire inflation products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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