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Meritor-PSI: Automatic tire inflation system helps fuel economy, tire life, company says

The Meritor Tire Pressure Inflation System by PSI is on 70 percent of the top 200 for-hire and private fleets in North America.

The Meritor Tire Pressure Inflation System by PSI is on 70 percent of the top 200 for-hire and private fleets in North America.

The annual Meritor-Pressure Systems International Fleet Technology Event was held Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas, where Meritor talked about the benefits of its automatic tire inflation system

The Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS) by PSI increases tire life, fuel economy and safety, Meritor says, by helping to compensate for pressure losses resulting from typical tire punctures and other slow leaks.

Unlike equalization systems that distribute air from tire one tire to another, or monitoring systems that tell when a tire has lost air pressure, the MTIS uses compressed air from the trailer’s air system to inflate any tire below a preset pressure whenever the vehicle is in operation.

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Frank Sonzala, executive vice president of sales and marketing for PSI, said his company invented their automatic tire pressure system 22 years ago, and it is the ATIS of choice on 70 percent of the top 200 for-hire and private fleets in North America.

“Nearly 90 percent of fleets using ATIS are using MTIS by PSI in North America,” he said.

Al Cohn, director of new market development and engineering support for PSI, said tire inflation is the No. 1 issue fleets face in tire care, and tires are the No. 1 cause of roadside breakdowns.

“Ninety percent of alligators on the road are due to underinflation,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a bad retread.”

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves spoke at the Meritor-PSI Fleet Technology Event in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday.

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves spoke at the Meritor-PSI Fleet Technology Event in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves was the keynote speaker at the event, speaking about looming changes he sees coming to trucking.

“I see a bright future for this industry,” Graves said. “There was 10 billion tons of freight moved last year, and by 2023, predictions show there will be 11.5 billion tons moved. The trajectory of the industry is going in the right direction, and I think it’ll get even stronger. The average length of a haul will come down, but that’s right in the trucking sweet spot.”

Graves said with the looming expiration of the stopgap highway funding measure on May 31, he and the ATA are pushing for Congress to come up with a long-term bill.

“MAP-21 expires in 18 days,” he said. “Congress has to do something. They’re going to break for Memorial Day and not be back by the end of the month, so really they have eight days to get something done. I expect them to do another extension of the highway bill and try to find $11 billion and kick the can down the road until December. Roads and bridges aren’t free or cheap, and Congress has to recognize how important they are in this country. Ultimately, something will get done, but it will be a drawn-out process.”

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.