Pressure Systems International, the manufacturer of the Meritor Tire Inflation System, has announced a record year for the product in 2006. PSI says MTIS achieved the highest penetration in the new-build OEM market in the history of the company, as well as record sales of aftermarket retrofit units for existing trailers.
“The time has arrived for MTIS by PSI,” says Frank Sonzala, executive vice president of the San Antonio-based company. “The benefits of proper real-time automatic tire inflation have been well established over the past 13 years since PSI pioneered automatic tire inflation. And with fuel prices at an all-time high, it is easy to see why cost-conscious fleets are making MTIS by PSI their standard specification on new trailer builds.”
Al Cohn, director of new product development and engineering support for PSI, added that “in addition to the increasing fuel prices, total tire costs for fleets along with the move to wide-based single tire configurations really mandate that fleets seriously consider automatic tire inflation systems as the number one added spec for their new trailers. MTIS is a proven system with millions of miles of real-world experience, which makes it an obvious choice for many.”
PSI says aftermarket retrofit sales increased considerably over 2005. William “Dub” Shepard, the company’s regional sales manager and North American aftermarket manager, sees the increase in retrofit units “as the logical step for fleets to take so they can get the same benefits of lower fuel and tire costs by adding MTIS to existing trailer equipment, as they do when they add the system to new equipment. Tire damage that can result from improperly inflated tires is reduced as well by installing MTIS, and any time an operation can cut down on the expense of road calls, that’s a plus, so the more trailers equipped, the better for the fleet.”
Steve Ottemann, operations manager for PSI, credited the company’s ability to meet the demands of the increasing market for automatic tire inflation systems to the entire staff of PSI. “During the last year, we had seven record months for shipments, and we couldn’t do that without the efforts put forth by our production teams to meet the increased demands,” Ottemann says. “We’re constantly looking for ways to add efficiency while maintaining our quality, and our people make that possible.”
In June 2006, PSI and ArvinMeritor released the new safety product ThermAlert, an MTIS technology designed to monitor wheel-end temperatures and warn of a possible overheating situation that could lead to wheel-offs or trailer fires. Michael Guay, ArvinMeritor OEM account manager, predicts that ThermAlert will be accepted widely as an option for fleets that plan to specify automatic tire inflation in 2007. “This new product has been thoroughly tested, and many of the initial fleets that added this option have reported positive results in the initial six months of service,” Guay says.
In 2006, PSI launched the Commercial Fleet Tire Digest newsletter as a guide to reducing tire expenditures. In each issue, a topic crucial to improving a commercial fleet’s tire performance will be addressed. Current and archive issues can be accessed at www.psitiredigest.com, or visitors to the site can complete a subscription form to have each issue delivered directly to them.
In addition to announcing the 2006 results, Stephanie Stutes, PSI vice president of finance and chief financial officer, added that “the trend is continuing into 2007, with January results 18.6 percent higher than January 2006, and we are planning for the balance of the year to be positive as well. Our product offers fleets a quick return on their investment, so from a financial standpoint, we would expect the fleet-buying decisions to increasingly include the addition of automatic tire inflation systems to their equipment.”