Chet busts tyre pressure myths

The trucking industry has worked on the principle there is one optimum set of tyre pressures that is perfect for your truck for all conditions.

This is a proven myth that has cost the industry billions of dollars. 100 psi is reducing profits and income.

This article will show why it’s incredibly important to match vehicle tyre pressures with Loads and Road Conditions.

All major tyre manufacturers, tyre and rim associations, and even the NHVR’s PBS Tyre Review state the correct truck tyre pressures depend upon the load on each tyre.

  • Heavily loaded tyres need high tyre pressures.
  • Empty trucks need a lot less tyre pressure.
  • Steer tyres are the heaviest loaded tyres, needing the highest pressures.
  • Drive tyres carry a tonne less load each, and need lower tyre pressures.
  • Tri axle trailers carry the lightest load, just over half the load on the steer tyres, requiring even less tyre pressures.

Pictured top is tyre pressure recommendations from Bridgestone and Michelin, as presented to transport engineers at the NHVR PBS Tyre Review in Sydney, early in 2020.

Michelin representatives stated at the 2015 Technical and Maintenance Conference: “These load-based tyre pressures will provide the best traction, the best safety, the best tyre life, and the best performance. Any other pressure will reduce performance and cost you money.”

There are many advantages to matching tyre pressures with the right conditions

  • Braking distance is reduced by 15 per cent, improving on-road safety.
  • Tyre slip angle is reduced by 15 per cent. Tyre life is increased substantially.
  • Uneven tyre wear and 60 per cent of punctures and staking are eliminated.
  • Drive train loads reduce by at least 30 per cent. Suspension wear and tear reduces by 80 per cent.
  • Vibration damage, both to the driver, and the truck, is reduced significantly.
  • Road damage reduces substantially.
  • Less CO2 and less environmental damage.

Central Tyre Inflation changes the way we look at tyres It’s a computer controlled system that makes it easy to adjust tyre pressures while driving.

By improving safety and profitability, CTI is a superb investment for any business.

  • CTI warns the driver if a tyre problem occurs.
  • Tyre pressures can be set manually, or automatically with air suspension.
  • The driver can monitor tyre pressures in real time.
  • Dual tyre pressures are always matched.
  • Stopping under inflation on the road, reduces fuel consumption and tyre wear.
  • CTI automatically keeps leaking tyres inflated.

This reduces tyre blow outs and the need for expensive roadside call-outs. The biggest savings are hidden. With AIR CTI, trucks last longer. This spreads the truck investment, and the finance costs over a longer period of time, saving huge amounts of money.

A semi trailer rig costs around $300-$400K, with a resale price of around $100k.

Hence, in real terms, the total vehicle price will be at least $200,000 over its working life. The truck must generate sufficient money over its life to meet this cost. If a truck works well for 10 years, its cost is going to be $200k/10, which is an average truck cost of $20,000 per year.

AIR CTI will increase the truck life to 14 years Now the total vehicle cost is cost is spread over 14 years: $200k/14 = $14,285 cost per year.

That is a saving of $5,700 per year, or a saving over the life of the truck of $79,000.

Where the truck has a greater intrinsic value, the total savings over its life span will be higher.

Finance Costs

If the semi rig is financed at five per cent interest over five years, finance will be $15K per year, or $75K total.

  • Over 10 years, this finance cost will be $7,500 per year.
  • Over 14 years, this cost reduces to $5,357 per year.

This saves $2,100 per year, or more than $29,000 over the life of your truck.

Fuel savings will save $1,000 per year, or $14,000 over the life of your truck. Tyre savings will be at least $5,000 per year, adding another $70,000 to your bottom line.

Service and Maintenance savings (type A and B) will be typically $5,500 per year, or $77,000 over a 14 year lifespan.

This works out to an annual maintenance savings of $20,700, or $290,000 over 14 years.

The initial cost of just over $20,000 (to fit CTI to 22 tyres) provides an astounding 1,400 per cent return on investment over the life of the truck.

The reduction in down time, the reduction in accidents and breakdowns, mean greater productivity and more income.

Both customers and truck drivers will reap the advantages of this system.

Using science and manufacturer recommendations will save a lot of money, and improve incomes, while making trucking safer and greener. Everyone wins by simply using the free air in your tyres as a tool to optimise operations. Everyone wins.

Let your accountant examine this data and perform their own analysis.

The savings are real.

If you need more information, or wish to discuss this analysis, call Air CTI on 0427 110 203, or email

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