Automatic Tire Inflation System

Automatic tire inflation systems monitor and continually adjust the level of pressurized air to tires, maintaining proper tire pressure even when the truck is moving.

The system automatically inflates or deflates each tire with compressed nitrogen. The built-in sensors send information to an on-board computer, which detects problems in individual tires before they become significant.

The most common system is run from a central control unit. This control unit contains a compressor with a filter, flow/pressure transducer, computer and battery. The compressed air stored in the tank will inflate all tires simultaneously at a pressure set by the driver before departure. As each tire’s pressure is monitored constantly during travel, it will only begin to inflate again if needed.

One model of system has built-in sensors that can detect overheat conditions and adjust pressures accordingly to ensure the load is evenly distributed across the entire vehicle rather than causing damage due to too much weight on one axle or individual tire.

Another version monitors not just tire pressure but also tire temperature as well as other information such as speed, mileage and location, allowing the driver to optimize tire performance. When combined with sensors that monitor wheel position, direction of travel and vehicle speed, this system can relay information to the on-board computer so it “knows” which tires are overloaded or experiencing unusual stress patterns over time. If overuse is detected, the system will alert the driver by flashing warning lights in the cab.

This type of system is becoming more commonplace as fleets look for ways to save costs on fuel even as tire costs rise due to inflation. Standardizing how tires are inflated across a fleet also ensures safer roads for everyone, especially since many state police forces now measure tire pressure during roadside inspections. Evaporation is less of an issue with automatic systems because they do not rely on driver input.

The system is fairly simple to install and maintain, making it a good choice for fleets that may need to add them as they replace old equipment.

A properly installed and maintained automatic tire inflation system offers many advantages over manual systems: safety, fuel savings and operator convenience. However, some professional drivers might find this type of system annoying because it can slow down the process of checking and maintaining tire pressure.

An automatic inflation system will require regular maintenance checks for proper function, but these are inexpensive relative to the benefits received..