Mike first became aware of the benefit of having a tire pressure monitoring system when he drove solo and regionally for one motor carrier.
(You can see a photo of such a device installed on the rim of an outside trailer tire here.)
He was preparing to take off after his mandatory 10-hour rest break as soon as he finished his pre-trip inspection.
Using his handy-dandy tire thumper, he inspected the various parts of his tractor and trailer, thumping tires to “hear” if they were properly inflated.
Tire Thumper Versus Tire Pressure Gauge
We are fully aware that using the tire thumper method of checking tire pressure can be inaccurate.
However, it can detect some problems to the skilled listener. We’ll pick up on this true account shortly…
For the most accurate tire pressure readings, use a tire pressure gauge like the one shown here from Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship.
Back to what happened with Mike…
The sounds of the tire thumper bouncing off the tires down the driver’s side of his rig went like this:
- Steer tire: “Thump”;
- Front pair of drive tires: “Thump-thump”;
- Back pair of drive tires: “Thump-thump”;
- Front pair of trailer tires: “Thump-thud“.
“Uh-oh,” Mike thought as he heard that thud. “I’ve got a flat.”
Dealing With a Tire Inflation Problem
In a flash, Mike envisioned having to take the trailer to a shop somewhere and wait for the tire to be fixed or replaced.
How long was that going to take?
So, he contacted his driver manager about the problem.
No problem, Mike heard him say.
You’ve got a tire pressure monitoring system on that trailer.
If everything else is okay, just roll down the road about 100 miles and see if the tire will reinflate.
Wow! What a concept!
It sure would save Mike some time not having to stop to get a repair done.
Back in those days when he drove regionally, he was not paid “breakdown pay” or anything extra any time he stopped for a repair.
Breakdowns and getting repair work done can affect a driver’s ability to earn money.
Since Mike was paid by the mile at that time, no miles meant no pay.
That’s the way it worked.
So, Mike did as he was instructed.
The Result of Having a Tire Pressure Monitoring System Installed and Working
About 100 miles up the road, Mike parked his rig and checked the tire.
Sure enough, that tire pressure monitoring system reinflated the tire that had had low pressure!
There is another kind of tire pressure monitor, but one that just tells you at a glance whether or not your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure. It doesn’t reinflate tires. It’s actually a tire pressure equalization system.
The Crossfire Dual™ Tire Pressure Equalization System is designed to show one of three colors:
This is the kind of system on the some of tractor and trailer tires that Mike hauled in one of his local truck driving jobs.
It should be pointed out that this system only shows a driver at a glance the inflation of tires.
Increasing or decreasing the pressure in the tires so monitored must be done manually.
There’s no sense in paying to have a tire pressure equalization system on your tires if you won’t keep the pressure where it needs to be.
With such a system in place, strive to keep the “yellow” or “proper inflation” color at all times.
Money saving tip: Having your tires properly inflated provides these benefits:
- maximizes your tires’ life expectancies;
- saves fuel;
- keeps you safe (by not impeding performance);
- assists with handling;
- helps prevent accidents.
A tire pressure monitoring system allows you to maintain proper inflation of your tires to provide all these benefits.
Given the prices of tires these days, you need to get as much mileage out of them as possible.