Haulmax talks trailer tyres at VTA State Conference

Shane Morrissy, the CEO of Haulmax Tyres, started a conversation at the VTA State Conference this week about the importance of monitoring, measuring and maintaining trailer tyres.

In his presentation, Morrissy emphasised it is not just the cost of the tyre to consider but fuel efficiency is another aspect to consider when it comes to tyres and maintenance.

“In today’s environment, this should be more topical than ever,” he told the delegates in attendance. “One pressure doesn’t rule them all – with so many variables in trailer axle loads based on setup and application it is more important than ever to ensure that the right pressure is being run.”

When tyres are under-inflated the contact pressure with the road surface becomes uneven which can cause drag and more load on the tyres increases the wear rate.

The rolling resistance of an under-inflated tyres, according to Morrissy, increases as it requires more energy.

“Keeping tyres correctly inflated helps to minimise tyre cost per kilometre, saving on fuel costs,” he said – adding that driving on under-inflated tyres places excess stress on the tyre shoulders causing uneven wear. “Under-inflated tyres heat up more rapidly than correctly inflated tyres and in extreme cases can lead to tyre failure. They can also slip during cornering and require more effort to turn the steering wheel increasing wear on the steering system as well as cause internal separations and delaminating inside the tyre.”

Meanwhile, over-inflation causes high wear in the centre of the tread and can cause zipper failures, which Shane explained is the tearing of the cord in all steel truck tyres.

A study conducted in the US on a typical 18-wheel setup involving a two-steer, eight-drive and eight trailer tyres – ‘Commercial Trailer Tires: Tire Inflation and its Effect on Rolling Resistance, Fuel Economy, and Tire Footprint’ – running 295/75RR22.5 tyres showed that at optimum inflation, trailer tyres account for approx. 40 per cent of the fuel economy contribution.

It was found that the lower the tyre pressure, the lower the fuel economy. A tyre unde-rinflated by up to 30 per cent was shown in this study to reduce fuel economy by up to 4.0 per cent.

“That’s based on eight trailer tyres,” said Morrissy. “Imagine the impact over 24 tyres on a standard B-double or a triple combination with up to 60-plus tyres.”

Wheel alignment also factors into heavy vehicle efficiency.

During an inspection there are three key aspects to a tyre/wheel alignment including camber, tow and caster.

“If any of these are misaligned it can reduce the efficiency of your tyres,” said Morrissy.

He pointed to examples of truck and trailer combinations with variations in trailer axle groupings.

Haulmax Tyres trade stand at VTA State Conference 2022.

Ultimately, Haulmax Tyres presents a range of options for heavy vehicle operators, manufacturers and workshops that are fit for purpose.

Morrissy’s team at the forefront of innovation in trailer tyre engineering.

One such application includes ATT105 – Pilbara.

“Our brief was to reduce stone damage and stone retention for long haul mining vehicle trailers travelling 700-plus kilometres each way,” said Morrissy. “We started by reimagining what a trailer tyre could and should be and engineered it from the ground up.”

The tyre specialist also runs the Haulmax Wingman 24/7 national tyre assist program and has more than 275 dealer partners throughout Australia.

“Support your local tyre service while having the comfort of coverage in more areas than any other network,” said Morrissy. “With 24/7 coverage, simply call our 1300 number and let us do the rest.”

Australia’s largest family-owned tyre innovator and distributor, Australian Tyre Traders, is dedicated to providing industry leading outcomes with their approach to developing quality tyres and assisting fleets access cost savings and performance improvement through Haulmax Tyres.

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