It’s generally agreed that tyres account for a major proportion of overall truck running costs and that there’s a proven correlation between correct tyre pressures and maximised tyre life.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why fleet operators would consider a tyre pressure maintenance system (TPMS) a worthwhile investment.
Not only does a TPMS ensure optimum tyre life, it also guards against premature wheel end bearing wear caused by inequitable pressures in dual tyre sets.
According to Ian Thomson, Engineering Manager at BPW Transpec, the BPW AirSave system has been designed to provide trailer fleet operators with a supremely reliable and durable solution for tyre pressure management.
“This is our own system that we fit in our factory in Melbourne, whereas in the past we used third-party systems that had a more complex and potentially less reliable connection of the air line through the hubcap,” Ian says.
“The key advantage of TPMS is in maintaining equal pressures across all axles in the grouping, and particularly between dual tyre sets, at all times.”
The components in BPW’s AirSave system include a control box, warning light, an AirSave hub cap adapter with valve tube on each wheel end and pneumatic hoses which run through the centre of the axles to connect each tyre to the system.
Ian emphasises that the control unit which maintains the pre-set inflation levels is self-contained on the trailer and draws its air supply from the existing braking system tanks. This means operators can change trailers without having to disconnect and reconnect additional cables and lines.
“Once the pressure is set there is no need for the operator to touch it and there’s no link to the prime mover, which makes changing trailers easier and more efficient,” Ian says.
“An indicator light located near the front of the trailer warns the operator that there is a tyre air pressure leak that needs to be attended to.”
Ian stresses that the system is not designed to fully inflate tyres from flat, but rather to maintain the correct pressure across all tyres on the trailer and, if a leak occurs, to alert the operator that a tyre or tyres need attention.
As such, he says it is designed for linehaul applications and in particular B-doubles where there are a lot of tyres to keep track of in terms of maintaining correct air pressures.
“Improved tyre and wheel bearing life are the significant factors where BPW’s AirSave can make a difference for operators of trucks doing long distance work,” Ian says.
On the topic of super single tyres that are widely used on semi-trailers in Europe, Ian says he believes they will start to become more common in Australia due to a number of benefits over duals.
“We expect to see super singles becoming increasingly more prevalent in the market – there are already some projects kicking off in that direction,” Ian says.
“That certainly helps with monitoring tyres because there are a lot less of them – half, in fact.
“They also have lower rolling resistance for an equivalent radius tyre because there are only two sidewalls flexing instead of four with duals.”
Ian mentions that it is equally important for correct tyre pressures to be maintained when running super singles as it is with duals, adding that half the number of tyres simplifies the process of installing AirSave to trailers thus equipped.
“Incorrect inflation pressures in super singles leads to increased edge and shoulder tread wear compared with duals, so it’s highly beneficial to have a TPMS fitted to help avoid these issues and maximise tyre life,” he says.
Another area, Ian explains, where correct tyre pressures are paramount is on trailers running low-profile tyres on 17.5-, 19.5- or 22.5-inch rims.
“Generally, the lower the tyre profile the hotter they run, particularly on long distance work, and therefore it’s even more important to maintain correct and equal tyre pressures,” Ian says. “In these applications AirSave really comes into its own, giving operators peace of mind that their tyres are always operating at peak efficiency.”
Importantly, BPW Transpec offers a two-year warranty for AirSave systems fitted to BPW ECO Plus trailer axles.
All in all, featuring a robust and reliable hubcap adapter designed for many years of trouble-free service, AirSave provides trailer operators with a simple yet reliable method of ensuring the correct tyre pressure is maintained at all times.
BPW AirSave is sold and fitted in Australia by BPW Transpec. The system is a robust and reliable way for semi-trailer and B-double operators to ensure a pre-set tyre pressure is consistently maintained across the entire combination.