Here’s a automatic tire inflator that has benefits beyond keeping the right pressure.
Drive along any highway in America, and you’ll see them: the delaminated truck treads that end up on the road surface.
These treads cause accidents, as drivers swerve to avoid them, and they damage the cars that hit them.
In 2006, I was driving home from a Honda dealership in a brand-new Honda Accord V6 EX-L.
Before I could get the Accord home, part of a truck tire tread was thrown into the front of my car at about 60 MPH.
It removed part of the protective film I had paid hundreds of dollars extra for. An inconvenience, but it could have been worse.
Michelin thinks it has a way to reduce this problem, and the plan has added benefits to save truckers money on fuel and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The problem, according to Michelin and it partner Aperia that developed the machine, is that truck tires are often not at the ideal pressure.
Truck tires, car tires and NFL footballs lose pressure as temperatures drop. In much of the U.S., the temperature can swing fifty degrees in a day, making it impossible to set and keep an ideal pressure in a vehicle’s tires.
The Aperia Halo, co-marketed by Michelin as “Auto Inflate”, can add pressure or relieve pressure in a truck tire. It installs in ten minutes on almost all trucks, is maintenance-free, and is self-powered.
An internal mechanism provides the power it needs from the rotation of the tire.
In addition to reducing tread delamination, the system also saves fuel, which reduces CO2 emissions.
Trucking companies and manufacturers may even get a credit from the EPA which regulates fuel efficiency in truck fleets just like it does in passenger cars.
The system may also reduce the number of road-repair calls by trucks.
Adam Murphy, vice president of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, commented on the system’s financial case. He said, “Michelin Auto Inflate, using Aperia’s Halo device, provides an immediate payback for one of fleets’ biggest assets by eliminating complexity and automatically managing air pressure in the tires that keep their trucks rolling.”
To ensure that trucking fleets get the $2,400 savings per year that Michelin and Aperia say the Halo Auto Inflator provides, the company plans to lease Auto Inflate to truck and fleet owners.