Advanced Sensors and Applications: Commercial Motor Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring and Maintenance

This study evaluated the costs and benefits of tire pressure monitoring and maintenance systems for commercial fleets by conducting a yearlong field test. Specifically, the study’s goal was to determine whether these systems could influence maintenance intervals and practices and improve performance and safety. The team evaluated tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs) and automatic tire inflation systems (ATISs) on two private fleets. The first fleet, CLI Transport, monitored 24 married tractor-tanker pairs at their maintenance terminal in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The team installed Wabco’s Integrated Vehicle Tire Monitoring (IVTM) System on 12 tractors and Meritor’s Tire Inflation System by Pressure Systems, Inc. (PSI) on 12 tankers. The second fleet, Gordon Food Service (GFS), monitored 24 tractors, 30 standard 50-foot trailers, and 20 refrigerated pup trailers (reefer pups). The team installed HCI Corporation’s (HCI’s) Tire-SafeGuard on 12 tractors and 15 standard 50-foot trailers. GFS ensured the equipment would operate together during the entire field test. In addition, the team installed Meritor’s Tire Inflation System by PSI on 20 reefer pups. The team used fuel logs, maintenance records, and technician failure/inspection reports to analyze the impact of the equipment on maintenance practices, performance, and safety. The field test results showed the use of TPMS/ATIS equipment reduced the operational costs of the fleet and improved the driver’s awareness of the tractor-trailer tires. The test fleets experienced a 1.4-percent improvement in fuel economy over the control fleet. The test fleet equipped with TPMS/ATIS equipment exhibited an increase in the life of the drive tires by 19 percent compared to the control fleet. Using the analysis results, the team estimated the equipment costs would be recovered in less than 18 months. The return on investment (ROI) dropped to less than 6 months as the cost of fuel and tires increased. The findings from the field test and the ROI calculations confirm that the use of TPMS/ATIS equipment will reduce fleet operating costs.

  • Summary URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Booz Allen Hamilton, Incorporated

    8283 Greensboro Drive
    McLean, VA  United States  22102

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Brady, Stephen
    • Van Order, Deborah
    • Sharp, Asa
  • Publication Date: 2014-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Pagination: 94p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529281
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FMCSA-RRT-13-021
  • Created Date: Jun 12 2014 10:31AM