When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated the use of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on all vehicles under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), I knew that passenger and light truck tire service would change forever.
From the numerous TPMS relearn procedures to the hundreds of different sensors and seal kits that have flooded the market, retail tire dealers are still trying to catch up and adapt to the changes that have accompanied this type of technology.
For vehicles over 10,000 pounds GVWR, there are no federally mandated TPMS requirements, and it doesn’t appear that anything is on the immediate horizon.
While the trucking industry is well aware of the importance of proper inflation pressure, there are a number of factors that are working against the widespread implementation of TPMS.
First, in order for traditional TPMS to work in tractor/trailer applications — notifying the driver when a tire is below a certain threshold — there must be universal protocols so that every make and model of tractor can communicate with every make and model of trailer.
Second, tire and wheel positions in large fleets number in the millions, so the economic impact of mandating a $50 sensor in each assembly could put some of them out of business, especially if implementation would be retroactive to existing equipment.
Finally, truck drivers are already required by federal law to check the inflation pressure in every tire as part of their daily vehicle inspection.
As it stands today, TPMS is widely available in the trucking industry, but not widely used.
The Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations has developed engineering guidelines to list the operational parameters of TPMS in an effort to help alleviate some obstacles to implementation and ensure universal acceptability among manufacturers.
To view our extensive inventory of new and used tires, be sure to check out our Online Inventory. If you have questions or would like to place an order by phone, please call us at 1-888-513-TIRE(8473). We are tire professionals, and we are here to help you with whatever your needs may be.
Source: Modern Tire Dealer