Goodyear Tire recently unveiled their new Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). This technology allows tires to maintain a constant pressure without the use an external pump, electronics or driver intervention. In other words, these tires actually inflate themselves.
Flat tires are like a plague on the trucking industry. According to the American Trucking Association, tire-related costs are the biggest maintenance expense item for commercial vehicle fleet operators. More than 50% of truck and trailer breakdowns involve a tire. Under inflated tires often lead to blowouts, which waste time and money and are safety concerns. The new AMT technology may even save money. Under inflating a truck’s tires wastes fuel and money. Goodyear Tire estimates that for every 10 psi lost, there is a 1% loss in miles per gallon. If Goodyear can finalize this new technology and price it at a competitive rate, it will probably find widespread acceptance in the trucking industry. This will certainly have positive effects on TL and LTL trucking services.
Prototypes have been rolled out by Goodyear and they claim that rigorous testing confirms the AMT pumping mechanism works. They’ve also said that an extensive fleet trial will begin in 2013 that will gather real-world information from customers. But challenges still lie ahead, with some being specific to commercial tires. For example, inflation pressures are higher compared to consumer vehicles and commercial vehicles carry larger loads over longer distances. Even though the technology is in the testing phase, Goodyear believes the technology is viable.
This is good news for those of us who are involved freight shipping in Los Angeles and other busy cities. Flat tires are a large inconvenience and tire maintenance is a burden. This new technology has the potential to allow better flow of TL and LTL trucking operations and would allow for freight shipping in Los Angeles to move at a better pace without trucks being pulled over and getting in accidents, wasting time and money and potentially causing a safety issue. Stay tuned.