Parker posts results of nitrogen tire inflation trial-By CCJ Staff
Drexan Corp. recently conducted a double blind study measuring the effects of nitrogen tire inflation on tire life and fuel efficiency in a long-haul trucking fleet. Performance of nitrogen-filled tires was measured against performance of air-filled tires with and without a maintenance program.
Parker Hannifin, based in Haverhill, Mass., provided the nitrogen generator used during this study. The results of this analysis, according to Parker, recently were presented at the Clemson Tire Conference:
- When compared to historical data, nitrogen tire inflation provides a 6.1 percent improvement in fuel efficiency when compared to a fleet with no tire pressure maintenance program;
- When compared to historical data and an in-trial control, nitrogen tire inflation provides a 3.3 percent improvement in fuel efficiency when compared to a fleet using air inflation and a tire pressure maintenance program; and
- When compared to the in-trial air control, nitrogen-filled tires provided an average tread life improvement of 86 percent when compared to a fleet using air inflation and a tire pressure maintenance program.The study, Parker says, infers that casing life improves, increasing retreadability, and tire failures decrease. The economic implications of nitrogen tire inflation also were impressive, according to the company:
- Saved 110,000 gallons of diesel and U.S. $285,000 over the nine-month period;
- The value of the extended tire life was not monetized, but could be calculated easily for any fleet that knows their cost/mile for tires; and
- Greenhouse gas emissions were reduced, allowing them to be exchanged for revenue on carbon trading sites.Parker says the study was conducted over a nine-month period in 2006 using a fleet comprising 70 long-haul tractors and 117 trailers, providing 1988 wheel positions. It consisted of 6.1 million tractor miles and 110 million tread miles, and it covered the coldest and hottest months of the year to minimize climate variances, according to the company; the analysis isolated inflation gas as the primary basis for any change in the mean.