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With an extended tire life, fewer tires will be wasted and placed into landfills.

Nitrogen tire inflation has a very slight improvement in one vehicles over the course of its lifetime. It doesn’t sound like much, but to a managed fleet of 100, or 10,000, or 100,000 vehicles, improving each vehicles slightly translates into significant improvements for the whole fleet. However, many managed fleets are still hesitant about nitrogen tire inflation, unwilling to try something new or failing to see how the practice is different from regular air. One big difference in tire life, and here are four tire life advantages with nitrogen tire inflation, advantages that you want to capitalize on in order to cut costs and to improve your bottom line:

Increased Fuel Efficiency

If gas tanks are draining family budgets, then they are probably draining fleet budgets, especially since you have more than two or three vehicles to worry about. Fuel is one of the largest expenses for a fleet, if not the largest. A quarter of government fleets surveyed said their fuel costs increased by 25% between 2006 and 2011. Any improvement in fuel efficiency is an improvement on the bottom line, and nitrogen tire inflation is a fuel efficiency improvement because it keeps tires at the right tire pressure for a longer period of time. Just having the right tire pressure can increase fuel efficiency between three and 10 percent, which is incredibly for a fleet of 100 or 1000 vehicles. Nitrogen can do this, and it compliments the fact that your drivers should already be checking tire pressure regularly and correctly.

Less Wear and Tear

Proper tire pressure for a longer period of time improves fuel efficiency, but it also improves tire life. overinflated tiresThis is because tires that are over- or under-inflated, as shown on the left, don’t grip the road the same way a properly-inflated tire grips the road. Because the grip is different, the wear patterns will be different, meaning that the wear patterns for over- and under-inflated tires decrease their tire life. Tires with those wear patterns aren’t safe for driving and they will need to be replaced. Tires that are properly inflated will also wear slower, so they can be used for much longer while needing fewer retreads over the course of their lifetime.

Protect Your Fleet Vehicles

Regular air causes corrosion to inner liners, rims, and steel belts. Although regular drivers aren’t concerned about that kind of damage to their vehicles, commercial drivers and managed fleets ought to be a little more concerned. You need these vehicles to last as long as possible, and be as safe as possible, while not costing a boatload in maintenance. Nitrogen tire inflation can do this by extending tire life and extending the life of these parts without cutting corners or requiring a lot of investment over time. Once you have a nitrogen tire program in place and you have your employees trained in proper tire care, your fleet vehicles will be protected from these problems, giving you a significant advantage over your competitors, who will have to spend extra time and money keeping their vehicles in top shape.

Savings for Your Managed Fleet

Firestone reports that with just one vehicle, you average about $116 per year in savings with nitrogen tire inflation. Granted, that’s not a lot and the practice isn’t necessarily worth it if you have just one vehicles. However, when you consider that the largest commercial fleet in the country has almost 100,000 vehicles, $100 per vehicle per year is a monumental amount of savings. Even though most fleets aren’t anywhere near that size, also consider that a fleet of 10 vehicles will save $1000 a year, which is also substantial for the small or medium-sized business that needs every dollar it can get.

Related Links:

How to Implement a Nitrogen Tire Inflation Program into Your Fleet

3 Effective Ways to Improve Fleet Safety

How the Cost of Carbon Affects the Trucking Industry

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managed fleets nitrogen tire inflation

Managed fleets can really benefit from nitrogen tire inflation.

Managed fleets come in all sizes, and are found in a variety of industries, but do have at least one thing in common: they use a lot of fuel.  With gas prices on the rise, keeping control of those costs can be difficult. However, increasing a vehicle’s fuel economy by just 1 mile per gallon can save a 300-vehicle fleet over $50,000 in one year. Fleet managers can easily reign in fuel costs for their fleets and their companies by improving fuel efficiency.

One of the best ways to improve fuel efficiency is with nitrogen tire inflation because nitrogen in tires makes it easier to achieve the most important factor to improving fuel efficiency and increasing tire life: proper tire pressure. By itself, proper tire pressure increases fuel efficiency between three and six percent. If the vehicle already gets 34 miles to the gallon, then a three percent increase in fuel efficiency will achieve that 1 mile per gallon increase that needed to see savings. If the vehicle gets 25 miles to the gallon, then a four percent increase is what needed to achieve that one mile per gallon. Since nitrogen tire inflation maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, those savings are more easily achieved and kept.

According to the Tire Retread Bureau, the biggest issues affecting the bottom line of fleet managers, after fuel costs, are tire maintenance/safety and replacement/tire wear. Nitrogen tire inflation targets those issues as well as the fuel economy because proper tire pressure increases tire life as well as the fuel economy. This leads to even more savings for managed fleets, as they can not only cut fuels costs but cut tire maintenance and replacement costs as well. According to the Technology & Maintenance Council, 10 percent under inflation will shorten tread life anywhere between nine and 16 percent. Under inflation shortens tread life because driving on these tires causes sidewall flexing, which creates irregular tire wear and extra heat build-up within the tire, reducing retreadability and safety while using more energy and fuel. With an average tire press of $250, under inflation will cost a managed fleet an extra $25 per tire. Proper tire pressure with nitrogen tire inflation will reduce those maintenance costs while making the vehicles safer for your drivers.

Nitrogen tire inflation is a win-win for managed fleets both large and small, and in all sorts of industries. It’s been used by the airline industry, NASCAR, and the military for years, so nitrogen must be doing something right for them. If improving fuel economy or cutting operational costs are what you’re after as a fleet manager, then why not see if nitrogen tire inflation can do something right for your managed fleet?

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The Clean Cities Coalition

On April 9, 2011, in Fuel Efficiency, Nitrogen Tire Inflation, by allisonmreilly
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clean cities coalitionConsisting of over 100 coalitions, the Clean Cities Coalition is a government-industry partnership designed to advance our country’s economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that contribute to the reduction of petroleum consumption. The program’s 8,400-plus local stakeholders that have helped to reduce the use of petroleum, to add more than half a million alternative fuel vehicles on the road, and to encourage the construction of over 3,000 alternative refueling stations.

Since the inception of Clean Cities in 1993 by the Department of Energy, the program has reduced petroleum consumption by nearly three billion gallons! One way stakeholders can continue to contribute to the reduction is to utilize nitrogen in their tire inflation. Instead of spending time and money purchasing and developing new technology, why not just do something different with the old technology? If anything, it’s simply much more economical.

About 54 percent of Americans drive on under-inflated tires. An under-inflated tire can reduce fuel economy by five percent. This can be fixed with nitrogen, which provides a much more stable tire pressure for a much longer period of time. Nitrogen reduces the average rolling resistance of the tire, thereby improving fuel economy. Five percent may not seem like a lot, however, that five percent adds up to increased fuel and maintenance costs for the many company vehicles of which service and fleet managers are in charge. Besides improved fuel economy, here are a few other ways nitrogen can improve your fleet:

  • Improved Safety: Nitrogen enables more stable tire pressure for longer periods of time, thereby reducing the chances for a blowout.
  • Improved Tire Wear: By eliminating the moisture and oxygen through nitrogen tire inflation, the risk of oxidation of tire walls is significantly reduced, creating better wear characteristics.
  • Improved Tire Pressure Monitoring System Performance: By using nitrogen instead of air in your tires, you reduce “false positive” indications from your tire pressure monitoring system, thereby reducing unnecessary service calls.
  • Improved Rim Life: The moisture and oxygen contained in air accelerates rim rust, causing slow leaks in your tires. The dryness of nitrogen eliminates that condensation.

Whether or not you or your city is a part of the Clean Cities Coalition, it’s very easy for transportation industry professionals to contribute toward the cause. To learn more about how to get more nitrogen, and less air, into your tires, check out NitroFleet99.

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