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nitrogen tire inflation for managed fleetsWhen managed fleets consider adopting nitrogen tire inflation, the biggest question about the change is the return on investment. If we spend the money on a few nitrogen inflation carts and implement the process, then when will the machines pay for themselves? What benefits will the fleet specifically see from nitrogen, when air is already 78 percent nitrogen?

The main benefit of nitrogen tire inflation is that nitrogen maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time than regular air, leading to whole host of other benefits to your fleet. To explain these benefits and how they impact your bottom line, we’re going to go through our money saving calculator and explain each section and how a fleet saves money with each section.

Miles Driven Per Year

The average fleet vehicle drives between 15,000 and 20,000 miles per year, but the average for your fleet may be higher or lower, depending on a variety of factors. Our money saving calculator needs this figure to determine the savings from the next three sections. To clarify, this number refers to the average number of miles for one vehicle in your fleet, since our calculator determines the savings based on one vehicle. It doesn’t not calculate the savings for an entire fleet, although that is easy to figure out once the calculator has the savings for one vehicle. Obviously, the more miles driven in a year, the savings your managed fleet could see from nitrogen tire inflation.

Average Price of Gas Per Gallon

Currently, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.68. For diesel fuel, the average price is $3.88 per gallon. Nitrogen tire inflation improves your fleet’s fuel efficiency by maintaining proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. Proper tire pressure, by itself, increases fuel efficiency by three percent. Three percent doesn’t seem like a big deal, but multiply that across your 50, 1000, or 10,000 fleet vehicles driving on under-inflated or over-inflated tires, and your managed fleet is wasting money in fuel.

MPG

According to the most recent statistics, the average miles per gallon for U.S. fleet vehicles is 23.2 mpg.  The average for all cars in the U.S. is 24.6 mpg. If you happen to know the average miles per gallon for your fleet, or have a way to come up with that number, then use that number in the calculator. Otherwise, you’re welcome to use the average numbers that we have provided.

Cost of a Full Set of Tires

For a fleet vehicle that has four wheels (versus an 18-wheeler or any other specialized fleet vehicle), the cost of full set of tires is about $600. Besides the four tires, this price also includes mounting and balancing, disposal of the old tires, alignment and the valve stems. Since nitrogen tire inflation improves tire life and tread wear (because nitrogen maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, so the tread wears evenly versus just the middle or the outer edge), a managed fleet gets more out of each $600 purchase. The tires last longer, so a managed fleet gets more value for its money. Because the tires last longer, the $600 purchase needs to be made less often.

Conclusion

If we put the average numbers into the calculator to determine the savings with nitrogen tire inflation (20,000 miles, $3.68 per gallon, 24 mpg and $600), then the annual savings for one fleet vehicle using nitrogen tires is $150.09. For one vehicles, that’s not a whole lot, which is why we don’t focus on encouraging nitrogen tires in the consumer market (we won’t actively discourage it either, to be clear).

But, for a managed fleet of 1,000 vehicles, then the fleet can save $150,000 using nitrogen tire inflation. That is a substantial amount of savings, especially when the fleet considers how much it is currently spending on tires, fuel, maintenance, safety and anything else needed to keep the each of the fleet’s vehicles running. Even for a fleet of 100 vehicles, where the annual savings would only be $15,000, is still the equivalent of a part-time employee. Implementing a nitrogen tire inflation program into your managed fleet may cost $15,000, but it certainly isn’t going to cost $150,000, so the return on investment is clear.

photo credit: State Farm via photopin cc

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saving fuel managed fleetsThis is a guest post from Eve Pearce.

The road miles traveled by the things we buy make headlines. From food producers to restaurant owners, emphasis is proudly placed on produce that is sourced locally and, hence, hasn’t traveled too far, or for too long, to get to your basket or plate. This is not surprising as there is not much downside to growing vegetables nearby and then eating them: it is healthy, often very economical, and helps local farmers and businesses to flourish. It is often exactly such straightforward thinking that can make significant differences when it comes to economy and the environment.

Optimizing Gas Usage Saves Emissions, Fuel and Time

Efficiency of transportation is not something that only applies to food. Increasing energy prices, levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels all mean that using the resources we have in the most economical way possible is a focal point in the way forward for many industries. It is also the source of much innovation.

Take, for example, GoNitroTire and NitroFleet99 network of services which use nitrogen, as opposed to air, to inflate vehicle tires. This is an idea that, in an economy of scale, can save vast amounts of time and money for those managing fleets.

A look at the prominence of transport in terms of energy usage really brings home how significant an issue this is. Transportation counts for around 11% of carbon consumption in the United States. Finding ways to use fuel more efficiently is, therefore, fundamental to anyone who manages a fleet.

In the U.S. some 400 million gallons of fuel are used each day. Collectively, haulage fleets using tires filled with nitrogen, rather than air, saved this amount during 2007. This, in turn, saved 4 million tons of carbon emissions. As well as saving energy, a great deal of time which might be spent checking and adjusting tire pressures is also saved, and this can lead to greater efficiency.

The reason for this increase in efficiency is that nitrogen has larger molecules than oxygen (which makes up around 23% of air), and so does not leak out of the tire as quickly. Logistics firms and distributors work hard to optimize delivery routes and combine deliveries, and cutting down on road miles and fuel consumption has become a fine art. GoNitroTire are able to lease machinery to supply several bays in a depot, or to inflate a number of car tires simultaneously. This includes options for purging air from the tires, or simply topping up with nitrogen.

Saving Fuel, Helping the Environment

Cutting down on fuel usage is important for the reputation of the haulage industry and in terms of protecting our environment. Being able to reassure clients that goods are being transported to them in as green a way as possible is sound marketing in world where the carbon footprint of each stage in the cycle of goods reaching their market is scrutinized. Large vehicles are very visible to other road users and have a responsibility to use the roads as safely and efficiently as possible as a courtesy to other road users as well as the buyers of the goods they transport. Keeping vehicles safe and efficient is also important in terms of maintaining a fleet in good working order, and this will include HGV insurance as well as servicing and regular maintenance (including tire pressure checks).

In terms of the bigger picture relating to energy usage and the environment, inflating tires with nitrogen, rather than air, saves on gasoline, thus cutting down on our reliance on imported fuel. Any increase in energy self-sufficiency is important for energy security which is focal in energy policy in many other countries, including the UK. Being reliant on imported fuel opens up duel uncertainties in terms of price and supply. A shortage in the latter can lead to stores quickly diminishing. Similarly, fluctuations in price can be crippling to the haulage industry, and have a knock-on effect in other markets.

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One of the ways we that we come up with blog post ideas is that we look at competing blogs to find topic ideas that we haven’t yet covered. By simply taking a title, topic, or keyword, we then write our own nitrogen tire inflation article with our own perspective and information. It was through this routine process the other day that we came across a video of… ourselves.

While looking through the competitor’s blog, we found a post that had a video in it. We noticed that in the video screenshot was a man that looked a lot like Ken Lawton, the CEO of Nitrofleet99. Curious, we watched the video. Sure enough, it was Ken! Not only did this competitor post a video that showcased his competitor very clearly (the video introduces Ken and shoots a few seconds of Nitrofleet99’s banner) , the video was an interview with Ken about nitrogen tire inflation. The competitor was never featured in the two and half-minute piece! We found it interesting that our competitor shared a video about nitrogen tire inflation, but failed to consider the his direct competitor was the one prominently featured as the source and expert on the issue. He focused too much on the fact that the video was about nitrogen tire inflation.

We couldn’t not share this video and this story! The video (which is part one of two, another fact the competitor failed to notice) and its transcript are below. We will share part two and its transcript next week.

Transcript

But, with the average price of gas in St. Louis at $3.87 a gallon this morning, filling up your tank is not something to be taken lightly these days. But, there are ways to save a little money at the pump and Heidi Glaus is here to share the secrets. Heidi-

Glaus: Yeah, well there’s a lot to know about filling your tires and what that can do for your gas mileage. So, this is Ken Lawton and you’re all about the nitrogen, which is some people have probably heard about but maybe they don’t know exactly what filling your tires with nitrogen can do.

Lawton: Heidi, nitrogen tire inflation has been around for a very long time. The military, the NASCAR community, and big business has been using nitrogen for over twenty years.

Glaus: So, what you’re saying is that it hasn’t really been affordable to the common person for the last few years?

Lawton: It is completely been unaffordable due to the technology changes; in recent years have made it affordable to automotive groups and tire stores and the public in general. So, it is come of age.

Glaus: So what are we talking; what are the benefits of using nitrogen instead of, you know, oxygen?

Lawton: Well, it begins with aging. The oxygen in air degredates tires and causes premature aging. The tire of simply wears out more quickly. With nitrogen, what you have is the benefit of a completely dry, inert air that simply makes the tire perform as a hybrid. What you’re doing by converting to nitrogen is creating a hybrid tire.

Glaus: Really! So, we hear all about the hybrid cars and all of that and this is just what we’re doing to the tires. So, how much can somebody save on gas mileage by filling a tire with nitrogen?

Lawton: Well, various studies have been done by Ford Motors, Exxon Mobil has done studies as well. What we’re finding is savings up to ten percent on fuel and extended tire wear by up to 30 percent. This is significant information for consumers.

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proper tire pressure

Don’t forget to check the tire pressure of your spare tire as well as your regular four.

With Memorial Day weekend  just around the corner, AAA projects that over 30 million Americans will travel during those three days alone. For the entire summer travel season, which runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, the organization estimates that 8.7 million motorists will get stranded on the roadways. Don’t be one of them by making sure all five of your tires are properly inflated.

“Roughly 1.2 million drivers will call AAA for help with a flat tire during the summer travel season, and many of those problems could be avoided by inspecting the tires before hitting the road,” said John Nielsen, AAA Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information. “Tire inspections are simple to perform. The only tools needed are a quarter and a tire pressure gauge.” Nielsen further explained that 85 percent of drivers “do not know how to properly inflate their tires, and more than half of all cars on the road have at least one under-inflated tire.”

While we can’t prevent every possible disaster that can happen on the road, we can at least make sure our tires are properly inflated and stay that way throughout the summer. The best way to do that is to utilize nitrogen tire inflation. Nitrogen tire inflation is simply filling up your tires (or topping them off) with nitrogen instead of air. Nitrogen enables more stable tire pressure for longer periods of time, thereby reducing the chances for a blowout. That’s good news if you’re planning to drive at some point during the travel season.

Properly inflated tires also can reduce fuel costs during a trip. The Department of Energy reports that correctly inflating all four tires can improve fuel economy by up to three percent, which is equivalent to as much as to 12 cents per gallon. As rising gas prices are doing little to keep Americans at home this summer, any and every way to save gas money is a good idea.

So, where can you go to get your tires inflated with nitrogen? Is this a service you can just ask for at your local mechanic? Well, not yet. But, a recommended dealer of these hybrid tires is Nitrofleet99. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary for you to remove all the air from your tire before seeing the benefits of nitrogen. You can still just top your tires off with nitrogen to keep them properly inflated.

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The current national average for gas prices is $3.83 per gallon. That’s three cents up from last week, and 30 cents higher than a month ago. It may be time to make a gas buddy by taking a few moments only to find the cheapest gas in your area. Or simply drive less and ride your bike, or walk more. There are plenty of ways to save money on gas, so if you haven’t started thinking of ways to save yet, now would be the time to start.

Now, one way to save gas money is to make our vehicles more efficient. I don’t mean turning them into hybrids. I mean simply maintaining your vehicle, or doing a few small things just a little bit differently. So, what can be done to make your car more of a penny saver instead of a penny pincher?

An informal study from Carnegie Mellon University found that the average person who drives 12,000 miles yearly on under-inflated tires uses about 144 extra gallons of gas, at a cost of $300-$500 a year. Keeping those tires properly inflated would save a few hundred dollars, which the average consumer could easily use in today’s economy. A better way to keep tires properly inflated longer is with nitrogen tire inflation. Keep in mind that regularly inflating your tire with nitrogen doesn’t replace the importance of checking your tire pressure regularly.

Inflating your tire with nitrogen also increases the life of your tire and your car. Nitrogen is a dry, non-corrosive gas and will reduce oxidation and rust due to the absence of oxygen and moisture. This will help minimize wheel corrosion to promote better bead sealing. Nitrogen tire inflation has routinely been used by airlines and racing vehicles, but the practice could prove beneficial for drivers who drive infrequently (car collectors, track drivers, snow tire users, motor home owners, etc).

The best thing about nitrogen tire inflation is that you don’t need to remove the air from you tires to make the switch. Why wait for your tires to lose pressure and risk something happening, when you can start saving money today?

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