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Fuel Efficiency Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation Saving Money

Saving Money on Gas: 4 Ways Managed Fleets Can Do It

nitrogen tire inflation for managed fleetsFuel costs are one of the biggest costs for managed fleets, but also one of the hardest to decrease without hurting fleet productivity.  Offsetting some of the expenses to drivers may have consequences on employee morale and retention . Reducing usage could mean fewer routes, fewer vehicles on the road, and less revenue overall. Fortunately, with the right data, fleet managers can save money on gas without long-term consequences on the fleet and the company. Here are four ways managed fleets can save money on fuel:

Implementing a Fuel Card Program

Every fleet manager wants to trust their employees, and a fuel card program may seem like a way to “look over everyone’s shoulder” as they refuel vehicles at the gas station. But, a program can eliminate the small non-fuel purchases that drivers add on, such as a soda or a pack of cigarettes. Each individual driver may not intend harm and deceit by adding those purchases, but if every driver is doing that, then every single one of those purchases will add unnecessary expenses to the fleet’s fuel costs. The drivers may not see their small non-fuel purchases as a big deal, but they do mean thousands of dollars spent on items that have nothing to do with refilling the tank.

Considering Fuel-Efficient Vehicles for Upcoming Fleet Purchases

Switching out the entire fleet for brand new vehicles is a massive and expensive overhaul, but when the time comes to purchase new vehicles, opting for more fuel-efficient models is a great way to start. With one or two fuel-efficient fleet vehicles, it’s easy to measure and compare the fuel economy between the old and the new vehicles. After that, those numbers can be extrapolated across a 100- or 1000-vehicle fleet to determine how much gas would be saved if every single vehicle in the fleet was a fuel-efficient model. This data can justify a gradual overhaul or switching out a few more vehicles.

Improving Route Planning with a Fleet-Tracking System

Utilizing a fleet-tracking system will provide a managed fleet with hard data on where vehicles are going and how they are getting there, highlighting various opportunities for improvement. For example, many GPS fleet tracking system show current traffic conditions, so drivers can opt for a different route, reducing travel time and gas usage. A tracking system can also show where any fleet vehicle is at any given time, so if someone needs to be dispatched to a specific location, the fleet manager will know which one is closest and can send that vehicle. Fleet tracking isn’t just to make sure that drivers aren’t using company vehicles for personal purposes on the weekends. The traffic and location data can be used to ensure that gas and time isn’t wasted needlessly.

Using Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen can improve fuel economy by 3 percent by keeping tires at their proper tire pressure for longer periods of time. Although regular air can also be used to maintain proper tire pressure, nitrogen tires lose their pressure at a slower rate than those filled with regular air, thus providing the benefits of proper tire pressure (increased fuel economy, increased traction, increased tire life etc.) for much longer. Switching to nitrogen tire inflation does take an initial investment because fleets need to purchase a special machine for the inflation, but much like using a fleet vehicle with better gas mileage, the benefits exponentially increase with each vehicle that uses nitrogen.

Overall, saving money on gas requires tracking and measuring current usage so that the fleet can find ways to cut costs. It’s not enough to say, “we need to use less.” To save money on gas, fleets need to know where is being wasted and improve fuel economy or efficiency in those areas.

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Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation Saving Money

Nitrogen Tire Inflation and Our Money Saving Calculator for Managed Fleets

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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Nitrogen Tire Inflation

16 Fast Facts about Nitrogen Tire Inflation

nitrogen tire inflation factsNitrogen tire inflation isn’t a gimmick. Nitrogen tire inflation isn’t a scam to make money just because air is free. The paid version of a free product isn’t always a fraud to trick people into paying for a horrible product. Nitrogen tire inflation is the exact opposite and as “the paid version of air,” it offers both consumer drivers and managed fleets more value than air-inflated tires could ever provide.

To showcase this value, we’ve compiled 16 fast facts about nitrogen tire inflation, tire maintenance and fuel efficiency. The practice of nitrogen tires isn’t a gimmick. It’s a sustainable, working solution that addresses problems that put holes in people’s wallets, puts greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and puts lives at risk.

  1. 85 percent of American don’t check their tire pressure regularly
  2. 54 percent drive on at least one under-inflated tire
  3. Vehicles driving on under-inflated tires have are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident than vehicles with proper tire pressure.
  4. The likelihood of a tire-related crash increases as your tire tread wears.
  5. Nitrogen permeates tire walls up to four times slower than air. With regular air, tires will lose 1 to 2 psi over one months, versus the six months it takes a nitrogen tire to lose that same amount of pressure
  6. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in tire pressure
  7. Gas mileage can be improved by 3.3 percent by keeping tires inflated to proper pressure
  8. If 187 million vehicles improved their gas mileage by 3.3 percent, then the U.S would save over 3.7 billion gallons of gas in one year.
  9. 11 percent of our carbon emissions come from the transportation sector
  10. Over 300 million tires are disposed of annually in the U.S
  11. Nitrogen-inflated tires can reduce this amount by up to 30 percent
  12. Nitrogen reduces the chance of tire failure, such as a blowout, by 50 percent
  13. Nitrogen also increases tread life by up to 30 percent, improving the tire’s life and its grip to the road
  14. NASCAR, the airline industry, NASA, and the U.S military have all used nitrogen inflated tires for years
  15. It can take up to six months for a managed fleet to see the benefits of nitrogen tire inflation, but it only takes 30 to 60 days for a managed fleet to see the financial consequences of poorly-maintained and under-inflated tires.
  16. Companies such as Michelin, Ford, and Goodyear have publicly expressed their support
    for nitrogen tire inflation

Asking people to address these problems themselves by purchasing an air compressor, checking their tire pressure weekly, and topping off their tires themselves (unless you’re a managed fleet that pays people to do this for your vehicles) isn’t a good solution to reducing carbon emissions or to saving gas and gas money. A better solution is to change what’s going into people’s tires so the public doesn’t have to go through the hassle every week and so managed fleets can get more on their tire and fuel investments. A better solution is nitrogen tire inflation.

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Nitrogen in Tires Myths Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

Can I Put Regular Air in Tires that Have Nitrogen?

mixing air and nitrogenThis is the most common question we get in the nitrogen tire industry, and what we’ve seen in many online forums and websites is that many people answer this question by saying  you cannot put regular air into tires that have nitrogen.

This is not true.

It is FALSE that air cannot be used to top off a tire filled with nitrogen. It is simply not true that air and nitrogen cannot coexist inside a tire. There is no harm in topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with regular air.

Air Doesn’t Take Away All the Benefits of Nitrogen Tire Inflation

The main reason why people say air and nitrogen can’t be mixed is that air negates all of the benefits of the nitrogen inflation. This isn’t entirely true because a tire that’s 100 percent inflated with regular air isn’t the same thing as a tire that’s 80 percent inflated with nitrogen, 20 percent with regular air. Although neither tire has all the benefits of a 100 percent nitrogen tire, the 80/20 tires still retains some of the benefits and has fewer of the consequences of the 100 percent air tire. The 80/20 tire has less water vapor, so it is still less susceptible to the temperature changes that happen throughout the day (this doesn’t include the temperature changes that happen between driving and parking the car for a few hours). The 80/20 tire will also retain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, giving you an improved fuel efficiency and better traction with the road.

It’s Tough to Find Nitrogen Tire Inflation Services

We understand that topping off nitrogen tires with more nitrogen gas is difficult because nitrogen isn’t as accessible as regular air. Many auto repair shops sell nitrogen inflation as an add-on, and won’t offer it or advertise it as a stand-alone service. Also, some places that sell nitrogen tires do not sell nitrogen tire inflation services. For example, Costco inflates all new tires with nitrogen. It’s not an add-on, but a service that anyone who purchases a set of new tires receives. However, Costco doesn’t offer new or existing tire customers to option to convert or to top off their ties with nitrogen. But, don’t worry about topping off your nitrogen tires with air from time to time. With the nitrogen, you shouldn’t have to top them off as often as you would with a tire that 100 percent inflated with air.

No, Your Tires Won’t Explode

One of the most common myths about mixing air and nitrogen in your tires is that it’s dangerous and may lead to an explosion. Part of this crazy misconception is the myth that tires filled with regular air are an additional hazard in a fiery crash because the oxygen is fuel for the fire. We don’t know where this myth came from, but it’s not a “benefit” that’s touted by the nitrogen tire industry, and it’s certainly not a “benefit” we support here at Nitronomics.

NO ONE IN THE NITROGEN TIRE INFLATION INDUSTRY SUPPORTS THE IDEA THAT NITROGEN TIRES WILL HELP YOU IN A FIERY CRASH

Anyway, mixing air and nitrogen in  your tires isn’t dangerous. It doesn’t increase your chances for an explosion or a fiery crash.

You also don’t need to replace the green cap on your tires. The green cap comes with tires that are inflated with nitrogen when you purchase them, such as the tires you may get from Costco like we previously mentioned. It’s been suggested that the green cap needs to be replaced with a black cap because the tire is no longer 100 percent nitrogen, but it doesn’t have to be replace if you don’t want to change it or if you don’t have a black cap. The green cap is more for the seller than the consumer, so there’s nothing wrong with keeping the green cap.

photo credit: gever tulley via photopin cc

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Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation Trucking Industry

Everything Your Managed Fleet Needs to Get Started with Nitrogen

nitrogen tire inflation programPurchasing a nitrogen tire system is a big decision, and with that decision comes the process of getting started. This process can include educating and training employees, tracking your return on investment, additional maintenance checks, and watching for reduced costs in other parts of your organization. Getting started with nitrogen can be difficult, at least until all those aspects are worked out. Below is all the information you need to get you and your managed fleet started with nitrogen tire inflation: choosing a nitrogen system, implementing that system into your fleet, tracking your fleet’s carbon footprint, and how technology like nitrogen can reduce our country’s energy dependence and fix its infrastructure.

How to Implement a Nitrogen Tire Inflation Program into Your Fleet – Buying the nitrogen tire system is important, but more on that later. What you also need to know as a fleet manager is how to implement that system in your fleet, and change the behavior of your staff so that your nitrogen tires are most effective. This article outlines how to implement this program into your fleet and make nitrogen tires a tradition with your organization.

3 Effective Ways to Improve Fleet Safety – Improving fleet safety is huge toward the bottom line and the efficiency of managed fleets. Nitrogen tire inflation improve the fleet and driver safety, and is just one of the effective ways that you can put in place to day to improve your fleet’s safety.

How to Choose the Right Nitrogen Tire System for You – There are plenty of nitrogen tire systems available with a variety of sizes and features. How do you choose the best one for your fleet? This article covers the factors that are most important to consider before making your final purchase.

Managed Fleets and Ending America’s Dependence on Foreign Oil – Green technology like nitrogen tire inflation can end our dependence on foreign oil. Transportation fleets and the trucking industry doesn’t have to be the demons in America’s dependence on foreign oil, simply consuming energy to keep this country running. By utilizing green technology, they can be part of the solution as well.

How to Track Your Fleet’s Carbon Footprint – In order to practice sustainable fleet management, you need to track your fleet’s carbon footprint and take steps to reduce carbon emissions. Tracking your fleet’s carbon footprint will allow you to know exactly what your carbon emission is and offer ideas on how to cut those emissions. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Hybrid Tires and a Network of Nitrogen Services – Transportation accounts for almost 70% of  the fuel consumption in the US. Nitrogen services can change that by turning tires into hybrid tires, and a network of nitrogen services can enable cross-country vehicles to top off their tires with nitrogen. They can also ensure consistent tire maintenance, no matter where a truck or managed fleet vehicle stops for a routine check.

5 Great Fleet Vehicle Picks – Good fleet management includes picking the right vehicles for your fleet. After all, nitrogen tire inflation isn’t the only way to improve the sustainability of your fleet vehicles. Here are 5 great fleet vehicle choices that add to your bottom line.

How the Cost of Carbon Affects the Trucking Industry – Climate change is much more than severe weather. It’s also about the economic costs that hit hard and affect everyone, as illustrated by the $65 billion in economic damages caused by Hurricane Sandy alone. Learn how the trucking industry can contribute to reducing climate change and the cost of carbon.

photo credit: DiamondBack Truck Covers via photopin cc

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Guest Posts Nitrogen in Tires Myths Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen Inflation: Myths, Facts, and Uses

nitrogen inflationThis is a guest post from Andre Smith.

Nitrogen inflation has become increasingly popular in the last ten years. Many industry experts praise it for its promise of increased fuel economy and reduced tire wear, while others raise questions about the actual usefulness and credibility. With fuel prices as high as ever and many consumers and businesses cutting back on costs, nitrogen inflation can seem like an enticing endeavor. While nitrogen inflation can in fact promote efficiency, it is important to have all the correct information on why it is beneficial.

Common Myths About Nitrogen Inflation

There is no need to do pressure checks on tires inflated with nitrogen.

False. While nitrogen does in fact take longer to leak out of inflated tires, tires inflated with nitrogen should still be checked regularly for proper pressure. Divers should notice that their pressure checks come back positive more often than using regular air and the amount of pressure maintenance that needs to be done will most likely be reduced. Nitrogen, however, is still prone to malfunctions in the actual tires such as leaks in the valve stem or a punctures.

Nitrogen inflation can increase fuel economy and tire life.

Because nitrogen inflation promotes properly pressurized tires by eliminating the leaky oxygen in air, nitrogen inflation can in fact promote better fuel economy and more even tire wear. These factors, however are associated directly with the proper tire pressure regardless of composition. Nitrogen inflation provides a more convenient way to keep the pressure ideal.

There is no benefit to inflating with nitrogen as air is already 78.1% nitrogen.

Air is in fact already 78.1% nitrogen. During actual nitrogen inflation, however, the current air in the tire is removed and replaced with clean nitrogen at a concentration of 94% or more. This purging of air also removes any water vapor, oil contaminants, and particles that may be in the tire. The higher concentration of nitrogen is what promotes a slower deflating tire not the nitrogen itself.

Nitrogen Inflation Research

The idea of nitrogen inflation dates back to as early as 1968 when a man by the name of Dr. Larry Sperberg came up with the concept of “chemical degradation,” where a tire wears from the inside out. He found that air from compressor tanks was introducing the tires to air that was full of moisture. According to Sperberg the moisturized air makes its way into the tire cord body and causes heat and expansion. By using nitrogen that is dry and clean this expansion and degradation is decreased significantly.

Nitrogen’s advantage over oxygen when used as a way to inflate tires lies within its chemical structure. Nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. As a result, nitrogen does not pass through the inner liner or sidewalls of a tire as easily. In addition, nitrogen is dry and inert. This allows tires to run cooler and reduces degradation.

Additional Benefits of Nitrogen Inflation

Being green has never been more important. In addition to investing in a fuel efficient or hybrid vehicle, inflating with nitrogen can make that vehicle even greener. Nitrogen inflation promotes better fuel economy and can reduce tire wear. By decreasing these you are keeping more emissions out of the air and more tires out of landfills. More information on automobiles being green can be had at Klosters’ website.

How Do I Use Nitrogen On My Vehicle?

There are a few ways to have your tires inflated with nitrogen. Nitrogen inflation requires a special system in order for the current air in the tire to be purged and then refilled with a high concentration of nitrogen. Many automotive dealers will provide this service. There are also kits available for purchase that allow for you to have access to nitrogen inflation at anytime.

In Conclusion

While nitrogen inflation is not a “cure all,” solution for pressurized automotive tires, it does provide some worthy advantages. Because of it’s chemical structure, nitrogen is scientifically more capable of providing longer lasting pressure directly resulting in better fuel economy and tire life. As this becomes a rising concern, implementation of nitrogen in automotive tires will most likely continue to rise.

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Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation

How to Choose the Right Nitrogen Tire System for You

nitrogen tire inflation systemPurchasing a nitrogen tire inflation system is a big deal. Not only is it a large investment, but not all systems are created the same. Choosing the right system that will serve your managed fleet to your needs requires knowing several factors in how you will use the nitrogen tire system and how quickly you need to service each vehicle. Here’s how to choose the right nitrogen tire inflation system for your managed fleet:

Number of Vehicles

The number of vehicles not only determines how many nitrogen carts and how much nitrogen capacity you need, but you also need to know if you plan to fill every vehicle or if you plan to fill two or more vehicles at a time. Systems come in various sizes and capacities, so you need to consider the number of tires you’ll be servicing each month as well as if you plan to service multiple vehicles at once. Knowing this will ensure that you purchase a system that can handle the volume of your fleet at a speed that works for your drivers and maintenance crew.

Space and Mobility

With your nitrogen tire system, you need to know which characteristic is more important for your overall fleet management. If space is tight, then you probably don’t want a system that is too large or has too many hose reels that require additional storage space. You may not necessarily want a mobile nitrogen tire program, as you may not have the space to move the carts around so they can reach every single tire. Of course, if you have the space, then mobility might be a more convenient option.

Naturally, you’ll need to balance space and mobility with the number of vehicles you plan to service. Mobile may be tougher to have it you’re servicing over 1200 tires per month, but could be a nice alternative in case a vehicle just needs to be topped off and doesn’t need a full maintenance check. But, mobile is easier if you have a small fleet and are capable of handling more individualized service and maintenance for your fleet vehicles.

Purchase for Future Use

A nitrogen tire inflation system may be a hesitant purchase for many managed fleets, since the practice is brand new and not something that’s already been tested with the fleet. This may lead to a hesitant purchase, one that doesn’t include the ability to scale or to consider future use in terms of servicing larger or additional vehicles. For some managed fleets that aren’t projecting or planning to increase the size of their fleets, purchasing a system that meets current needs isn’t a bad idea. However, there are instances where purchasing for future need is a good idea. If your company is planning to purchase more, or bigger, fleet vehicles in 2014, or if you’re going to add nitrogen tire programs to other locations or maintenance centers, then doing a bulk purchase may be smarter and better for the bottom line.

Related Links:

How to Implement a Nitrogen Tire Inflation Program into Your Fleet

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Managed Fleets

How to Track Your Fleet’s Carbon Footprint

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Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Managed Fleets

new years resolutions for managed fleetsThe first full week of 2014 is almost over, and resolutions may seem like a tradition that companies don’t normally do, this doesn’t mean that your managed fleet can’t have one or two goals for the year. After all, setting out to make this year better than last year isn’t a bad idea, and setting a fleet management resolution can help you do that. Here are three New Year’s resolutions for managed fleets:

Improve Safety and Compliance

Improving safety and compliance could mean tackling a variety of issues. For some fleets, improving safety could mean working with drivers to reduce accidents. For others, it could mean working on maintenance so vehicles don’t cause problems for drivers. Some managed fleets may decide to work on safety training and policies. Whichever way you choose to improve safety and compliance, it’s certainly a resolution on every managed fleet’s list, as these statistics show:

  • Drivers age 36-45 had the highest rate of accidents in 2011
  • The time of day with the highest rate of accidents is from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • 86% of drivers drink and eat while driving
  • 77.7% of accidents occur on clear, sunny days – This one doesn’t necessarily mean weather isn’t a safety issue. It could mean that many fleets avoid driving in severe weather as a safety precaution, or reduce the number of vehicles on the road. It could also mean that drivers get more cautious as the weather worsens, lessening the chance of accident because they are paying much more attention to their surroundings.

Improve the Bottom Line

Reducing costs/increasing revenue is one of the biggest challenges facing fleet managers. It’s a constant struggle as some of these costs and revenue sources, such as fuel costs, are outside your control. The economy can also make a big impact, affecting the overall business climate as well  as the willingness of customers to continue services. Improving revenue and/or reducing costs could also mean targeting a specific problems, such as improving driver productivity, improving driver retention, lowering insurance costs, and improving route efficiency.

Overall, improving the bottom line is a balancing act where everyone needs to be kept happy as initiatives are put into place. You may want to reduce vehicle acquisition costs, for example, but you also need to purchase vehicles that your drivers will like to use. You also don’t want to invest in an initiative that doesn’t equate to savings, or recoup its investment fast enough.

Improve Your Carbon Footprint

The most effective way to improve your carbon footprint is to work on your fuel efficiency. That’s what Midwest retailer Meijer did, and credits its 60% carbon footprint reduction to fuel efficiency and the implementation of the EPA’s near-zero emission standards. Because of these efforts, Meijer is now the largest all-clean diesel fleet in North America.

Fuel efficiency isn’t the only way to improve your carbon footprint. If your fleet is growing over the next 12 months, then you can consider great fleet vehicle picks such as hybrid or electric vehicles as they would reduce your footprint. Your fleet could also start by coming up with metrics to measure your carbon footprint. You can’t improve what you can’t measure, and unlike safety and revenue, the carbon footprint doesn’t easily come with data and indicators to show you who well you’re doing.

Although there are many ways to meet these resolutions over the next 12 months, there is only one way that can accomplish all of them: nitrogen tire inflation. Putting nitrogen in your tires improves safety and compliance by keeping tires at proper pressure and tire for longer periods of time. This decreases the chances of a blowout. Having tires at proper tire pressure for longer periods of time improves your bottom line by reducing your fuel and maintenance costs. You’re no longer wasting gas and reducing tire life because your vehicles have under-inflated tires. Nitrogen tire inflation also improves your carbon footprint because there will be fewer tires in landfills and less gas used in the long run. All of that is great for the environment.

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Nitrogen Tire Inflation Tire Care

4 Tire Life Advantages with Nitrogen Tire Inflation

extended tire life
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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Nitrogen Tire Inflation: What Everyone Needs to Know

nitrogen in tiresThis is a guest post from Kerry Blake.

Many myths about the use of nitrogen in tires exist in the wake of its relatively recent expansion in the world of passenger vehicles. These myths pertain to the supposed miraculous effects of using nitrogen in tires as opposed to regular air, and how they are presented to the consumer market. For that reason, we have decided to clear the air (no pun intended) and present to you some facts relating to nitrogen tire inflation.

Moisture

There is not much difference between switching from oxygen to nitrogen in new and used cars, but there is a difference between inflating your tires with normal air in, for example, San Diego and Las Vegas. One of the main advantages of nitrogen is the fact that it doesn’t allow any moisture in the form of water vapor to remain on the tire wall, while some percentage of water vapor is inevitable in air, which consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% of CO2, water vapor and other gasses. That percentage, of course, will be somewhat higher along the coastline and the air will be drier in places like Las Vegas, so it is not quite the same if you fill your tire with air at the seaside or in the desert. You will also strain your tires more when driving in an extremely hot or cold environment. Excess moisture may contribute to the corrosion of rims and cause your tire pressure to be less stable in more extreme temperatures and harsher surroundings. For that reason, nitrogen is used for inflating tires in F1, airplanes and various other vehicles where the tires are exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Performance

Since nitrogen molecules about four times bigger than oxygen molecules, they cannot pass through the rubber structure as easily. That is why a tire filled with nitrogen will maintain its pressure much longer, making it less likely for you to end up driving on under-inflated tires, which will affect the fuel economy and handling somewhat.

Nitrogen will maintain the tire pressure at the same level for about three times longer than regular air, which means you won’t have to check your tire pressure every couple of days. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can forget about your tires and stop checking the pressure altogether. Monitoring the pressure in your tire is the only way for you to be sure you are making the most out of your car. Nitrogen also ensures more accurate readings, so you don’t unintentionally over-inflate or under-inflate your tires and ruin your fuel economy.

Is it worth it?

If you drive a truck on ice roads of northern Canada or a or in the hot, desert climate of the Southwest, then it is definitely worth it to switch nitrogen tire inflation. There is a reason it is used in F1 cars and airplanes and it is precisely in these types of extreme conditions that nitrogen has been proven to be much more stable and predictable than normal air. Even though you’re not driving at the same speeds as race cars, this doesn’t mean that you and your tires aren’t affected by the outside temperature, especially in climates that have an 80-degree difference or more between summer and winter.

Additional resources:

Carzoos

The Winter Benefits of Putting Nitrogen in Your Tires

Some of the Wackiest Arguments Against Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen in Tires Consumer Reports Response

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

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