November 6th, 2020

Who Would Win a Smackdown?

Automatic Tire Inflation Systems (ATIS) versus Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

Who would win in a title match – Automatic Tire Inflation Systems (ATIS) or Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)? Well, we may be biased, but there’s a reason our ATIS-based Halo Tire Inflator has grown in popularity year-over-year for the last decade with billions of miles traversed. Considering tires are the leading cause of unplanned fleet downtime, a top-three operating expense, and one in five tires is operating underinflated by at least 20 psi, everyone agrees that investing in technology makes good business sense. Which technology is right for you? To our clients, it’s all in the results, and with 80 percent of fleets – large fleets and owner-operators alike – preferring automatic tire inflation to tire pressure monitoring, ATIS is a winning pick.

The Realities of TPMS

Carriers running tire pressure monitoring systems can certainly realize improvements over manual tire maintenance though the results often feel underwhelming. In fact, while TPMS has been proven to reduce the cost of tire interventions by about 25 percent over manual tire maintenance programs, ATIS posts an 85 percent reduction.

Tire pressure monitoring systems rely on threshold-based alerts tied to a fleet’s target cold inflation tire pressure as opposed to the actual health of a tire. These alerts cannot differentiate a tire leak from a temperature swing or the natural permeation of air through the rubber, and are sent without reference to issue severity.

Let’s imagine TPMS in practice. A driver gets an alert about a tire issue but ignores it because they’ve had a dozen alerts that didn’t indicate any real problems just in the past week. Unfortunately, this alert comes only ten minutes before a critical tire failure. The driver now requires roadside assistance and will run out of hours of service before her load can be delivered. Unfortunately, this isn’t a dramatized story; some variation of this happens several times a day across a typical fleet.

Alert overload and inaction are common scenarios for TPMS. False negatives and positives often result in fleets simply ignoring alerts, or expanding their pressure thresholds so the system is triggered less frequently. Essentially, many fleets put their TPMS on mute after getting inundated with unhelpful alerts, and the benefits of TPMS are lost.

ATI in Action

Despite TPMS being available on trucks for decades, adoption has never topped 20 percent and is now on the decline as carriers are overwhelming looking toward more accurate ATI systems to elevate tire management. ATI systems have the same objective as TPMS – eliminate tire underinflation for increased road-safety, fuel efficiency, and tire life. ATIS fights leaks, reducing the severity of issues, and giving maintenance teams more time to respond. With 75 percent fewer alerts than TPMS, the reality is that ATIS will always be at an advantage since they do not rely on human interaction to render a result.

ATI systems like Halo and its predictive analytics companion Halo Connect have been designed to counter the flaws of TPMS. Halo Connect alerts early, not often. The system alerts nearly 50% sooner than TPMS with greater accuracy giving fleets the ability to service tires conveniently and economically. Additionally, Halo Connect’s severity classified alerts allow carriers to prioritize resolving the most important issues to reduce tire costs and downtime.

How does ATIS inform and take action on tire underinflation? Let’s imagine the terminal manager is at their desk with visibility into the health of every tire in the fleet. In an instant they have insight, and when Halo Connect alerts the fleet to a critical tire leak he knows how quickly the issue needs to be resolved before risking an emergency roadside service (ERS) event. In this scenario when the driver is rerouted for service she has confidence it is necessary and peace of mind that Halo ATI will fight the leak until service can be performed.

No longer is the team of drivers and terminal managers disenfranchised by dozens of false positives and negatives. Welcome to the benefits of automatic tire inflation systems and predictive analytics with Halo Tire Inflator. (Note that not all ATIS are created equal, which you can read about separately in our next blog post.)

ATIS Delivers a TKO to TPMS

In some ways, the names say it all. ATIS says automatic, TPMS infers manual. ATI proactively inflates, while TPMS passively reports. While both systems are an improvement over manual tire management, Halo Connect delivers 2.5X greater value than standalone TPMS and 3X more value than a manual maintenance program. When it comes down to a winning match, ATI systems like Halo Tire Inflator maintain tire pressure, providing tire, fuel, and maintenance savings. And for the big win, our Halo Connect system offers a significantly better user experience, return on investment, and the ability to change fleet behavior in a way that TPMS cannot achieve.

Read other articles and reports about ATIS and TPMS.