Increased MPG - 0.62¢/mi, $620/yr
An under-inflated tire will have a larger-than-normal footprint, causing an increase in rolling resistance and therefore fuel consumption, as more power is required to move the truck down the road. According to FMCSA (US DOT) research by Christopher Flanagan, using automated approaches to tire pressure maintenance results in a 1.4% fuel efficiency increase even for fleets with excellent tire maintenance practice. This amounts to to 0.62 ¢ per mile, assuming a conservative $3.10 per mile diesel cost.
Extended Tire Life - 0.72¢/mi, $720/yr
Approximately 10% of all truck tires on the road today are under- inflated by 20 psi or greater, and 55% are at least 5 psi from their target pressure. Consequently, the average fleet operator is seeing an increase in annual cost of both new and retreaded tires of 10-15% due to improper tire inflation. These costs amount to 0.72 ¢ per mile using data gathered over 7.3 million miles in a recent study by the FMCSA.
Blowout Prevention - 0.29¢/mi, $290/yr
A typical tractor-trailer will experience one roadside service call each year due specifically to tire failure (blowout) caused by tire under-inflation. The average cost of a service call itself is upwards of $290, which does not include the cost of the new tire, driver downtime, or shipment delays. Assuming a typical truck drives 100k mile per year, this amounts to 0.29 ¢ per mile in added costs.
Total Savings - 1.62¢/mi, $1,620/yr
For an average fleet, tire under-inflation costs 1.62 ¢ per mile per tractor-trailer, or $1,620+ annually. With razor-thin industry operating margins (below 5%), these costs can amount to more than 20% of a typical fleet operator's net profit.
Note: Annual figures assume 100,000 miles per year of operation for one tractor-trailer combination unit.