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How optimum tyre pressure limits jack-knifing

Installation of Central Tyre Inflation (CTI ) creates improved safety outcomes and savings. Management of tyre pressures is a crucial factor. Not all CTI systems work the same way!

The Australian owned and made AIR CTI system incorporates air flow limiters between the left and right hand tyres. This means if a fully loaded truck is travelling a road where one side is higher than the other or driving around long curves, forces of the load cannot push tyre air to the opposite side, away from where the working pressure is most needed.

Being able to manage pressures from the cabin gives the driver confidence that even if they pick up a slow leak somewhere, they can successfully complete the day’s journey. The AIR CTI system’s isolation of wheels provides exceptional benefits for safety. You can deal with tyre problems under safe, controlled conditions, keeping you moving.

The ‘right’ inflation pressure is unique to each vehicle and set of operating conditions and needs to be explored for safety and savings with the type of load, speed and terrain travelled. Tyre pressures vary when the vehicle is stationary with ‘cold’ pressures compared to when travelling with ‘hot’ pressures.

Tyre pressure monitoring systems do not inflate the tyre, they are simply a warning system. AIR CTI is a Central Tyre Inflation system containing the same as TPM systems, however it provides positive air pressure to the tyre allowing consistently maintained inflation pressures, from the cab on the fly. The AIR CTI system controller is uniquely designed to be robust, have longevity and is easy to use, allowing real time pressure readings with a press of a button from the cab to adjust pressures to your driving requirements, which is a considerable advantage, giving ultimate control for maximising safety and savings.

How do jack knifes happen?

Jack knifes happen when the drive tyres lose traction, and the trailer pushes them offline. Trailer swing happens when the trailer tyres lose traction and slide outwards. Both conditions happen when the truck is braking heavily, or when the traction level is low. Loss of traction on one set of tyres is the underlying cause.

Bad brake balance, that over brakes one or the other set of tyres and or poor loading are the main causes. Over inflated tyres increase the risk.

An example of poor loading is a tip or dump truck towing a plant trailer with an excavator. A heavy trailer, with no weight on the over-inflated truck drive tyres is a common site on most roads – and it can be a recipe for disaster.

Almost all cases happen on empty trucks, where braking is overpowering, on severely over inflated tyres, that provide minimal grip or traction. Because of the heavy weight and long lengths of semi-trailer rigs, the potential damage is enormous.

Modern electronic braking systems virtually eliminate these accidents, although stopping distances increase considerably.

Optimal tyre pressure would substantially improve both cases, while reducing stopping distances. Safety is paramount to any successful enterprise.

Being able to manage pressures from the cabin gives the driver confidence that even if they pick up a nail somewhere, they can successfully complete the day’s journey. They can deal with tyre problems under safe, controlled conditions, without exposure to other vehicles.

Similar problems happen to trucks with other styles of trailer, like dog, pig, or road trains.

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