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Prime Mover Magazine

Nitrogen filled tyres on the increase

In the US and Europe, nitrogen has been widely used as a replacement for air in tyres for many years. Until recently, this practice was far less common in Australia, but nitrogen is now becoming available to the mass market through several of the nation’s well known tyre retailers, with the number of outlets offering nitrogen also on the increase.

A key benefit of nitrogen is that it ensures more stable tyre pressure, which in turn results in extended tyre life, increased levels of safety and handling and improved fuel economy.

Geoff Head, Director of Pulford Air Compressors, which manufactures a leading Australian nitrogen inflation system, NitroPlus, said, “The benefits mean different things to different customers, but the plain facts are that by using nitrogen in your tyres, you prolong the life of your tyre.

“The nitrogen molecules do not ‘bleed’ through the wall or valve of the tyre at the high rate that air does, therefore maintaining the correct tyre pressure.

“By maintaining the correct tyre pressure customers using nitrogen will see the benefits of reduction in tyre wear, improved handling and safety, better fuel economy and for truck operators, a reduction in blowouts and an increase in retreadability.”

By stablising the pressure in the tyre, using nitrogen, you maintain the correct tyre footprint on the road, increasing safety and handling and reducing excessive tyre wear caused by under and over inflation of your tyres. These benefits are amplified in performance cars and transport fleets where the load on the tyres can be far greater than that of a standard passenger car.

Under normal driving conditions and over time, tyres inflated with air will lose pressure and research has shown that if you reduce your tyre pressure by just 10% you increase your engine load by 3%, which equates to almost 4 cents a litre.
Family owned transport company, John L Pierce Transport began a nitrogen inflation program with NitroPlus in August 2005 and has seen significant savings in tyre wear, tyre maintenance and blowouts.

Lance Fisher from John L Pierce commented, “We had every other factor covered, good alloy wheels, great tyre offering from Michelin, the only thing missing was what was in the tyre. Now we can control that (the gas) as well.

“We have drivers telling us every day that by running nitrogen in their tyres it has reduced the number of blowouts experienced, that’s not only good for productivity but also driver morale.”

Recent tests conducted by Pulford with John L Pierce Transport have shown significant saving in tyre wear over a 12 month period with an average improvement of 22%.

NitroPlus is the first Australian manufactured nitrogen inflation system, tailored specifically to the tyre market, allowing tyre stores and fleet operators to ‘produce their own nitrogen’.

One of the strengths of the NitroPlus system is the flexibility to tailor each system to the fleet operator’s and tyre dealer’s needs.


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