Tank trailer maintenance focuses on tires, brakes

March 3, 2017
Tank trailers will be required to have low rolling resistance tires and a tire pressure system under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 2 rulemaking.

TIRES and brakes remain key components on the checklist for maintaining tank trailer equipment, according to Jeff Miller, senior account manager for Hendrickson. He discussed tires and brakes during National Tank Truck Carriers’ 2016 Tank Truck Week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 2 rulemaking, tank trailers will be required to have low rolling resistance tires and a tire pressure system—either a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) or automatic tire inflation system (ATIS) on all tires on that trailer.

“Addressing GHG emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is critical,” Miller said. “They equal 20% of the GHG emissions from the transportation sector, but make up just 10% of the vehicles on the road. GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are growing rapidly and will surpass cars by 2030. Trucks haul 70% of the freight in the United States.”

For 2018 model year trailers, there is a required tire rolling resistance level of 6.0 kg/ton. By 2021, it will be 5.1 kg/ton. By 2027, EPA believes fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will be lowered by up to 25% for tractors and trailers, 25% for trucks, and 16% for passenger cars, with a fuel savings of $170 billion.

Miller said that according to an American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) 2015 update, the total average cost per mile was $1.70 in 2014, a 2% increase over 2013. Fuel costs and driver wages account for 61%.

He said Hendrickson’s TIREMAAX CP is a simple solution to trailer tire-pressure dilemmas.

He said it is a simple mechanical design with no pressure switches, electronics, or transducers, and is factory pre-set to your target inflation pressure setting. It continually checks tire pressure without pressurizing the axle or wheel ends, and a signal light activates when attention is required. It requires no special tools to reset target pressure in the field.

Miller said a 5-psi pressure difference equals a 5/16” difference in tire circumference and 1/10” in diameter. Dual tire assembles will drag/brake each other during operation.

The trailer disc brake market is growing 1% to 2% annually, with tank trailers occupying the highest percentage of the trailer market to have air disc brakes (20%).

The second-most Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program violations in 2014 (198,676) and 2015 (198,254) were due to clamp/roto-chamber type brakes out of adjustment.

He said MAXX22T offers significant weight savings over similar designs while still maintaining the quality and reliability fleets and owner operators expect from Hendrickson. Fleets can take advantage of additional weight savings by specifying Hendrickson’s latest addition to the MAXX22T line-up—the Dura-Light Hub.

The MAXX22T has a torque plate notch feature to prevent improper caliper installation and a dust shield with a bolt-on design with pre-installed nuts for easier installation and maintenance, built-in clearance to allow for rotor inspection, and an E-coat for longer corrosion protection.

The ABS sensor is simple to service—there is no need to remove the wheel-end to service the ABS. A rotor-mounted tone ring keeps ABS cabling away from heat.    ♦

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.