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The trucking industry is a major contributor to the US economy. By providing the essential services of transportation and distribution needed in today’s dynamic industry, the transportation industry has evolved into an integral player in various supply chains. The trucking industry is the largest transportation provider for other industries and employs 10.1 million workers in the United States (ATA, 2003).
This research is an analysis of the economic impact of maintaining proper air pressure in the tires of commercial trucks. Various studies have been carried out on understanding the relationship between tire pressure and fuel consumption (National Research Council, 2006). For the trucking industry, monitoring and regulating tire pressure offers significant opportunity to drive down fuel costs and improve on overall efficiency as well as on business turnover. A properly inflated tire reduces rolling resistance which in turn reduces fuel consumption and thus saves fuel costs. Some technologies have been developed to help drivers continuously monitor tire pressure and optimize fuel consumption.
The objective of this study is to determine the economic value in dollar savings, of the available technologies for continuous tire pressure monitoring devices to a standard trucking fleet company while exploring additional capabilities that can be incorporated into such technologies in order to increase their value and economic return to the trucking industry in general.
Data regarding the operating costs and other relevant factors for a trucking company were obtained from earlier related research studies. It was discovered that using tire pressure monitoring technologies on a single commercial truck can result in an annual savings of $2,400 from fuel consumption alone. Additional benefits achievable from savings from repair and maintenance costs were estimated to be between $213,500 and $3.5 million depending on the severity of the damage caused by tire blowouts. The breakeven price for the technology was determined to be $8,100 for 5 service years and sensitivity analysis was carried out on the fuel savings.
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