Mack wants to keep pressure under control

By: Greg Worrall

The recent launch of its New Breed 2008 model range saw Mack Trucks unveil more than just the prime movers,

The recent launch of its New Breed 2008 model range saw Mack Trucks unveil more than just the prime movers, with a host of potential future accessories also showcased.

Included in the wish list of possible add-ons for future models is a tyre pressure monitoring system, which is currently undergoing evaluation by Mack Product Strategy for inclusion in the yet to be confirmed GPS Telematics solution dubbed "T7000".

If it passes the company’s rigorous testing and development regime, insiders say it could be offered as an option on new trucks, with a possibility it may also be retro-fitted to some existing trucks.

Mack Product Strategy say the system uses a combination monitor/sender that screws onto the existing tyre valve stem, in place of the dust cap, which sends information to a receiver/display unit in the cabin.

The sender units have a range of approximately 30 metres, making them suitable on applications up to B-Doubles.

The in-cab monitor can handle up to 34 individual sensors, alerting the driver not just to a change in pressure, but also identifying which tyre may have developed a leak.

Analysis by tyre companies show the majority of damage to tyres occurs when they are under-inflated, creating a situation where the tyre could suffer a catastrophic failure.

Mack Product Strategy say the system currently being evaluated sends an initial alert to the driver if the pressure drops by 12.5 percent, with the driver receiving both an audible alert, as well as a visual one.

If the pressure continues to drop, the monitor sends another warning at 25 percent, reminding the driver to stop and check the affected tyre.

It also works with pressure increases, so that if it grows by more than 33 percent, the driver also receives a warning from the system.

A Mack spokesman says the system, if it passes the evaluation phase, will offer drivers and operators a range of benefits, including greater stability in wet conditions, as well as emergency braking, and also improved fuel economy, through correct inflation of the tyres.

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