A tire found to be inflated less than 80% of the fleet’s target pressure should be considered flat. 


Executive Summary

Proper tire inflation pressure is critical to the optimal operation of a commercial vehicle. Underinflated tires result in decreased fuel efficiency and reduced tire wear. A 0.5-1.0% increase in fuel consumption is seen in vehicles running with tires underinflated by 10 psi. Having appropriate pressure reduces tire wear, increases fuel efficiency, and leads to fewer roadside breakdowns due to tire failures.

Automatic tire inflation systems (ATIS) work to overcome one or more of the causes of tire underinflation by monitoring tire inflation pressure relative to a pre-set target and re-inflating tires whenever the detected pressure is below the target level. The system alerts the driver that the tires are being re-inflated but does not report on the actual tire pressure. The system relies on the vehicle’s compressed-air tanks or draws air directly from the surrounding environment using a self-contained pump.

Of the available tire pressure systems, ATIS has seen the widest adoption rate.

Introduction to Tire Pressure Systems
Common Fleet Strategies
  • For-hire fleets value a system that does not require driver intervention
  • Early adopters of the technology include:
    • Fleets that run tanker-trailers especially those hauling hazardous material
    • Fleets with high trailer miles and/or low trailer-to-tractor ratios
    • Fleets with a diversity of fully-loaded and empty trailers
  • Also, fleets running with wide-base tires tend to specify ATIS
What Others Are Saying
Decision-Making Tools

A technology selection chart was developed that identified the major characteristics of the various tire pressure monitoring systems. The tool condenses an immense amount of information into a single matrix that can assist in the selection of the correct technology for the fleet.

The payback calculator allows fleets to input data and estimate the payback of various technologies based on their benefits. It calculates the benefits based on savings from reduced roadside breakdowns, extended tire wear, and improved fuel economy.


Trailer manufacturers indicated that about 40% of new trailers built have tire pressure systems and of the trailers equipped with tire pressure monitoring devices, 10% to 40% of those have automatic tire inflation systems on them. More customers are asking trailer manufacturers about ATIS and some trailer manufacturers are helping fleets with retrofitting existing trailers with ATIS. Axles are being supplied to the trailer assembly plant pre-drilled and tapped to better accommodate integration of the tire pressure systems on production lines.


Fleets are recognizing the value of properly-inflated tires and have seen that the practice of having drivers manually check tire pressure is not sufficient. They are turning to automatic tire inflation systems on their trailers to solve the problems created by underinflated tires. For-hire fleets are more likely to adopt ATIS because of the high rate of driver turnover and the fact that trailers are dropped at sites away from the fleet’s own terminal.