As I cruised down the highway and exited for the last delivery of the work week prior to the holiday weekend, I found myself dodging some pieces of wood on the exit ramp, which looked to be from someone who lost some improperly secured pallets from their load.  As I pulled into the receiver to deliver, I was gut-checked by the light coming on for my Meritor auto-inflation system on my trailer tandems.  This light was the signal to me that there was an irregularity in the pressures of one of my trailer tires and is usually not a good sign. 
 
As I set the brakes and climbed down from the truck to check in at the receiver, I saw the customer walking up towards the trailer tire and a second later realized why.  As I walked back towards the rear of the trailer I began to hear the increasingly loud sound of air escaping.  At that moment I saw what is pictured here and knew right away that I had not escaped the gauntlet of wood pieces on the off-ramp unscathed!  I had a casualty and it was in the form of a rather pricey tire that was only about a month and a half old. 
 
With the piece of wood seemingly acting as a plug of sorts, I relied on the auto-inflation system to continue its job of trying to equalize the pressure in the leaking tire.  Had I not have had an auto-inflation system, I would most certainly be sitting there with a completely flat tire and been either at the mercy of calling road service, or chancing limping a completely flat tire to my tire dealer up the road a ways to get it fixed without a road call fee.  Thanks to the Meritor auto-inflators I was able to maintain a safe level of pressure on the tire to get it up the road to my preferred tire shop, where I was given a prorated discount on the tire based on my continued business I provide and refer to them. 
 
When we took the tire off we uncovered the real devastation caused by the piece of pallet puncturing the tire and rubbing the sidewall from the inside.  Had I have gone much further than just the safe distance it took me to get to his tire shop, I surely would have rubbed that piece of wood through the sidewall, causing massive tire failure.  This should serve as a reminder that the auto-inflators are not a cure-all to your tire woes, but offer a level of aid to help equalize tire pressures and aid in not losing a tire due to a small puncture and leave you stranded.
 
As if my week hadn’t started out crummy enough, with the crushing of my FitBit exercise tracker by a forklift, a flat tire is not the ending to the week anyone wants even by itself.  I will always stand by the technology involved in modern auto-inflation systems and have relied on them to save my rear quite a few times in the past as well.  All was well at the end of the day and the week as a whole, since my FitBit was replaced with a new one as a surprise from my wife when I arrived home that and because I only lost about 45 minutes of my day due to the tire dilemma I experienced that afternoon.  If not for the tire inflation system, I could have ended up losing hours of my time waiting for a road service call on a busy holiday Friday afternoon, which would have had even more of a negative impact on my bottom line!

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Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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