Like on everyday cars, a nitrogen inflated tyre can be recognised by its green valve cap. The advantages are the same as with a passenger car, but the economic dimension may be more important for a fleet of trucks than for an everyday car.
Less maintenance, more savings
Tyres naturally lose pressure (about 300 grams of air every six months). This is why it is important to check tyre pressure on a regular basis to avoid under-inflated tyres.
Dinitrogen, commonly known as nitrogen, is a dry inert gas whose molecules are larger than those of oxygen. This means a nitrogen filled tyre will maintain the correct pressure up to three times longer than an air-filled tyre. In driving conditions that vary slightly, the pressure of nitrogen inflated tyres may be checked less often than air-inflated tyres (at least every three months instead of every month).
Less prone to pressure losses, nitrogen inflation at the right pressure increases the service life of tyres and reduces the risk of under-inflation and its consequences. This will result in an overall decrease in vehicle downtime for forced or normal tyre related operations (checks, maintenance, punctures…), and can also offer fuel savings of up to 10%.
Furthermore, maintaining a tyre at the correct pressure during its life cycle improves its regrooving potential and preserves the casing for retreading.
Finally, in addition to the potential savings that may be achieved by maintaining the correct pressure, the fact that nitrogen is a dry gas overcomes the condensation phenomenon created when a tyre is filled with air and which may result in rim corrosion.
Rules to follow
Nitrogen inflation can by done at any time during the tyre’s life, but it is better done when a new tyre is first fitted.
Done later, the tyre needs to be completely purged before it can be inflated with nitrogen, and can only be done in facilities with the required machine.
If nitrogen filled tyres need to be deflated, the operation must be done in a well ventilated area or outdoors.
Air can be added to a nitrogen filled tyre but all the benefits linked with this gas will disappear. To re-inflate with nitrogen, the tyre must be completely purged first.
Note that the pressure of nitrogen filled tyres must be checked using an inflator machine, which may involve spending time going to the service provider. Furthermore, the inflation itself will be charged and must not be removed from the equation.