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Truckers Flunk Inflation Check Test

(Akron/Tire Review) So, just how accurate is a tire billy or a boot at gauging a tire’s inflation pressure? According to TRIB, not even close.

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The Tire Retread Information Bureau held a contest at the recent Mid-American Trucking Show, challenging truckers to demostrate their inflation guestimation skills – and none of the participants could come within +/- 5 psi, according to Harvey Brodsky, TRIB’s managing director.

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TRIB’s Pump ‘Em, Don’t Thump ‘Em Tire Contest, co-sponsored by the Meritor Tire Inflation System by PSI, was designed to test the ability of CDL-carrying truck drivers to determine the pre-set inflation pressure of tires by just by giving the tire a good “thump.”

Three truck tires on wheels, provided by Hankook Tire Co., were inflated to a certain pressure and staged at the TRIB booth. Contestants got to kick, thump, bang or hit a tire and then report what they believed to be the tire’s inflation pressure.

Those coming within +/- 5 psi of the pre-set inflation pressure would receive a nice prize, said Brodsky, but none of the 25 competitors came close.

“Not surprisingly, no one came within 5 psi of the air pressure in any of the tires,” said Brodsky. “As we demonstrated through our contest, inflation pressure cannot be accurately estimated by kicking or thumping the tire. Trying to determine if tires need air by thumping them is as effective as trying to determine if the vehicle’s engine needs oil by thumping on the hood.”

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A number of truckers, failing to determine inflation pressure by thumping the tire, asserted they could, however, tell which of the three tires was the most inflated and which was the least. Out of the eight who attempted this, only one managed to guess correctly.

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