Help is on the way!

Food trucks owners know all too well that any down time means a direct cut into their profit margin. As seen on the initial episode of season 2 of the Great Food Truck race, the Sky Tacos truck was eliminated due in part to a flat tire they received while en transit from California to Las Vegas Nevada, which got them into town much later than the other competitors.

flat tireThis dilemma is a regular occurrence in the food truck world, and can keep a truck from making a scheduled appearance at the best serving time during any given day. Depending on how quickly a repair can be completed, it may even keep a truck out of service for an entire day.

Goodyear announced last week that it was developing technology that would keep a passenger car or food truck’s tires rolling at optimum levels of pressure, eliminating the need for handheld gauges or stops at air pumps. This new feature, called Air Maintenance Technology, would be contained within the tire and would require no external monitoring systems.

“While the technology is complex, the idea behind the A.M.T. system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, a Goodyear executive, in a prepared statement. The manufacturer did not disclose any further details about the concept’s operating principle.

Self-regulating tire-pressure systems are not new. Such systems are common sights on the undersides of tractor-trailers, but they depend on the harmonious operation of various peripheral devices, including air pumps, filters and pressure valves. The Goodyear concept houses the tire-pressure regulation equipment, including a small pump mechanism, inside the tire itself.

Goodyear has not set a timeline for taking the technology to market, but the company said it planned to accelerate development, having secured a $1.5 million grant from the Energy Department this week. The money is intended explicitly for finding ways to apply Air Maintenance Technology to commercial trucks. Goodyear also was awarded a research grant of an undisclosed sum by the government of Luxembourg, where the company has an R&D center.

Optimal tire inflation contributes to a vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency and can prolong the life of the tire. Goodyear said that improper inflation could result in a 3.3 percent decrease in fuel economy, or roughly 12 cents per gallon, according to current pump prices.

We will keep you all informed as this technology fast tracks it’s way to the consumer market.