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Dana Enhances Its Spicer Tire Pressure Control System

Wed August 09, 2006 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Dana Corporation’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group has enhanced its Dana Spicer Tire Pressure Control System (TPCS) with a new integrated Driver Display Module (DDM) that, in conjunction with new dash-mounted rocker switches, simplifies the selection of tire pressures to maximize vehicle mobility under varying load and terrain conditions.

“These additions have resulted in a more convenient and user-friendly way to select the best tire pressure for vehicles, particularly mixers, engaged in a variety of on- and off-highway applications,” said Jim Beverly, chief engineer of Advanced Chassis Control Systems of Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group. “In addition, the smaller foot-print of the DDM and rocker switch interface provides much more flexibility for OEMs in regards to dash lay-outs.”

Available as a factory-installed data book option, the Spicer Tire Pressure Control System is available on most makes and models of vocational heavy-duty trucks manufactured in North America.

It also is the only system with air seals built into the axles that eliminate the need for external air lines for reliable, trouble-free performance.

The newly designed driver interface supports two load modes — loaded and unloaded — and three terrain selections — highway, off-highway and emergency.

The highway mode permits high-speed travel on paved surfaces; off-highway allows for efficient operation on unpaved surfaces; while the emergency mode provides extremely low tire pressures to tackle exceptionally poor terrains and grades that might otherwise be impossible to negotiate without assistance.

The six separate settings are designed to allow for smooth, trouble-free navigation over a wide variety of road surfaces and load conditions.

Beverly added, “Over the years, Dana’s TPCS has proved to be an intelligent alternative to all-wheel drive systems in sand or soft soil applications and also results in lighter weight, lower cost, less maintenance, improved fuel efficiency, and optimum vehicle operation.”

In addition to communicating and displaying operating conditions such as the selected load and terrain, the new DDM unit can display tire pressure by axle group, as well as over-speed and low tire (run-flat) operation.

In the event the system recognizes a fault condition, the DDM will report problem areas to help bring about fast, accurate solutions.

TPCS functions with a micro-processor based electronic control unit and supports industry standard diagnostic tools, including the new PC application-based Dana Diagnostic Tool (DDT).

Additional TPCS benefits include:

• The elimination of more than 1,000 lb. of vehicle weight;

• Improved vehicle stability and better accessibility to the cab that results from a 12- to 14-in. reduction of the vehicle’s height;

• Overall reductions in vehicle cost, complexity, and required maintenance;

• Extended tire life and improved fuel economy that results from maintaining proper tire pressure.

Beverly added that TPCS systems are OEM-installed and thereby fully warranted for reliable performance.

Most tandem-drive axles (40,000 to 52,000 lb.) and single-drive axles (21,000 to 26,000 lb.), as well as steer and trailer axles, may be equipped with TPCS.

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