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'Halo' truck tire inflator launched

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Halo uses a wheel's rotational motion to pump and maintain optimal tire pressure, according to Aperia Technologies Inc.

BURLINGAME, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2014) — Aperia Technologies Inc., a Burlingame company focused on increasing transportation efficiency through clean technology innovation, has developed a bolt-on tire inflation technology that uses a wheel's rotation to maintain optimal tire pressure it is launching as the "Halo Tire Inflator."

Halo uses a wheel's rotational motion to pump and maintain optimal tire pressure, thus requiring no connection to a compressor, according to Aperia CEO and co-founder Josh Carter, who said a Halo unit can be installed in 10 minutes with two tools.

Aperia Technologies describes Halo as a "self-contained pump that generates pressure when rotated. It has a pendulum-like mass, similar to a self-winding watch, that hangs while the pump is rotating with the wheel. The relative rotational motion is used to create a pumping action."

The Halo device is designed to add air only until the target air pressure is achieved in the tire(s). Once the target pressure is achieved, the pump turns itself off.

It is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40F to 257F, Aperia said.

The 5-pound unit mounts directly to the axle cap or hub cap using a bracket similar to that of a hubodometer.

Aperia has been testing Halo for the past two years, racking up 8 million miles of on-road testing throught fleets in the U.S. and Canada, said Brandon Richardson, Aperia's chief technical officer and co-founder.

Aperia said it expects Halo to operate effectively for 500,000 miles or 10 years.

It will work on the vast majority of Class 7 & 8 trucks and trailers, and on many other commercial vehicles such as buses, box trucks and refuse vehicles, Aperia said, on both dual or wide-base tires in the drive and trailer positions.

The Halo device currently is not recommended for use on wheels with convex shape, such as those used widely on the steer axle positions of Class 7 & 8 tractors/buses, Aperia said.

The Halo unit has an indicator on it that can be seen when walking around the vehicle, the company said. The indicator will show green when the unit is functioning properly.

The Halo also can interface with a vehicle's telematics package with the addition of a TPMS package.

Aperia planned to showcase Halo at the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council Conference in Nashville, Tenn., March 10-13.

Aperia Technologies was founded in 2010 by Messrs. Carter and Richardson, Stanford University mechanical engineering graduate students, dedicated to combating the problem of tire underinflation in commercial vehicles.

According to research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cited by Aperia, 55 percent of truck tires on the road are not within their target pressure range. This reduces tire life and drives up annual tire costs — typically a fleet's No. 1 maintenance expense, by 10 to 15 percent.

The study also shows that a typical tractor-trailer will experience one costly roadside service call each year due to a tire blowout caused by underinflation, endangering drivers and others on the road, Aperia said.

The same FMCSA data show that maintaining proper tire pressure results in a 1- to 2-percent increase in fuel efficiency, yielding annual savings of more than $2,200 per tractor-trailer unit, Aperia said.

The company's name is from the Latin word aperio, which means to uncover, reveal or make clear, according to the firm's website.

The Halo's design contrasts sharply with Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) for truck tires, although the goals are quite similar.

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