Nitrogen tyre inflation has become more well-known, and is no longer the sole preserve of specialist tyre users such as the international motorsport or commercial aviation sectors. In fact, it is even conveniently available today on the forecourts of many petrol stations in South Africa.

NITRALIFEseptember2017TomSowryWhat is less widely known is the significant cost-savings that commercial transport fleet owners can enjoy when they run their vehicle tyres on nitrogen inflation, says NitraLife Sales Director Tom Sowry. “If you enter ‘savings with nitrogen tyre inflation’ into an Internet search engine, there are pages of evidence on the cents-per-kilometre savings which nitrogen tyre inflation can bring about. The benefits of inflating your fleet tyres with nitrogen are really significant if you are a major commercial transportation company with dozens of vehicles on the road,” he adds.

“The longer the distances travelled and the heavier the loads, the greater the benefits. “Even if your company is not a commercial transporter, and you are simply using a couple of delivery vehicles to get your goods to market, our experience since founding NitraLife in 1996 has shown that savings of between 5% and 30% - depending on fleet and load size, and distances travelled - are eminently possible.”

Oxygen and water vapour are constituents of air. Once air is pumped into a tyre, water vapour is concentrated inside the casing and along with the action of oxygen, degrades the rubber and causes the steel within the tyre to corrode. This reduces the tyre’s ability to hold pressure and also leads to early casing failures. Because nitrogen preserves tyre rubber, when it comes to the re-treading of tyres, the casing is able to be re-treaded several times more than its air-filled counterpart.

“With the cost of a heavy transport vehicle tyre, if one can get two or three more ‘lives’ out of a casing, the savings are obvious. A major tanker operator had to scrap some 20 tyre casings a month. Once they started to fill their tyres with nitrogen, this number decreased to around 13 casings a month,” Sowry says.

Nitrogen escapes through tyre walls four times more slowly than oxygen; and water vapour escapes 117 times more quickly than nitrogen. Nitrogen tyre inflation ensures that correctly inflated tyres will not overheat. Heat build-up - as underinflated tyres flex beyond their specified limits - is a major cause of premature tyre failures.

“Maintaining correct tyre pressure with nitrogen is even more important if one’s vehicles are travelling very long distances, particularly if they are going beyond South Africa’s borders to areas where tyre maintenance facilities are more rudimentary or not available at all. If a vehicle is on the road and away from its home base for two or three weeks, knowing that the tyres are not losing pressure gives fleet operators real peace of mind,” says Sowry.

“As any fleet operator knows, commercial transportation is a highly competitive sector. Customers want their goods delivered quickly and reliably. Tyre failures mean lost time and late deliveries. Furthermore, a vehicle stranded next to the road with a valuable cargo on board – known as an ‘on-the-road’ failure - is a tempting target for criminals and poses a real security threat,” he adds.

“All tyres flex during normal operation and this leads to the build up of rubber particles inside the tyre. Rubber is composed primarily of carbon and therefore, when these very small particles are exposed to high heat levels caused by binding brakes or a wheel bearing failure, they can – when mixed with air - combust or even explode with potentially calamitous consequences. With high purity nitrogen filling a tyre, this cannot happen and the safety of driver, vehicle and valuable cargo is ensured.”


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input


Invalid Input

Invalid Input