Pioneering an Industry
Advantage PressurePro has pioneered the development and production of external tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). “We are based out of a small town in Missouri, so we fly under the radar,” says Chief Marketing Officer Vanessa Hargrave. “But we have led every major innovation in TPMS. Our solution is proven. It is working in the toughest of conditions, from Siberia to deserts around the world.”
Phillip G. Zaroor launched PressurePro in 1991, after discovering a solution that he could not dismiss. “My father was looking for an idea that would hit a completely untouched market as well as do something good for people and bring safety,” Vanessa recalls. “An inventor walked in the door with this [TPMS solution] and he just loved it.” Phillip decided to forge a new path and bring the innovative product to market. “At the time, TPMS was not a known technology at all. So for him to take that leap was pretty extraordinary.”
The leap paid off. Today, PressurePro sells its external tire pressure sensors to customers in more than 40 different countries.
The family owned company’s solution immediately attracted the attention of RV drivers. “They had higher priced vehicles and were traveling all the time and wanted that peace of mind,” Vanessa explains. Word spread quickly and PressurePro’s customer base expanded rapidly. Today, RV business remains strong, but the commercial trucking industry has become a primary focus, in addition to a range of commercial vehicles in the mining, emergency, and agricultural industries – just about any large vehicle looking to operate as safely and efficiently as possible. In addition, the technology is now available for passenger cars, and that segment of business is growing rapidly. “We can keep an eye on anything with a valve stem,” COO Jason Zaroor summarizes.
Why monitor tire pressure?
Many people today do not realize just how important it is to accurately monitor tire pressure. When the company launched 25 years ago, almost no one did. “People would say, ‘I check my tire pressure; I thump them with a bat,’” says Vanessa. “That was so common in the trucking industry.” Not only does tire pressure need to be checked accurately before heading off for the day, that pressure should be constantly monitored to maximize efficiency and prevent accidents.
PressurePro’s technology checks tire pressure every seven seconds – that is over 12,000 times a day. The information pops up on a monitor so that the driver – or the person who monitors the fleet back in the home office – always knows the pressure level of every tire. “We are providing people with real-time tire performance information, whether they are parked or going 70 miles per hour down the highway,” Vanessa explains. The sensors also monitor tire temperature, alerting the driver if the tires get hotter than 194 degrees, which is the point at which the rubber compounds in the tire begin to break down. “We provide a comprehensive overview of everything that is going on.”
This comprehensive overview prevents far more than a flat tire. “There are so many more benefits to running with ideal tire pressures,” Vanessa points out. The vehicle’s handling is improved overall, reducing the chance of an accident. “As your tires become under-inflated, your handling decreases, and braking distances increase.” Fuel efficiency is also significantly increased with proper tire pressure. “It is estimated that in the U.S. alone we waste over two billion gallons of fuel a year due to low tire pressures.”
And, of course, maintaining the ideal tire pressure protects the tire itself. “If that tire has lower pressure, you increase the chance for that tire to fail because it has more bend and flex and the rubber heats up,” Jason explains. “That heat is really the enemy of any tire. That is what causes the failures over time.” Low pressure can also damage the tire casing, making it impossible to retread the tire. “Retreading is a huge practice in the trucking industry,” Vanessa points out. “You retread as much as you can because it gives you so many more miles for less [money] than a new tire.”
PressurePro proudly manufactures in the United States. “We are not only American made, but all of our design and component sourcing is done here,” Vanessa says. “That gives us the highest standard of quality control.” And quality is always a top priority at PressurePro. This commitment is seen in the care put into the product from start to finish. “We only use quality components.” For example, “a lot of our competitors utilize aluminum leads in their solutions, while we use gold. It is those little differences that make a huge difference in the long run.”
This extra level of care creates a more reliable, longer lasting product. “Our sensors are the longest lasting in the market,” Vanessa reports. “They last an average of four to five years. [Our product is] holding up under the toughest conditions, much longer than anyone else’s, hands down.” The competition’s solutions, Vanessa explains, last an average of two years – half the lifespan of a PressurePro product.
The team is committed to keeping operations in the U.S., even though it increases the price of production. “We know that we could probably reduce the cost 20 percent by going overseas,” Vanessa says. “But having the best value for our customers – instead of just the cheapest solution – is a way bigger priority for us.” Jason adds, “We find that it is a lot easier to apologize for price than for quality concerns.” He points out that investing more money upfront creates savings over the long run. Therefore, PressurePro’s target customers are “the most progressive fleets that both have the money on hand and the awareness to know that they can make that money back many times over.”
The latest solutions
PressurePro continues to lead the market with new innovations. One of the latest new advances is a drop and hook solution. “Our systems were always married before, so if you wanted to switch trailers you would have to physically switch your sensors over to a new trailer,” Vanessa explains. With the drop and hook solution, any PressurePro sensor can synchronize with any monitor, allowing truckers to switch trailers without switching sensors. “That is really a game changer in the trucking industry.”
The company has plans to roll out a solution this year that will be compatible with mobile devices. “We are going toward a ‘bring your own device’ approach,” Jason explains. The solution will utilize Bluetooth technology to make tire pressure monitoring more “accessible to the masses. It is designed to make it really simple and to bring the cost down.”
As technology continues to advance, the team is putting an increased emphasis on tire management solutions, rather than just offering a single point of information. “We are not just providing fleets with tire pressures anymore,” says Vanessa. “We are providing fleets with a solution that gives them real-time tire performance at any moment. That allows them to not just have better control over their tires; it allows them to recognize trends in the overall performance of their tires in any situation. That is a game changer because it is helping fleets move from being reactive to tire situations to proactive. If you can recognize problems before they cause any downtown or safety issues, it takes fleets into a whole new level of productivity, safety, and efficiency. We are not just providing them with TPMS, we are arming them with the information they need to really revolutionize their tire maintenance program.”
PressurePro has been revolutionizing the industry since it opened its doors. And, with the latest advances set to roll out later this year, the company remains a clear industry leader. This pioneering spirit goes back to Phillip Zaroor, who founded the company with a vision for a new product and a commitment to making a difference. No matter how successful his company became, Phillip has always pushed the team to take things a step farther. “He never was content with having the best solution,” Vanessa remembers. “He was always looking forward to how we can improve [a solution] and how we can add benefits for drivers, not just on our roads but all over the world.”