Monday, September 27, 2010

Nitrogen Scam and Cover-up by PB County Commission?

Regular readers of my blog and Hometown News column will know that I’ve been spreading the word about the “nitrogen in tires” scam for several years. My first column was “Don’t Pay for Nitrogen in Your Tires in early 2007. Subsequently I wrote “Nitrogen and Shark Cartilage”, “Nitrogen Scam Foisted on Palm Tran”, and most recently “Tests Say Nitrogen Doesn’t Improve Fuel Economy in PB County Buses”.

Just to bring new readers up to speed on this issue, I’ll summarize my position on the false claims that buying Nitrogen to put in your tires will improve your fuel economy, lengthen tire life, and improve your driving safety.

(1) Over three years ago, Consumer Reports magazine revealed the results of a yearlong test of the effectiveness of Nitrogen to improve fuel economy. They concluded that Nitrogen was worthless in improving fuel economy, tire wear, or safety.

(2) In 2007, Chuck Cohen, the executive director of the Palm Tran, the PB County bus system, announced that he was investing $60,000 of taxpayers’ money in equipment to put Nitrogen in all tires on his buses to “save the taxpayers” lots of money on diesel fuel and tires. He said that there was a study being conducted to judge whether this idea was a good one. When the results of the study were revealed about one year later, the conclusion was “From the previous data analysis we conclude that there is yet no observable effect in the fuel efficiency due to nitrogen tire inflation for group of buses in this experiment.” It was after this that I wrote my last column on this subject.

(3) Astoundingly, when I followed up with Chuck Cohen do learn when he would stop wasting our money putting Nitrogen in his bus tires, he told me that he didn’t like the results of the test and was going to conduct another. He told me that he would make public the results of the second round of tests within the year. That was almost two years ago and no test results so far.

(4) Finally, my main interest in the Nitrogen scam is that so many car owners are paying car dealers to put Nitrogen in their tires. One dealer in Stuart actually was charging $199. Many dealers are adding Nitrogen to the price on the window sticker and many others are selling it in the service drive.

The thing that really angers me most about what Palm Beach County is doing is that it provides unscrupulous car dealers with an argument to sell Nitrogen to their unsuspecting customers. If the customer asks why she has to pay an extra $150 because the dealer added Nitrogen to the tires in the car she’s buying, the salesman simply says, “Do you think Palm Beach County would be using Nitrogen in their bus tires if it wasn’t a good idea?” By the way, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s department opted not to use Nitrogen in their tires.

The local municipalities are nearly bankrupt and all of them are cutting back on city and county workers and services to us taxpayers. Recently Port St. Lucie laid off a large number of police officers. Why don’t they look inward and stop wasting our money on the Nitrogen scam?


  1. I agree with you 100%. It's a scam. It's used for aircraft and race cars. People aren't driving at over 20,000 feet and not at over 160 MPH. If it was a good idea, and could save fuel every tire company and car company would recommend it.

  2. Earl, you're right on.

    Forgot to mention. The other major scam is all of the engine flushes, transmission flushes, brake flushes, A/C flushes. Fluids are designed to change colors, no manufacturer recommends them, except for Chrysler on older RAM's for power steering. Honda even speaks against it. All fluids should be changed out with the same fluids that go into the system, unless there is a catastrophic failure. It's not maintenance. Biggest scam in the business. It's a chemical company and Dealer bell cow. They charge 2 hours, hook up a machine, walk away and in 20 minutes say they actually did something.

    Does Toyota recommend any chemical flush? Does the Dealer know more about the Toyota Powertrain than Toyota? If so, then the Dealer should build cars. I wouldn't buy one. Would you?

    Earl, you're doing a great service by pointing all of this out....Dealer fee's, Nitrogen. You are a man of integrity.

  3. Please see the PalmTran test results published in June 2009 :

  4. 2.) The testing you reference with Mr. Cohen was definitely rendered invalid because the data accumulated was not properly done. Nitrogen tires were tested against air-filled tires which is correct, however, the tires were all "TOPPED OFF" at the end of every evening, thus, invalidating any claims that nitrogen stays in the tires for longer periods of time than air does.

    3.)Mr. Cohen DID commission a new test for his fleet as you indicated. Buses were outfitted with electronic monitoring systems which measured traveled distance via GPS, tire pressure and tire temperatures. All data was electronically transmitted over GPRS signals to offsite servers at a monitoring facility operated by TireStamp Corporation. TireStamp corporation is run by the past president of TIA (Tire Industry Association) and was commissioned to provide unbiased third party collection of the data.

  5. Nitrogen filled buses were tested against Air filled buses for a period of 6 months each. During the testing, no adjustments to the tires were allowed to be made (pressure top-offs, alignments, balancing, etc).

    The data was collected AND published in June of 2009, 1 year after Mr. Cohen stated he would commission a yearlong test for the County.

    Results can be found at :

  6. 4.) Finally, a point I personally agree with you on. In my personal opinion, Nitrogen in PASSENGER TIRES may not be a solution to offer any value. A passenger tire does not have the same volume as a commercial truck or bus tire. With the lesser volume, a passenger tire will not show the same properties as a commercial tire. Also, when customers are asked (or foisted as you say) into paying upwards of $100 to add nitrogen to their car tires, I find it hard to rationalize their return on investment. Will they actually be seeing over $100 in savings from having nitrogen in their tires? My believe is NO.
    However, when nitrogen is put into COMMERCIAL tires and driven more than 30 times greater distances than passenger tires, there is a noticeable difference and the value for your investment in nitrogen machines is seen.

  7. I hope you can read this and garner some valuable information. I also hope you will take the time to review the testing results for yourself.

    As you can see, we are talking about two completely different areas in regards to Passenger Tires versus Commercial Truck tires.

  8. Dear Mr. Stewart.
    I ask you to please take a moment and carefully think about your statements as they are very narrow minded.

    You tested nitrogen (halfheartedly I might add) with a negative perception going into your test and already with your mind made up about the subject.

  9. Please let me address some "Facts" you state above :

    1.) Consumer Reports DID do a "test" on the validity of Nitrogen in Tires. I implore you to REREAD the test as it was proven ineffective and invalidated in the community for one simple reason....the tires being tested were NOT tested under normal working conditions, they were filled with nitrogen and left to sit in a test facility, not on vehicles or under road use. How can you test for fuel economy, tire life extension or anything else with nitrogen filled tires sitting in a warehouse? This is the same as testing engine oil effectiveness by filling engines with oil and not operating the engines.. It just doesn't work.

  10. Folks - please click "post" only once :) No need to make the same comments over, and over, and over, and over....

  11. Dear Mr. Stewart:
    I have been following the debate on Nitrogen for more than 2 years and I now have to add my comment.
    Although I have much to say, I will keep my comments as short as possible.
    There is no doubt that you are a consumer advocate for your customers as well as the general public and I respect your gallant efforts and achievements.
    However, I disagree with your views on Nitrogen Filled Tires. I have 44 years experience as a Tire Technology & Research Engineer and hold 7 patents, 9 trade secrets, and awards with Pirelli Tire, Goodyear, and Carlisle Tire. I also served on the Technical Advisory Committee and Standards subcommittees for the Tire & Rim Association for more than 25 years.
    There is much tire test data that supports the benefits of Nitrogen filled tires in TRUCK & BUS FLEET applicications. Test results have shown lower tire carcass temperatures, extended tread life, improved gas mileage, and reduced rim oxidation (rust). Also, in the case of a vehicle collision where there is fuel leakage present, the Nitrogen tires will not explode like air inflated tires (due to the absence of oxygen in the Nitrogen Tires). This is the main reason why Nitrogen is used in Mining Tires. I also understand that a Federal Mandate is being proposed to use Nitrogen Fill in ALL spare tires (from OEM makers) in order to minimize the risk of explosions during rear end vehicle collisions.
    I do agree there is little benefit to use Nitrogen in PASSENGER CAR tire applications where the vehicle makes short runs and/or stop & goes. It is very hard to justify the extra cost in this type of service. The consumer has to take his/her diving routine in careful consideration before making the investment into Nitrogen Fill for passenger car use.
    Earl, Keep up the good work to keep the window sticker prices as low as possible for your Toyota customers but kindly allow the tire experts to inform the public about the TRUE FACTS on Nitrogen.
    I will be happy to answer anyone's questions regarding tire design, performance, and applications.
    Wally S
    Boca Raton

  12. Dear Mr. Stewart: I really don't understand you.
    I am at a loss at why you haven't posted my previous blog about the truths on Nitrogen Filled Tires. This shows how bias you are and where the true cover up lies.
    I already informed you that I am a documented Court Appointed expert in the Tire Industry (and assistant to the Federal court judges on tire cases) and also spent my entire professional life developing Tire Innovations and Tire Manufacturing Systems (my references and patents are available to you upon request). If necessary, I will make myself available to meet with you in person if you would allow me to give you an education on tires mechanics.
    In the meantime, please stick with putting more Toyotas on the road and leave the tire technology to me.
    Thank you,
    Wally S

  13. Wally - I'm not sure why your post is not visible to you. There appears to be two comments from you immediately preceding this one - one at 11:55 AM and the next at 3:04 PM.

    I do not screen or censor comments on this blog (with the exception offensive language). If your comments are not visible, I suspect there is a technical problem.

    Although I understand your frustration, I would have to say you jumped the gun big time by accusing me of censoring and engaging in a "cover up".

  14. Dear Mr. Stewart:
    I have been following your allegations and hostile remarks toward Palm Beach County directors regarding Nitrogen in Tires for about two years and NOW I feel I must add my professional comments:
    I respect that you are an advocate for your Toyota customers and your efforts to inform the general public.
    However, I entirely disagree with your views regarding Nitrogen tire inflation.
    I have 44 years experience in Tire Technology Research and Development with 7 Patents, 9 trade secrets, and awards from Pirelli Tire, Goodyear, and Carlisle Tire company.
    I have also been a member of the Tire & Rim Association for more than 25 years and served on numerous committees such as the Technical Advisory Committe, Technical Standards Committee, and several subcommittees including the (ISO) International Standards Associations. I am a Federal appointed Technical Expert on tires (10 years) and assist court judges with tire related legal cases.
    There is much documented tire tests showing the benefits of Nitrogen fill in TRUCK & BUS FLEET applications.
    Results have shownand proven that Nitrogen fill in tires reduce tire carcass temperature, increase tire tread life, increased fuel mileage, and minimizes (steel) rim corrosion (rust). Nitrogen is also being used in mining applications to prevent explosions (no oxygen combustable in Nitrogen filled tires). I also understand there is proposed a Federal Mandate to have OEM Vehicle makers use Nitrogen in spare tires to reduce the risk of explosions during rear end vehicle collisions.
    I agree that in PASSENGER CAR tire applications the consumer must make a careful review of their vehicle usage and consider his/her regular driving routine before electing Nitrogen fill. This is because the benefits of Nitrogen in PASSENGER CAR tires on vehicles that experience low mileage and/or stop and go usage will not experinece the full cost saving benefits of Nitrogen. It is up to the indivial driver/consumer to determine if Nitrogen filled tires is cost effective to their situation.
    Earl, your efforts in your area of expertise to bring value to the Toyota customers are very much appreciated. In the meantime, please leave the tire technology and sciences to me.
    I will be happy to answer any tire related questions you bloggers may have . . . no consulting fees will apply :-)
    Thank you,
    Wally S
    Boca Raton

  15. Dear Mr. Stewart:

    I don't know how the mix up occured with the blogs. It was not my intention to just the gun. I guess you can blame me on this as I'm not an experienced blogger.
    Wally S

  16. Wally S
    Boca Raton

    The credentials you claim in your post appear impressive and while you have offered to provide a supposed professional opinion (not just an opinion) at no charge, how do the readers here know your claimed credentials are valid and worthwhile? Possibly you have a way for readers to verify your credentials/ claims?

    While appreciating your claimed knowledge of the interaction of nitrogen and transport tires I fail to see where you and Mr. Stewart have a disagreement. By reading and comparing this article and your reply, it appears that your comment supports more than detracts from Earl's position.
    As I read it Earl's position is financial or a cost to benefit ratio in favor of consumers.
    Your position is whether or not there are "any" net physical/measurable gains at all.

    Wally.I think that $150.00 for nitrogen in car tires vs dry air is a bit excessive, including taking into account any possible casing deterioration of tire pressure sensors.You have to wonder what was said to the owner of the car to influence them to pay such an amount for simple tire inflation.
    What do you think Wally?

  17. Dear Fred13red:
    My blog is not based on opinions, it is based on scientific data and testing.
    As I clearly stated in my previous blog, the economic advantages of Nitrogen filled tires is not obtainable in all applications. It entirely depends on the vechicle's use. And I would agree with you that $150 for Nitrogen fill in most PASSENGER CAR applications is excessive and is a poor return on investment. I wouldn't pay for Nitrogen given my driving routine. I think we agree on this point. (PS: COSTCO does not charge for Nitrogen fill and top offs).
    However, in TRUCK & BUS FLEET APPLICATIONS there is a definite advantage that has been docmented since 2007 in Truck & Bus Fleets in NY City Transit, Federick MD, Pitsburgh PA, Palm Beach FL, FedEx and many other fleets.
    There is much data on these fleets, so let's start with the very basic Scientific and Independent Test FACTS (not opinions)
    (1) You can start by Googling: "Clemson University Final Report on Tire Nitrogen Filling". Clemson Unviversity's independent study includes scientific, laboratory, and controlled field testing.
    (2) You can then Google: is a summary of scientific reports and documented testing regarding the benefits of Nitrogen by my Tire Industry colleagues representing every major tire company.

    I realize this may be a lot of information to digest if you are not an engineer, therefore, after you have had time to carefully review this information I welcome your comments and views.
    Lastly, I believe the price of Nitrogen Fill will go down steadily as more tire shops are equipped with inflation systems. Also, there was previously the problem of finding Nitrogen at Gas Stations in order to "top off" the Nitrogen filled tires. However, there is now a hand held inflation handle/device that attaches to a regular air hose nozzle that converts/removes the Oxygen and yields Nitrogen Fill. Devices like these should gradually drive down the price of using Nitrogen.
    Nonetheless, the use of Nitrogen in high mileage FLEET applications already has proven to offer several cost saving benefits.
    Thses are the Technical Facts (don't shoot the messenger :-)
    Wally S
    Boca Raton

  18. Mr. Stewart: Once a comment is posted, how much time does it take for the comment to appear on your Blog?

  19. Dear Fred13red:
    As I pointed out in my first blog. There is a significant difference between the economic benefits of using Nitrogen Fill in PASSENGER CAR tires and that of TRUCK & BUS FLEETS.
    I base my opinions on the scientific and real world FACTS.
    I think we can start by you reviewing the following independent studies on Nitrogen Tire Fill:
    (1) Google: "Clemson University Final Report on Tire Nitrogen Filling". This was an independent research study whereas the report covers the physics, lab data, and (most importantly) the vehicle field test results.
    (2) Google: This is a summary of the reports pertaining to Nitrogen Tire Fill generated by my colleagues representing every major tire company.

    In the case of PASSENGER CARS, the use of Nitrogen in PASSENGER tires can be argued both ways (and we can beat this horse to death). This is because PASSENGER vehicles experience a wide range of operating conditions and consumer driving routines. For this reason it is very difficult to quantify and/or justify the use of Nitrogen. I would agree with you, I would not pay $150 to inflate with Nitrogen based on my driving routine. (although COSTCO does not charge for inflation or top offs). I would not see the benefits. I also think $150 fill price is excessive. I think the decision to use Nitrogen in PASSENGER CAR TIRES should be left to the consumer to decide based on the individual consumer's driving routine.
    The price of Nitrogen will come down as more service station add Nitrogen units and Nitrogen becomes more easily available. In fact, there is now available a new hand held portable Nitrogen inflation (nozzle) that attaches to a standard air line and filters out the Oxygen to yield only Nitrogen. This will make "Top Offs" more readily available.
    In the case of TRUCK & BUS FLEET applications, Nitrogen has been proven to be a cost savings. This is because TRUCK & BUS FLEETS operate on predictable Fixed Driving Routes and Long Distances. This is supported by measurable in service operating data starting from 2007 recorded by NY City Transit, Frederick MD Transit, Tire Retread Information Bureau (non-profit association), FedEx and many other FLEET Management properties. This includes the latest 1-year study completed by Palm Tran (resulting in overall cost savings).
    I know this is a lot of information to digest if you are not an engineer. So, take your time and carefully review the (Test and Field)FACTS from the online sites. After your review I welcome your comments and views.
    Don't kill the messenger :-) I am just reporting the FACTS.
    I am hopeful we can finally put this Nitro Baby to bed soon.
    Wally S
    Boca Raton

  20. Dear Fred13red:
    I replied twice to your last blog however for some reason my blogs are not getting posted.
    Wally S

  21. Screw it Fred13red . . . I will try to sneak this blog through Earl's coverup filters.
    Start with Googling: "Clemson University Final Report on Tire Nitrogen Filling".
    This is an independent research study containg, the physics, lab data, and (most importantly the controlled test on trucks in the field.
    Wally S

  22. Fres13red: Here is another blog that I will attempt to sneak through Earl's spiderweb.
    Next Google:
    This is a list of reports pertaining to Nitrogen Tire Fill studies by my colleagues representing all the major tire companies.
    It's a lot for you to digest if you are not an engineer. Take your time.
    Wally S

  23. Wally - I don't know what your problem is. I have already explained that I do not censor any comments. Blogspot (the blog provider) filters spam occasionally - your last comment was caught in the spam filter. I released it as soon as I saw that. Just so you know, I run a car dealership and I don't sit in front of my blog's spam filter all day long to make sure your comments aren't caught, so forgive me if your comment wasn't posted instantaneously.

    By the way - your comments are "comments" and not "blogs". I have a "blog", it's called Earl Stewart On Cars. You are "commenting" on my "blog".

  24. Fred13red: It appears I've found a tunnel to get my blogs through Earl's defenses.
    Be advised that there is documented economic saving with using Nitrogen in TRUCK & BUS FLEETS. This information has been recorded since 2007 by the NY City Transit Athourity, Federick MD Transit, Tire Retread Information Bureau (non-profit association), FedEx, and many other properties including Palm Tran's latest 1-year study (resulting in an overall savings to the county).
    Wally S

  25. Fred13red:
    Lastly I would not pay $150 to inflate my tires with Nitrogen. (Although COSTCO inflates and tops off tire pressures at no charge).
    Most people with PASSENGER CARS will not experience the economic advantages of Nitrogen fill. This is because there is a wide range of individual driving routines and various operating conditions which limit the benefits of Nitrogen in ordinary high miles/gallon (20mpg+) vehicles.
    On the other hand, TRUCK & BUS FLEETS operate in in a predictable fixed route and high mileage (low miles/gallon) environment. These vehicles run only 4-6 miles/gallon of fuel.
    Even a 1/2 mile per gallon increase in fuel economy adds up to a significant savings.
    Wally S

  26. Fred13red:
    Once you have had time to study the reports, I look forward to your comments and views.
    Once we complete Nitrogen Tire Fill 101. I can provide you with further documentation and reference companies (contacts) for you to communicate with directly.
    (Slipped this though Earl. Whoo Hoo, I feel like Agent 007)
    Wally S

  27. Dear Mr. Stewart:
    Thank you for your explanation on the delay time in posting my "comments".
    I am not experienced with blogs. Therefore accept my apology. This is the first time I've entered my comments to any blog. I added my comments only because Tire Technology is my interest and expertise. I promise to be a quick learner.
    Wally S

  28. Dear Wally,

    I hate to break it to you, but ALL your comments are being freely posted on my blog. As much as you would like to believe there is some cover up going on, the fact is there is not.

    I have been interested in hearing your point of view about nitrogen filled tires, and I am not afraid to hear or post dissenting views. I invite you to call me personally on my cell phone (358-1474) or meet with me in person.

    Since you seem to be having so much trouble communicating with Fred13red, I propose this: I will host a summit between you, Wally S, and Fred13red in my office at a time of your choosing.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you or reading your response.


    Earl Stewart

  29. Dear Mr. Stewart:
    I like your suggestion although I think you, Fred13red, and others need to first review the technical and testing reports on Nitrogen that I recommended. There is a lot of documented history and information regarding the ecomonic benefits of Nitrogen Fill in tires.
    Clearly in many cases the Service Garages are taking advantage of the average consumer with South Florida PASSENGER CAR driving habits.
    TRUCK & BUS FLEETS are, however, another story all together.
    And lastly for the record the $60,000 for Palm Tran's Nitrogen inflation systems was State Grant money and did not directly impact Palm Beach County's capital budget, operating budget nor affect County worker jobs. (I confirmed this with Palm Tran management today).
    Kindly let me know your comments once you've had time to review my suggested web reports, etc. Then we will hopefully be alble to put this Nitro Baby finally to bed.
    Wally S

  30. Wally s.
    Thanks for pointing to the articles and studies that were generated by your "colleagues" but I was inquiring about verifying your credentials that you brought up and claimed in order to lay weight to your opinions and claims.
    Since you wish anyone else with a differing opinion than yours to quote "please leave the tire technology and sciences to me (Wally)". A verification of your qualifications is in order for anyone that may chose to follow your advice.
    So how do the readers here know your claimed credentials are valid and worthwhile? Possibly you have a way for readers to verify "your" credentials/ claims?

  31. Fred13red - what do you think about the summit idea? I think it would be much easier to have a meeting of the minds sitting down, face-to-face, like men. I believe that going back and forth in the comments section allows for too much misreading of intent and occasionally some posturing.

    You both sound like highly intelligent men; I doubt either of you are frightened by the prospect of meeting in person.

    What do you say?


  32. Fred13red:
    It is clear that you would rather overlook the reports, data, testing, and rather switch the focus from the details to me with respect to my credentials. What the heck do my credentials have to do with this. I did ask for yours. I do not have to report to you or anyone and I am proud of my 44 year record in the Tire Industry.
    It becomes so very obvious that you and Mr. Stewart are stubborn narrow minded thinkers. And talk hot air and not FACTS. You guys just want to play on Earl Stewart's blog rather than try to understand the real FACTS.
    With due respect, you guys have not given anyone on this blog one piece of documented evidence on Nitrogen Filled Tires supporting any of your viewpoints (which so far have been all your unsupported opinions and only conjecture). I have shared a lot of supporting FACTS .
    I'm not falling for this trap. Please don't waste my valuable time nor the time of the other followers on this blog to listen to your bias unsupported views.
    Let the readers on this blog examine the real FACTS and let them decide for themselves. I thought I was communicating with people that wanted to be informed and discuss this issue (Nitrogen). Instead I suggest you stick with selling cars. People know the real story about car salesmen. I have a Deal for You!
    Wally S

  33. Wally, I'm not sure what you mean by a "trap". You have used other, similar language previously in your comments that suggest conspiratorial intent by me and others. I'm disappointed because I have done nothing but express my genuine interest in your viewpoints and ask you to share these viewpoints publicly on my blog. This fact will be clearly understood by anyone who reads my comments.

    Although we may disagree on the nitrogen subject, I am still okay with providing you a public forum for your personal beliefs.

    I am also disappointed that you are too uncomfortable to meet in person to discuss this with Fred13red and me - although I think I understand. Incidentally, I am curious why Fred13red has waited so long to respond to my invitation.


  34. name is Jacob Goodman and I just want to say that I have worked in the Tire Industry with Wally for the past 25 years..I can verify that everything Wally states about his background and credentials are absolute truths..I can also confirm that Wally is very knowledgeable about public transit issues.

    That being said and cutting through the rhetoric..and being a tire engineer myself for past 25 years:

    I think Earl's comments on paying for nitrogen fill in passenger car tires is absolutely correct..anyone paying $100 for this service is being ripped off and Earl is to be commended for alerting consumers to this.

    On the other hand, I support all of Wally's comments regarding Fleet/long haul situations..assuming that is not a ripoff $100 per fill situation then I think the data speaks for itself and there is value there.

    Thus I support the facts and the data that Wally points is out there in volume and more than counters Earl's mention of the one "bad" test.

    Therefore, what I object to is Earl's contention that Palm Beach action provides an argument to "unsuspecting" customers that nitrogen is good for them.

    Palm Beach is doing what they should do based on the data to save taxpayer $$ over the long haul and it just sounds to me that Earl is trying to sensationalize that connection for the purpose of promoting his blog and his personality?

    Overall, I agree with Wally that Earl is mostly providing a very informative service here..but in the case of this nitrogen thing, I respectfully submit he has overstepped his bounds and he knows it.

    Thanks for allowing me to comment..Jacob

  35. Dear Mr. Stewart:

    I will now enter my final blog entry by asking you and Fred13red 3 simple questions:

    1. Do either of you have knowledge or experience in tire engineering/dynamics and testing?
    2. Have you read and understand the technical data about Nitgogen?
    3. Do either of you have knowledge or experience with TRUCK and/or BUS MASS TRANSIT operations and operations and vehicles?

    If you can't answer two or more of these questions, then you do not hold the credentials to continue this blog. Please (for the sake of the internet) provide the FACTS and not your unexperienced opinions.

    What say you others out there?? Feel free to give your comments on the FACTS presented.

    Wally S
    I take my final bow!

  36. What say us others? I say that Wally is a paranoid schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder. I say Jacob Goodman is one of Wally's personalities. I say Earl Stewart is dead right on this one. Thank you Earl Stewart, keep on keeping us informed with the TRUTH!

  37. My apologies Earl,
    I did not see the invite before my last comment.
    A summit with Wally seems moot at this point, but to be straight forward I would have to purchase a plane ticket to attend and would have declined. A summit with Wally would have gone nowhere with his requirements of immediate niche tire knowledge, providing he is who he says he is.
    My interaction with Wally was originally just curiosity to determine if he was a shill for the nitrogen for tires industry, the car dealer selling $150. nitrogen fill ups or the Palm Tran employee responsible for the $60,000 nitrogen expenditure.
    If he was who he said he was and verified it then I had a genuine interest in what he had to say.
    It has been but hours since Wally posted information to research and I have not even had time till now to glance at it prior to his condescending retort.
    As for his final poker hand in upping the niche knowledge requirement to comment on the nitrogen in tires issue he can pound sand.
    If nitrogen is being sold to the public, I'll question and comment.
    If public tax dollars are being wasted on extremely over priced "nitrogen tests" then I'll question and comment!

    Both "Wally" and "Jacob" concur that paying $100.00 and much less for an automobile tire nitrogen fill up is a wasted expenditure.
    Now I'll read the research they pointed out and try to determine if nitrogen vs dry air in bus tires that are supposed to be maintained everyday anyway including filling tires daily actually saves money or is another transportation fad/boondoggle that wastes taxpayer's dollars.
    My bet is they "both" work in the mass transit/bus industry near Palm Beach.

  38. General comment- I think it would have been better financial practice to run some inexpensive nitrogen in tire testing prior to the purchase of $60,000.00 in nitrogen equipment which then instigated an independent study by ANS at an unknown cost.
    Wally and Jacob
    Wally here are some of my comments you said you would welcome.
    As for the Clemson study you pointed out I view it in the same category as Zeno's Paradox where the Tortoise convinces Achilles he can't beat him in a foot race. Even the authors present a caveat in 5.2.5 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS.
    Lets just assume it is technically correct and use some of the final results for my last paragraph.
    In the Palm Tran /ANS study maybe you can mitigate my concerns with additional information on tires and testing.If my fuel related comment is out of your range I understand. You were specific regarding questions of tire design, performance, and applications.
    Note- ANS ran a one year study but only gathered and used 87 days of air in tire information where congruous fuel and tire information was used. And 6 months of nitrogen in tire information where non congruous fuel and tire information was used.
    1-Wally do higher tire temps cause higher tire wear and higher loss of tire inflation gasses? Clemson study says yes.
    Note- The ANS Palm Tran study ran the air in tire wear study at the HOTTEST (10 to 45 degrees hotter) part of the year and the nitrogen in tire wear test at the COOLEST(10 to 45 degrees cooler) time of the year.Also the LRO tire in the air in tire test has significantly higher wear than ALL the other tires. Why?
    Wally- Does tire tread wear affect fuel consumption? The Clemson study appears to have a variable for it in their Rolling resistance section by taking tire radius into account but I don't know if the larger contact patch on new tires vs a smaller contact patch on worn tires is taken into account. Re truck tires Bridgestone tire company claims that "First of all, tire rolling resistance changes with load, speed, inflation, etc. That should come as no surprise. What might be surprising is that rolling resistance changes with wear. In fact, it changes constantly. In general, tire fuel economy is worst when tires are new, gets better as they wear, and is best right before you remove them for retreading."
    Note- the air in tires fuel consumption study was done starting with NEW tires.
    The nitrogen in tires fuel consumption study was done starting with WORN tires. 3 months of driving old. Interesting also is the absence of starting and ending tire wear measurements for the 3 month fuel consumption test during the last half of the test, April 1 thru June 30th.

    During the the air in tire test which started with NEW tires there were about 6 days with a higher than 4 in the economy column, By dividing gallons by miles traveled it appears that economy = Miles per gallon or MPG. .
    During the nitrogen in tires test the first 3 months Jan 1 through Mar 31 were run with NEW tires and there were 9 days with an MPG rating of 4 or more.
    During the last 3 months (April 1 through June 30) of the nitrogen in tires test when the fuel economy test was run for the nitrogen in tires test there were FORTY FIVE days of 4 MPG or better. How did that happen??
    Lets step outside the ANS Palm Tran tests and focus on the claims from the Clemson study. Was Palm Tran fuel economy increased by 23% ? Was Palm Tran tire wear reduced by 50%? If so did they reduce their fuel and tire funding requests? How did the tests relate to the previous 2,3,5 years of fuel and tire usage?

    Thanks in advance for any helpful info Wally or Jacob.

  39. To: Fred13red
    I also reviewed the reference information that Wally suggested.
    It is obvious that you are not a technical educated person since you couldn't interpret the test reports and you chose to take data out of context and compared apples to oranges.
    You made so many clear misses.
    It is also obvious that you know nothing about vechicle performance and dynamics except, at a stretch, I think you got your experience parking cars.
    I suggest that you don't quit your valet parking job.
    Wally, what say you? Jacob, how about you?

  40. Anonymous October 06, 2010 5:34 PM .
    Those are questions not comparisons.Questions which Wally said, quote "I will be happy to answer anyone's questions regarding tire design, performance, and applications.
    Wally S
    Boca Raton
    September 28, 2010 11:55 AM "
    Anonymous since you are a technical person and you said it is obvious that I am "not a technical educated person" I would be glad if you would point out why my questions should not be asked.

  41. I think Fred13red is baiting Wally and Jacob.

  42. There have been some accusations that because I'm a car dealer l don't understand anything about science or engineering with respect to molecular action in tires affecting their inflation levels.

    I graduated from the University of Florida in 1963 with a BS in Physics and I minored in mathematics. I earned my Master of Science degree from Purdue in 1964. I worked for serveral years for Westinghouse Electric Corporation as an electronics engineer before entering the car business.

    The whole basis for nitrogen having some advantage over plain air in tires is that the nitrogen molecule is larger than the oxygen molecule. Therefore nitrogen passes through the tire wall somewhat slower than an oxygen molecule. But, air is already 78% nitrogen molecules and there is only a marginal improvement by adding nitrogen. This is especially true because most nitrogen tanks are not 100% pure and contain air.

    I wasn't aware that Palm Tran had completed their second set of tests, after failing the first one. And after reading the tests, I can see why very few were informed. These tests were not done with any semblance of the scientific method. By their own admission the tests occurred at different times of year with different ambient temperatures and numbers of passengers affecting the weight load. Furthermore the tests were not "blind tests". The bus drivers should not have known whether they were driving a bus with nitrogen or air in the tires. Any scientist will tell you that the test subjec's behavior will be altered by his knowledge of what he's being tested for. That's why they don't tell those being tested for new drugs whether they were give the real drug or the plecebo. Test subjects will psychologically want to tp simulate the results that he thinks they want to see and hear. The bus drivers knew they were expected to get better gas mileage when they were driving buses with nitrogen in the tires. How you drive is clearly the biggest factor in gas mileage. Consciously or subconsciously the bus drivers wanted to get better fuel economy and they did...but barely, just .61 miles per gallon.

    Palm Tran buses cannot be compared with Greyhounds or semi tractor-trailers that travel long distances, non stop at high speeds. Palm Tran buses travel VERY SLOW and stop every few blocks. They don't run 24 hours a day and therefore the average temperature of their tires is much lower. High temperature increases molecular activity and would tend to cause more air and nitrogen to permeate the tires. This is why NASCAR, NASA, and airlines do use nitrogen in their tires.

    The Consumer Reports test was a valid test in spite of the allegations that because the tires were not driven it was not. Driving on the tires that were tested would not have affected the RELATIVE difference between the migration of the oxygen and nitrogen molecules. It would simply have speeded up the migration of both moleules. There is no more respected and accurate independent scientific testing association than Consumer Reports.

    Lastly, in normal operations Palm Tran checks their tires and tire pressure weekly. This is very important for safety when you're transporting large amounts of people. Tires need to be inspected for leaks, damage from road hazzards or manufacturer defects in the tires. If the tire pressure is checked every week, which it is and should be, there is absolutely no advantage to paying more money for "pure nitrogen". The second tests ran the tires for THREE MONTHS without adding air or nitrogen. It costs no more to add a pound of air to an under inflated tire when your inspecting the tires weekly for problems and measuring the inflation anyway.

  43. Very well put Earl. Straight to the point!
    I must admit Earl I assumed it was a blind test. Bad assumption on my part.
    I was going the long way around the block to show that the data indicated that some one may have driven the snot out of the air in tire bus (8-1-08 thru 10-26-08) while the nitrogen in tire bus(1-2-09 thru 3-31-09) which was supposed to be carrying heaver loads during the peak season had data suggesting it was driven in a VERY different/milder manner.
    The air in tire bus had many days with widely varying tire temps with same day data. possibly indicating heaver brake usage with high temps in tires next to rear brakes on a supposedly lighter load. Many days with tire temps close to or above 120 deg and as high as 140 deg.
    The nitrogen in tire bus had more uniform temps for all the tires for same day data with tire temps the majority of the time below 100 deg.
    Wally and Jacob both pointed to the Clemson study which on the first and second page has information showing the folly of the Palm tran/ANS nitrogen/air in tire tests.
    As for MPG's. Air in tire test
    8-1-08 to 10-26-08 3.54 MPG
    Nitrogen in tire test
    1-2-09 to 3-31-09 3.56 MPG
    4-1-09 to 6-30-09 4.22 MPG. A jump of about 18 percent in fuel mileage? Same bus, same tires ,same nitrogen pressure as Jan through March.
    Like Earl said "These tests were not done with any semblance of the scientific method"

  44. Wally with all of his claimed qualifications has failed in his offer to answer questions.Jacob who backed up Wally has failed to answer any questions at all even though he worked with Wally for 25 years and in addition to working with Wally he has claimed 25 tears in the tire engineering industry.
    Earl presents a Master of Science degree from Purdue and no experience in the tire engineering industry but gave a concise and understandable explanation of the nitrogen/air in tire situation.
    Wally and Jacob are out of the picture now.
    If I may politely impose on Earl's time I shall ask his opinion on the Clemson study.
    Earl,I know you read the Clemson study and the Palm Tran/ANS study. I read your view of the Palm Tran/ANS study.
    May I ask for your scientific view of the Clemson study? Do you think their conclusion about fuel consumption and tire wear was accurate? I did not see where they took into account regularly adding tire inflation gasses when extrapolating the collected data for their conclusion.

  45. Dear Fred,

    I'll be happy to post my specific comments on the Clemson study, but please give me a few days. I've been out of town for a week attending the national Toyota dealers' meeting and taking some R&R time in Las Vegas. I'm playing "catch up" this week, but should be able to re-read the Clemson study and give you my thoughts by this weekend.


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