Tech Tip: Let Nitrogen Make You Money
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Tech Tip: Let Nitrogen Make You Money

If you’re shopping for a nitrogen generator, here are a few things to consider. Does the unit you’re buying feature an "auto down" that results in less wear and tear on the compressor, not to mention less energy use? Also look for such features as a complete pre-filtration package that offers reliability and long operating life. Does the generator have a receiver tank included? Consider if you would fare better with a floor- or wall-mounted unit.

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If you’re shopping for a nitrogen generator, here are a few things to consider. Does the unit you’re buying feature an “auto down” that results in less wear and tear on the compressor, not to mention less energy use? Also look for such features as a complete pre-filtration package that offers reliability and long operating life. Does the generator have a receiver tank included? Consider if you would fare better with a floor- or wall-mounted unit.

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Most nitrogen generator manufacturers will tell you all about tire inflation capacity. One maker talks about five of its generators. One lets you fill 30 tires per hour if the size is 195/65R15, while another will cover 90 tires of that size per hour. Another can fill 14 11R22.5 size tires an hour.

Depending on the volume of business in your shop for passenger or medium truck tires, these statistics can be critical. Shipping weight can vary from 150 to 422 lbs., another consideration when ordering a nitrogen generator. Dimensions are also important and can range from 32” (height) x 19” (width) x 5” (depth) up to 69” (height) x 24” (width) x 20“ (depth).

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Be sure to examine nitrogen purity before laying out cash. Some generators use something called “smart nitrogen purity controls,” while others come direct from the factory with clearly stated nitrogen purity ratings, such as 95% pure.

Although features and benefits vary from company to company, the new breed of generators features a membrane that doesn’t degrade over time and no moving parts. Another plus is that a new nitrogen generator can be connected to an existing compressed-air supply and be ready to generate nitrogen in minutes. One maker says its nitrogen generator is configurable and upgradeable, even while in use. Across the board, such units are said to be very quiet. Other claims by nitrogen generator makers include the prevention of auto-ignition of tires and the elimination of rim corrosion.

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To help you calculate profitability for a new nitrogen generator, one maker walks you through a return on investment model. The cost of a unit in its example is $6,478. If you charge $5 per tire for nitrogen inflation and fill all four tires on 10 vehicles a day, it will take you 33 days to pay for the new nitrogen unit. Be sure to do your homework by contacting a variety of nitrogen generator companies.

Source: Tire Review magazine

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