GARNER, N.C. — Everyone seems to be looking for ways to save money at the gas pump. The Garner Police Department has taken a unique approach.
Officer D.A. Taylor spends most of his 12-hour shift on the road. When he isn't speaking with speeding drivers he has stopped, he's behind the wheel. In his job, he can't help but burn a lot of fuel.
Now, Garner police have a new secret weapon against the high prices at the pump – nitrogen. They're pumping it into their tires.
“It’s been used on the space shuttle, commercial aircraft for decades,” said car dealer David Hurd. “Nitrogen is not affected by normal cold and hot conditions, so you don’t have any fluctuation in the air pressure.”
As a result, nitrogen is reported to extend the life of a tire and provide better fuel economy.
“There’s approximately a 10 percent savings on gas mileage, and when you’re talking about 60 cars in a fleet, you’re talking about quite a bit of money over time,” said Garner Police Sgt. Joe Binns.
A local dealership was one of the first in the area to offer it in vehicles. They are donating it to the Garner Police Department free of charge.
“Anytime when we can save money for taxpayers, it’s worthwhile,” Binns said.
For Taylor, there’s a side benefit. Nitrogen is also known for providing a smoother ride.
“I can feel a big difference. The bridge we just went over, the jolt you felt then is normally about twice that amount,” Taylor said.
Garner is one of the first police departments to use nitrogen in their tires. You don't have to have a special vehicle or tires, but nitrogen does cost more than air. The local dealer charges $50 to fill tires normally.