Phoenix nitrogen inflation service branches into Nevada, New Mexico
April 30, 2008 · Published By Ty Young
A local entrepreneur has corned the Phoenix market with his mobile nitrogen tire inflation service. Now Frank Ruscitti, owner and founder of Phoenix-based Nitrogen Man is taking his business further down the road.
Ruscitti started the company one year ago, offering the Valley one of its first drive-through nitrogen filling stations. He soon started a mobile service and is the few only local licensed reseller and installer of nitrogen equipment manufactured by industry leaders Parker Hannifin and Branick Industries. He targets large-scale automotive and retail outlets, most of which have large lots filled with idle cars.
Given how the hot temperatures deflate air-filled tires fast than those filled with nitrogen, branching service into Albuquerque and Las Vegas made was a natural decision, Ruscitti said. He has installed nitrogen inflation systems at Lexus of Las Vegas, Gaudin Jaguar Porsche Austin Martin, United Nissan and Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati, all in Las Vegas. Nitrogen Man services will also be used in Albuquerque’s Rich Ford, Southwest Hyundai and Larry Miller Hyundai.
Ruscitti and his team will supply the nitrogen to all of the dealerships and perform maintenance when necessary.
“Auto retailers are beginning to recognize that new technology has made on-site nitrogen generators an affordable option to compressed air,” he said. “In addition, cars that may be immobile and sitting on the lot for a significant period of time will maintain the appropriate tire pressure longer if they are filled with nitrogen.”
Ruscitti is a 30-year-veteran of the automotive industry and became a proponent of nitrogen inflation systems. While people have used nitrogen in their tires since the 1960s, the cost was too steep for most people to use. Since then, containment and delivery technology has come down to manageable levels.
Research shows that nitrogen, a moisture-free, nonflammable gas, has a small effect on gas mileage averages, according to an independent study by Consumer Reports. Other studies show that air-filled tires need to be inflated four times as often as those filled with nitrogen.
Still, the debate rages amongst between users and skeptics. Much of the support for nitrogen inflation is anecdotal. Still, Ruscitti said business is increasing and as gas prices climb further, people are looking for anything to boost their mileage per gallon.
The airline industry, the military and high-performance racing industry use nitrogen inflation because it is denser and is not affected by heat or cold. Nitrogen molecules are also larger than air molecules, so they do not seep out of rubber tires as quickly and without a more constant pressure, Ruscitti said. These industries prefer nitrogen because it is non-combustible, which could mean life or death in a high-speed or in-air accident.
In 2005, Costco Wholesale Corp. became the first large retail service to offer nitrogen inflation, but only for tires purchased at their stores. Nitrogen Man is the first in the state to offer mobile service, giving residents and small car lot owners an easy delivery point for nitrogen inflation.
“More and more auto retailers are finding an advantage to offering nitrogen tire inflation to their customers, and savvy consumers are realizing the benefits,” Ruscitti said. “Nitrogen filled tires increase fuel efficiency because it maintains a more stable tire pressure; therefore tires wear more consistently and can actually increase the life of the tire.”
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