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Airport Trucks Beat The Twists And Turns

The rapid influence of the world first Bear’s Tyre Tracker in maximising the lifespan of tyres has now gone beyond the traditional, mainstream road truck fleet and into more specialised areas of industry.

Bear’s Tyre Tracker has been implemented by Alpha Flight Services which is stationed at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport where its specially designed truck fleet predominately traverses the tarmac to provide catering to Emirates flights along with many others.

Know as Bravo units, these 17 vehicles, which have been specially designed and built by Byron GSE are all refrigerated and provide meal replenishments and change outs for passengers on the Emirates Boeing 777 and A380 Airbus routes between Sydney and the rest of the world.

Maintenance Co-ordinator  at Alpha Flight Catering, Mr Dale Marsh, says by implementing the Bear’s Tyre Tracker the company has been able to quantify its tyres and turn them from a costly consumable into a capital asset.

According to Mr Marsh, the advice also provided by the developer of this technology, Mr Brad Bearman of Bears tyres, also ensured the company better understands how it can minimise its tyre costs and in turn showed how many dollars are being saved.

“There are a lot of twists and turns on the tarmac, and because of this constant rugged activity we found that our tyres on the Bravos were wearing out very quickly,” said Mr Marsh.

“The trucks originally were supplied with a block pattern on every tyre, but we changed to a different tread pattern on Brad’s advice and found that even this bit of detail made a telling difference to our bottom line and the lifespan of each tyre.

“Before Brad’s involvement I had to change the tyres physically but always on one side the tyre would be worn out because that is really about as much as you can do with the naked eye.

“These bravo trucks are also registered to travel on public roads in case they ever need to be moved to a maintenance depot, or across to the other side of the airport using external roads, this will always have some effect on the lifespan of the tyres.

“But because Bear’s Tyre Tracker is a software base system, we are advised by this technology exactly when each tyre is to be rotated, balanced, retreaded and eventually changed.

“So we are making the most of every single unit and at the same time openly quantifying the costs while extending the lifespan of the rubber.”

The Bravo trucks are Australian made and owned (Byron GSE is the manufacturer). Seven of these large units are permanently deployed in a depot beside Alpha’s main kitchen located adjacent to the domestic terminals at Sydney airport.

The other 10 vehicles do a lot of their work across the other side of the airport by the control tower (which is where the company’s other kitchen is)

Four A380 units are specially fitted to load and unload the large A380 aircraft. These have dual axles at the back, performing a lot of tight turning on concrete which is high grip and razor sharp.

These four A380 trucks have a larger cab and are a little bit longer. An 8.5 m extension allows these units to reach into the fuselage of the high-base A380 aircraft to load and unload meal containers.

Frequency of truck movement is extremely high because the fleet must manage meal replacements for approx 25 flights daily between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Having Bear’s Tyre Tracker as part of our management inventory has made a big difference to how I manage the tyres now,” said Mr Marsh.

“I don’t have to spend vast amounts of time making personal, visual checks on every single tyre in all sorts of weather conditions.

“Bear’s Tyre Tracker alerts us to everything that needs to be done at an optimum moment in the tyre’s timeline and the staff from Bears Tyres to the rest.”

What is gained with Bear’s Tyre Tracker is complete transparency over the cost of tyre purchase. It discloses all running costs over the entire lifecycle of each and every tyre.

It turns fleet tyres into a capital asset rather than a costly consumable, giving control of this asset to managers rather than drivers.

Bear’s Tyre Tracker consolidates all operations and depots under the one umbrella, providing extensive data for the hands-on side of tyre choice and maintenance as well as the white collar end, suiting accountants and planners too.

Too many tyres are being retired too early or are wasted far too quickly, meaning money is squandered. With Bear’s Tyre Tracker, this will never happen again as guesswork is taken out of the equation.

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