A forecast international increase in the price of rubber is about to throw a new challenge to the State governments of Australia.
Government bus fleets will find that the price of tyres they use are almost certain to suffer price inflation due to demands in stock by the massive populations of Asia’s emerging markets.
Tender processes through State governments have provided some subsidies to tyre suppliers that successfully gain the business, but that is likely not to be enough anymore.
Australia’s only independent tyre dealer that specialises in tyre lifecycle management, Bear’s Tyres, says when tyre brands are forced to raise prices as rubber becomes more expensive, maximising tyre lifespan will be the critical issue for government bus fleet administrators.
Managing Director of the company, Mr Brad Bearman, says tyre management of State government bus fleets has all been operated in a very static way for quite some time with no real challenge thrown at it by potential alternatives,” said Mr Bearman.
“But now that there is a consolidation in rubber production plants in the fast-growing Asia region, it has been widely publicised in B2B media that tyre demand will suddenly increase and raise the price of tyres considerably.
“This throws out a new challenge — as the price goes up the only way to limit cost blowouts is to ensure the life of every single tyre is maximised.
“So all the long-standing cents per kilometre (cpk/m) solution agreements with dealerships are now under threat.”
This is because a proactive maintenance solution new to the market – Bear’s Tyre Tracker – not only provides longer lifespan for each tyre, it also gives transparent and reportable data to fleet administrators to prove what it is actually doing.
Nominally, a cpk/m solution – which Mr Bearman believes is now an outdated practice – would provide all tyres and tyre maintenance at a fixed rate per kilometre.
This includes basic tyre inspection services and, more notably, the fitting and removal of tyres – so tyre replacement is in the trusted control of the company which actually sells government bus fleets the new tyres.
What Tyre Tracker has done is open the doors to government bus fleet management to extract a higher lifespan than ever before from every single tyre.
Plus it is also returns actual data on each unit for 100% transparency and government reporting requirements.
The technology is a software-based tyre tracker that is simple-to-use, which logs distances and advises rotations and retreading at optimised moments of each tyre’s lifespan.
It has been developed in-house by this brand-neutral company for national use.
Apart from enhancing and maximising tyre life, the technology also delivers intensely accurate cost breakdowns for each tyre.
Mr Bearman argues that this unique tyre lifecycle management system should be viewed as vital to government bus fleets as is engine servicing and brake checks.
“Rather than operating with the outdated cpk/m method, government offices can wrestle control of their fleet tyres away from external organisations using the Tyre Tracker,” said Mr Bearman.
“Its strength is as follows: the Tracker can prolong the life of every tyre and, for instance, rather than getting 30,000 km out of each tyre it stretches it out to 48,000 km.
“Without the transparent data of a software-based system such as the Tyre Tracker, a lot of tyres could easily still have 30% meat (usable rubber and tread) on them when they are thrown out and replaced with a costly new tyre.
“A huge gain is that although the Tyre Tracker is developed by Bear’s Tyres, there is absolutely no dependency on purchasing new tyres from our company.
“The Tracker means administrators of government bus fleets can deal with any brand supplier and maximise the lifespan from that stock.
“If you think you are getting a good deal from a supplier the Tyre Tracker can prove or disprove that without question.”
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