Transport companies, couriers, bus and coach operators and any other fleet owners working nationally or over a large area now have an option in maintaining tyre warranties either than solely on their dealer’s word.
Because tyre management until now has been purely down to visual checks and ‘hunches’, national tyre dealerships have always had a controlling hand in determining the end of a tyre’s life cycle.
Although somewhat perceived this as an ongoing conflict of interest, no other option had been available — until now.
The new Big Brother of the tyre management industry – Bear’s Tyres with its Bear’s Tyre Tracker — puts control of tyre management into the hands of the owner rather than a brand dealership whose natural objective is to maximise profits on product sales.
Mr Brad Bearman, developer of Bear’s Tyre Tracker, has longstanding involvement in the re-treading industry – reaching as far back as his Alert Tyres business from 1975-1988.
“People don’t understand that tyres are in investment rather than a loss, and when they buy a tyre they should be able to follow its progress right throughout the life cycle like any other business asset, said Mr Bearman.
“There is no reason why any given tyre shouldn’t last as long as 8- 10 years. If it is retreaded professionally every 14-18 months, a decade of service should be achievable.
“At the very least, every tyre on a truck or bus should last a minimum of six years if maintained properly.”
As an independent operator in the tyre management and repair business, Bear’s Tyres deals in all brands of tyres across all price ranges and is responsible for impartial advice on such matters to many large transporters.
Some fleet operators have suggested to Mr Bearman that national tyre dealerships have an incentive to minimise the life cycle of the fleet tyres.
But Mr Bearman believes this is largely incidental, purely because no software based management system had previously been available to take on this responsibility.
But because Bear’s Tyre Tracker works from data updated and calculated on a daily basis, owners of transport vehicles as well as the national dealerships can now concentrate on getting every kilometre possible out of the tyre rubber and the tyre casings.
“The reason industry brings up this argument is that when I, for instance, buy recaps from a particular national dealership, I end up buying stock recaps which have a cap and case and I should get 100% warranty on it because it is their stock,” said Mr Bearman.
“Yet, because there has not been any real time based tracking system that manages to tell every single tyre and casing apart from the others, it had been an accepted norm that such equipment should always be written off as an operating loss.
“But with the Tracker we have constant, identifiable proof of where and when each tyre was bought and if a retread blows the Tracker can show which particular axle was carrying that retread and which casing it was on.
“This makes sure that any national transporter can get its warranties paid by the brands.
“It is a major development and until now, on a daily basis, transport companies have been losing because there was no control following through with items that are on warranty.
“If the Tracker isn’t going to watch, who is going to watch? If you don’t get your $240 worth of wear from every tyre you basically lose $240.”
Bear’s Tyre Tracker is a software base system that logs every single tyre owned by a fleet operator and allows these tyres to be properly tracked, right down to the axle on which they are fitted, and ensures optimised rotation and rebalancing to extract every bit possible from the expected lifespan of a tyre.
Alert Tyres was a highly successful tyre re-treader in the 1970s and 1980s. The former company performed around 90 quality retreads a day— for Brambles, various large tipping companies, bus companies and the like.
During the 1980s, the Australian economy was tough on the truck and transport sector, so retreads were big business
Mr Bearman believes each tyre, if managed professionally, can last up to 500,000 kms and above, as opposed to the widespread average of only 250,000 kms.
“A tyre is an investment—- if it is managed properly it should save you money, not cost you money,” said Mr Bearman.
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