Every fleet operator out there would know that when it comes to costs, its fuel that’s number 1, followed very closely by tyres at the number two spot. Yet whilst many operators go in boots and all to try and lower their fuel costs, when it comes to tyres, it seems they are treated like the mad Aunty in the attic- forgotten about and rarely even mentioned.
However, lets face it- with the same approach operators take to their capital equipment and other assets, managing your tyres properly can and will reduce operating costs, reduce asset costs, increase efficiency and even increase safety – all at the same time.
So the following are a couple of ways transport and fleet operators can achieve all that- just by showing some love to their tyres:
- Keeping up the pressure.
Tyre pressure is important- and should be treated with the same gravitas as one would treat oil pressure in an engine. In fact, maybe more so- your business rides on those tyres, so keeping them happy and not too chubby and not too light is as important as keeping your bank manager happy.
- The shocking truth.
So why do we have shock absorbers included in a tyre management article? Well, because shock absorbers are all about wear and tear- when your shocks are worn, your suspension will oscillate to a point where your tyre breaks traction with the road. This leads to a dog’s breakfast of worn patches, inconsistent wear and tear on the tyre, which will reduce the life of a tyre. Furthermore, if the need arises for emergence braking, a defective set of shocks can and will impair your ability to control the vehicle during an emergency, which could lead to a disaster.
- It’s all about the Camber.
Most tyres are designed to sit perfectly square on a road. Too bad Australian roads are hardly ever flat for reasons of water drainage so the camber angle of the wheel needs to be adjusted accordingly. If this is not done properly, then of course, you will get uneven wear on tyre shoulders, leading to deformation and tyres that heat up quicker than they are designed to do so, meaning they will fail prematurely, especially if we are talking about long distances and/or high speeds.
- Getting back on track.
Friction along the tread surface occurs when tyres are out of square with the vehicle’s centerline. So steer tyres wear faster along one shoulder and feather on the other side. For trailer tyres, this could result in not just uneven wear, but an increase in fuel usage as in effect, you are increasing the friction co-efficient of the trailer tyres, thus creating more drag, meaning the engine has to work harder to pull the load along the road.
So how can you prevent, fix or even pre-empt these issues, without the need to pull off the truck tyres every two weeks?
According to Brad Bearman of Bear’s Tyres, “its not the cost of the tyres, it’s what you can get out of them that really matters”.
And regardless of the brand of tyre you are using, Mr. Bearman says that managing your tyres is good for the environment, good for safety and definitely good for your bottom line.
“When we use the Bear’s Tyre Tracker”, says Mr. Bearman, “we find that we can actually gauge the cost per kilometer of each individual truck tyre on every single vehicle a company runs”.
“In real terms”, he says, “we can increase your tyre life by anywhere between 25 to 50 per cent and from a capital expenditure point of view, spending only $25, 000 a year on tyres when prior to using the tracker, you would have spent $40,000 is certainly worth thinking about”.
Furthermore says Mr. Bearman, “I have over 30 years worth of tyre management experience and unlike a number of well-known retail tyre companies, I can and will service your vehicles when and where you need, regardless of time or place”.<
“Just by doing something simple like managing your tyre service, using the tyre tracker to regulate your tyre rotation, keeping a form eye on your pressures and of course knowing when to retread, means that a cheapish tyre could well last you the same as a well-known name brand”.
“Its all about the management of the tyres”, concludes Mr. Bearman, adding that at the very least, ”you are not only saving yourself money, but you are also keeping Australians in a job at the same time”.
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