Why Fleet Managers Shouldn’t Tire of Tyre Maintenance
Effective tyre maintenance can significantly lower an operator’s running costs. I look at the ways in which you can manage tyre life and performance.
Though tyres only account for 5% of a truck’s operating costs they can affect 40% of all other costs, including fuel usage. With prices growing by 10-20% across the board due to the rising costs of rubber and steel, now is the time to pay attention to tyre maintenance and management.
Here are the companies helping you do just that.
Bridgestone Total Tyre Care
Recently Bridgestone has claimed that they want to sell fewer tyres. Though this might seem to be a questionable marketing strategy, they are hoping that their new product, Total Tyre Care, will encourage loyalty to the brand whilst helping customers extend tyre performance and life.
The product aims to help fleet operators manage and maximise tyre life as well as educate managers about tyre maintenance and safety. The program involves checking pressure regularly and adjusting it when necessary, as well as recommending regrooving and retreading where possible to make sure unnecessarily early replacements aren’t made.
The product has a reporting tool with which fleets can look at performance by individual vehicle or by depot. This can reveal unusual patterns of tyre consumption and allow the manager to take appropriate action.
Bridgestone is not the only manufacturer with a comprehensive management package for fleets. Michelin has an app-based system that simplifies the monitoring of fleets by centralising data from mileage to regrooving and retreading. The app allows for an instant overview of your fleet and helps you plan tyre maintenance.
Michelin also run four relevant Certificates of Professional Competence from their training centre.
Goodyear Proactive Solutions
This pan-European programme uses telemetry to take pressure and temperature readings directly from the trucks. A variety of data is collected, including tread depth and driver behaviour, which is then sent to a central server where it is analysed and the results sent to the fleet operator.
The inclusion of driver actions in this programme shows a recognition that behaviours such as repeated harsh acceleration and violent cornering are significant factors.
Continental Contipressure Check System
Continental’s system uses telematics to monitor truck tyres in real-time. The system can instruct a driver to move to a safe place in order to resolve a problem before they have even noticed it. This means that drivers are less likely to be stranded on a hard shoulder waiting for fitters and valuable casings may be saved for retreading.
Retreads and Regrooving
Both retreading and regrooving are essential to cost-effective and environmentally-friendly tyre maintenance. For example, retreading, where treads are replaced but the original carcass is kept, has 30% less CO2 emissions than the manufacture of a new product.
With regrooving, a hand-held tool is used to restore up to 4mm of tread depth giving you up to 30% extra mileage. This process enhances performance through grip regeneration and increased fuel efficiency, but is not suitable for significantly damaged treads. Tyres which have undergone these processes must have the same safety and performance standards of a new product.
These companies offer user-friendly solutions to help reduce total costs and improve the efficiency and sustainability of your fleets.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides a valuable service, updating members with the latest information on issues affecting road safety, fuel costs, technology, tyre maintenance and other news from the industry. Matching delivery work with available vehicles, over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.