Control Tire Expenseshessamaldin
10 Ways to Control Tire Expenses for Your Truck Fleet
The following guidelines should serve you well until you develop a system of your own for ordering the proper tires for your operation.
1. Select the proper tire required for your vehicle, considering all of the vehicles’ unique or expected applications.
2. Ensure you are getting at least the tires that meet or exceed all OEM (manufacturers) specifications and Department of Transportation-required standards.
3. Do not shop for price alone. Purchasing a tire based upon price alone and not taking into consideration the intended lifecycle of the tire, its ultimate use during that time frame, the maintenance that will be afforded the tires during their service, and the possibility of that tire casing being recapped and returned to service, are all items that could directly affect your purchase.
4. Look for tire manufacturer specials. Sometimes it’s possible to purchase a group of tires at one time, for future use, and get either special pricing, additional extended warrantees, or special payment considerations. Again, be aware of what you’re buying. Ensure you’re getting “apples for apples” in all your tire dealings. Check the data on the tire sidewall to ensure you received what you paid for.
5. Make an effort to purchase your tires in a timely manner to possibly meet either summer or winter driving demands. In many instances, vehicles will require a more aggressive tread in the winter, while a standard (less expensive) tire with a highway tread pattern could suffice in summer months.
6. Mechanic, operator, and owner responsibilities where tire maintenance and condition are concerned are very important. Monitoring tire tread depth, sidewall condition, tire pressure, and using good overall tire replacement procedures can go a long way toward making or breaking any organization. One accident that could be contributed to a lack of expertise, concern, care or just plain common operating sense could be very costly. There are standards of tread depth at which tires must be removed. You should be aware of those figures for all areas in which your vehicles operate.
7. Companies and organizations with only a few vehicles and no on-staff capability of mechanics or dedicated tire personnel, should consider outsourcing their tire program. Of course, this too must be done with care, to ensure the proper organization and product are brought on board to fill the companies needs. Most tire manufacturers will gladly provide you with an overview of your fleet’s general tire condition, make recommendations, and sometimes commit to additional warranties. Manufacturers will gladly connect you with the local dealer capable of serving your organization and its requirements.
8. Probably the two most neglected areas in any tire management program are the proper matching of tires by size (in dual-wheel applications), and the maintaining of proper air pressure. Improper inflation is undoubtedly the major cost-generating factor in any tire management program. (See doorjamb sticker, owner’s manual or consult your tire supplier for the proper tire pressure and rotation schedule for your vehicles.) Whenever possible, it is a good idea to try to match tire tread patterns in dual tire and front tire applications. Mayhew stressed that many companies waste dollars worth of tire wear each year, by mismatching tires. Mayhew said, “Numerous tires would have been good candidates for longer mileage and recap, but improper tire management virtually wasted a good casing.” It’s a fact that tires that are mismatched by as little as 5/16th of an inch difference in circumferences can cause the smaller tire to be dragged up to 13 feet in a single mile, or 200-plus miles for every 100,000 miles of use.
9. Did you know that under-inflation, by as little as 10 percent, can reduce your tire’s life by as much as 9 percent to 16 percent over its lifecycle?
Believe it or not, that added operating expense is approximately doubled with each 10 percent in pressure drop. This should be all the incentive an operator of any fleet should require, to insist on the proper and consistent monitoring of tire pressures. Most manufacturers or dealers have really explanatory example photos to show what effects over- and under-inflation has on tire wear.
Here are some rules to follow on tire inflation:
- Never check your pressure immediately after the tire has been run and is warm.
- Try to maintain pressures for a loaded condition.
- Establish a schedule or time frame for checking your tire pressures.
10. Last, but not least, there is a well-known publication that very few vehicle operators read and heed, (especially fleet vehicle operators); it’s call the owners manual. Check it out; you’d be surprised how much information the manufacturer has crammed into that “glove box rattle stopper.”