Heavy Duty Trucking

NOV 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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98 HDT • NOVEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com Tires&Wheels that's the case in your fleet, Stuart says you probably don't have a really good handle on your tire costs. "I charge them going on by 32nd, and credit them coming off by 32nd. It's cumbersome, but the vehicle costs can be tracked much more closely," he advises. According to Stuart, the best method for a smaller fleet to manage tires is to treat each one of them as an asset. You have to study each tire that comes off a vehicle. "Tires talk," he notes. "They do it in sign language, but analysis can help determine what, if anything cut its life short, or why it ran out to 400,000 miles. Getting right down to basics, if you keep the right amount of air in a tire and you run it straight, you'll get the best possible value out of the tire provided you paid the right price for the tire in the first place." Whether you micro- or macro- manage your tires, you'll still see value in a management program. All you really need to do is keep a close eye on the tires, and that sometimes seems to be the biggest hurdle to successful tire management. ■ Circle 152 on Reader Action Card Tire Tracking 101: Stick to the Basics E ven a pencil and paper system provides several tan- gible benefits. Tracking miles to take-off provides a basic cost-per-mile or cost-per-32nd figure. This can help when evaluating tire performance and while trying to establish a cost/benefit when switching from deep rubber to thinner, more fuel-efficient tires. It also draws attention to tires that are outside the life-expec- tancy window so you can evaluate the reason. When the truck is in the shop, perform a quick tire audit. Mileage, tread depth, signs of damage or irreg- ular wear, vehicle number and wheel position should be recorded and analyzed, Scott Perry suggests. "You're not going to see trends in two to four months, but after month nine, you should begin to see some good indications as to what your wear rates are going to be and how that compares to other vehicles in your fleet," he says. "You should also be able to determine whether you have driv- ers that aren't maintaining good air pressure in the tires and whether you have a maintenance issue with wear characteristics, such as an alignment problem." Patrick Gunn, director of sales and marketing for commercial tires at Giti Tire (USA) notes that record- ing and analyzing tire performance data not only helps you evaluate your tires but also drivers, other equipment components, maintenance practices and operating environments. A small fleet can effectively employ a paper and file system using forms or spreadsheets provided by tire manufacturers, or something created in-house. "Whether you run it in-house or utilize a tire dealer who provides professional tire tracking services, the important point is just do it — capture the data," Gunn says. He says data set should include the following: ● tire size, brand and type ● original tread depth, and tread depth at removal ● mileage at mounting and removal mileage ● recommended air pressure and actual inspected air pressure ● acquisition cost ● vehicle ID and wheel position Also, consider a permanent ID to identify the tire throughout its lifecycle either through branding or barcoding.

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