Keeping Track of Tire Co$t$
However, here’s a word of caution: Tire-tracking software is not intended to track every tire on every vehicle in a fleet. It is intended to be a tool to aid in the tire decision-making process by providing a way to sample performance from a selected group of vehicles within the fleet.
While tire software packages can track performance, there are other programs that can calculate and predict tires costs based on running different tire combinations. For example, a fleet maintenance manager may want to know whether to run new tires or retreads on drive axles or see how off-highway tires perform versus tires that were designed for on-highway and off-highway use.
A software program can calculate the costs for each scenario as well as the fuel costs. Fuel economy differences among various tire combinations and varying wear rates help determine which tires will deliver the overall lowest cost of operation.
Predicting tire costs through information
Keeping good records and possessing data that predicts tire wear can help lower fleet costs. Knowing which tires are most cost effective on a fleet’s trucks can assist future tire purchase decisions.
What’s more, knowing the wear rates of tires, or how many months the tires last if in severe-duty applications, allows you to anticipate “peaks and valleys” in the replacement tire purchase cycle. This could help with budget planning in the months and years ahead.
You may want to evaluate comparable tire types made by different manufacturers or tire types within the same brand.
A fleet that is composed of various vehicle types, or trucks having different engines, must be considered in tire analysis. You shouldn’t evaluate one type of tire on a group of dump trucks and another type on mixers. The results will not provide a fair evaluation of the tires. When a fair comparison has been completed, you have information that can lead to making the right tire choices for your fleet.
Putting data to work
Tire performance between different company locations or terminals can be tracked in the same way as performance on different fleet vehicles.
Capturing and analyzing tire data can provide insight on what tires perform best and offer the lowest cost per mile.
Tracking software allows fleets to pinpoint problem areas or establish best practices based on outstanding performance in one or more locations. Information is power, and once data are compiled, it can be used to make intelligent tire decisions.
A well-run tire program transcends buying quality tires. Tires should be viewed as a system — tread designs and tread compounds, casing durability, and maintenance practices are all important factors. Tracking them can help determine what works best. When your job is to stay profitable through low cost-per-mile and tires are one of your highest operating costs, it’s imperative to track your numbers. It’s the only way to a solid bottom line.
Tim Miller has been with Goodyear/Veyance Technologies for more than 30 years. He spent eight years as a tire design engineer before taking positions as a technical representative to original equipment customers, and later, as a technical rep to several large commercial tire customers. After five years in commercial tire sales, he returned for a second stint in the commercial tire marketing department as commercial tire marketing communications manager.
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