The Importance of Tire Management

Kenworth Truck Tires

It’s better for fleets to have a proactive, rather than reactive, approach when it comes to truck tires. Drivers don’t want to find themselves on the side of the road, deflated with a breakdown. Good tire management is a must.

Here are five major components of an effective tire management program:

Tire Analytics
Using technology to manage your tire data is paramount. Software systems are fully digital, with the ability to track tire performance by average miles per 32nd tread depth, separating linehaul vs. vocational applications, tire place and rotation on the steer and drive axle. This is all good information to help a business expand its reliable miles. By taking business analytics and interpreting them, improved decisions can be made to purchase specific brand tires, which provide better fuel economy and uptime.

Selection of a Tire Vendor
Understanding a tire vendor’s capabilities is critical to your business’ success. The vendor needs to be proactive in the prevention of roadside tire issues and complete tire maintenance with a fleet inspection, checking for problems like:

  • Alignment
  • Inflation
  • Matching tire tread
  • Broken valve caps
  • Rotating tires
  • Debris

Tire vendors can review the tire performance data, tire purchases and tire expenditures like new tires, retreads and labor to interpret the analytics of the fleet.

Tire Standardization
Spec’ing the right tire for the right application can single-handedly prevent failures and premature wear out. Working with your service provider or tire vendor can help guide the tire selection for your business, standardizing tires for pickup delivery, regional carriers, linehaul and even vocational applications. By doing so, you can minimize inventory, tire damage and increase the reliable miles for the tire.

Tire Maintenance
Drivers should perform pre- and post-trip inspections, reviewing tread depth, pounds per square inch (PSI) and looking for debris or damage. Tires that are 20 percent underinflated should be considered flat and inspected or repaired by a certified repair person. Driving underinflated tires will decrease fuel economy, as every 10 PSI below the recommended amount decreases the vehicle’s fuel economy by 1 percent. If the vehicle is not aligned correctly, it can cause irregular tire tread wear, decreasing the life of the tire and even damaging the casing. Additionally, mismatching tires can decrease the life and return on assets.

Casing Management
Casing management can be cumbersome, but when managed properly, fleets can see increased savings. It is recommended to keep a casing inventory, allowing you to have greater control of the quality of the casing.

Tires are one of the highest expenses in the transportation business. Being proactive and implementing a detailed tire management system can not only save your business money, but also increase on-time deliveries and overall effectiveness.

Talk to your local MHC dealer today and learn more about optimizing your truck’s tires!

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