Earn Fleet Customer Trust Via Proactive Truck Tire Maintenance – Tire Review7 min read
Asset uptime and safety are major concerns for fleet managers, plus tire maintenance plays a key role in both. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, 11, 000 tire-related crashes each year could have been prevented with proper tire care. Additionally , in 2016, tire-related accidents resulted in more fatalities than those caused by cell-phone-related distracted driving .
For fleets, an accident due to poor tire servicing can be a significant and costly liability. If an organization’s fleet asset is found at fault in an accident due in order to improper upkeep, it could be looking at dishing out legal fees, workers’ compensation, lost hours reimbursement — and that’s on top of the cost to fix or replace the wrecked asset.
As your navy customers’ expert source inside tires, it’s important to help them navigate the particular challenges of choosing the right tires for their assets and daily operations, being proactive in tire maintenance and understanding tire-related safety concerns. Because maintenance plus fuel are usually the two highest variable costs for fleets, emphasizing the importance of appropriate tire servicing along with tips to decrease tire-related downtime is a sure way to improve fleet customers’ experience.
Rotation and Alignment
It’s important to keep fleet customers apprised associated with potential issues related in order to misalignment and improperly rotated tires. When tires are not rotated and balanced adequately, portions will lose their tread quickly plus reduce the safety of the vehicle. As a result, the vehicle has reduced braking capabilities and increased risk of hydroplaning. Tires at the front associated with vehicles don’t experience the same loads, steering or braking functions as tires at the rear, resulting within uneven wear. Tires should be spun every 5, 000 to 7, 500 miles, otherwise portions will lose their follow much quicker and have in order to be replaced potentially thousands of miles sooner. By tracking the odometer reading along with each tire rotation service and learning the asset’s average usage, you can remind fast customers when a rotation service is nearing or even due on a given resource.
Misaligned wheels are usually another cause of uneven tire wear and can affect how a vehicle brakes and responds to a driver. While driving in high speeds, misaligned wheels can increase difficulty in steering resulting in the greater likelihood of any sort of accident. In addition to posing the safety risk, misaligned wheels can be expensive because they place stress on a vehicle’s suspension—resulting within costly repairs and dragging tires—increasing fuel consumption.
Whilst there isn’t a standard for frequency of checking wheel alignment, it’s recommended to check your customer’s trucks when they purchase new auto tires. Make sure your fleet customers and their drivers know the signs of misalignment, which include the vehicle pulling to a side while driving on a straight, level road, the steering wheel being off-center while driving, or the tires having uneven put on. If any of these symptoms crop up while a driver is out on their route, they can alert their navy manager at the first safe opportunity.
Tire Pressure and Tread
Fleets consist of many moving pieces, plus standard PM tasks like maintaining consistent tire pressure can fall through the particular cracks. As their trusted expert upon tire upkeep, suggest your own fleet clients include weekly or bi-weekly PSI checks on inspections. This will not only help improve wheel health, but the inspection reports can prove the asset was properly maintained inside the event it gets into a car accident.
While both over- and under-inflated tires increase the risk associated with blowouts on the street, improper inflation isn’t the particular only car tire risk, plus it’s important that your fast customers and their drivers are aware of additional risks. Both under-inflated plus bald tires are the safety danger particularly in wet weather because vehicles have decreased braking abilities and an increased likelihood of hydroplaning.
Tread is typically one of the things scrutinized whenever inspecting tires on DVIRs, in addition to bulges, punctures and foreign objects. While tires are required simply by law in most states to be replaced when the tread reaches 2/32 inside., it’s often recommended to replace tires earlier — once the tread gets to 4/32 in. For fleets, sticking in order to the 4/32 in. rule can reduce each tire-related accidents and repair events.
Standardization Helps Fleets Reduce Downtime
Many fleets have begun to see the benefits of standardizing parts plus equipment. At Cherrylake, a Central Florida nursery wholesaler and leader in landscape construction, irrigation, and maintenance, Fleet and Raw Material Purchasing Manager Herman VanDenBogaert says that standardization has cut down on the time to repair. “If an operator says these people need the tire, we already have one mounted to a wheel here in the particular shop — we just take the whole thing out there, jack it up, switch it out and bring the other one back, ” he explains. This is a great option with regard to fleets that will service property in-house, but for those who don’t, dealer partnerships become even a lot more important. Talk with your fleet customers about their own biggest wheel issues and what their needs and expectations are as far as turnaround time to get parts delivered or services completed.
Resource standardization is not the only thing that can help fleet customers save money in the long run, though. While OEM-recommended preventive maintenance (PM) schedules plus daily automobile inspections help keep fleets proactive, general wear and tear on fleet assets typically occurs at a faster rate than personal vehicles, and miles put on them per year are around double. Some fleets are taking an additional step to become positive and basing their optimal tire replacement policy upon historical navy data. “I’ve worked with fleets that, whether their vehicles needed wheels or not, they will just have a company policy: At — and I’ll just throw a number out — 40, 000 miles, this vehicle will be getting new tires, ” explains James Shelton, technical field support manager, Jiffy Lube International. “And what a lot associated with these fleets find out is: Sure, you have a little bit of up-front cost, yet […] they never have the flat tire, or their particular number of flat tires is reduced. ”
While these types associated with actions may help reduce downtime regarding fleets, proactivity means little if not followed up with correct maintenance. “We go through thousands of dollars of tires. In case people do not take care of all of them or mind them, these people can cause a lot more damage, ” VanDenBogaert says. Find out what your own fleet customers’ PM schedules look like in order to determine if they’re performing the best maintenance practices for the auto tires, the automobile plus the application.
Temperature and Geography
Prolonged extreme temperatures, extreme fluctuations in temperature and geography all affect tires, and for fleets that will operate nationally, this can complicate points. Proper wheel maintenance in the northeast probably won’t look the same as in the southeast, but knowing how heat and location affect car tire wear may go a long way in helping fleets enhance related servicing.
Because the temp drops, so does tire pressure. Wheels lose one PSI for every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop within outside temperatures, and from 32-degrees F, you may want to recommend that your fleet clients make this a point to increase PSI checks. It’s also essential to boost PSI monitoring as temps fluctuate seasonally, as extreme temperature variances can wreak havoc on tire stress.
When thinking about geography in terms of tire upkeep, the obvious offenders are terrain plus road conditions. While many fleets are using fast management software (FMS) to optimize routes — including bypassing roads in poor condition — there are some geographical challenges that go overlooked. Humidity and even sunlight can impact tire health. “Rubber itself is usually not a chemically stable component, ” explains Shelton. “And by that, what I mean is: When it is exposed to humidity and ultraviolet rays […] the UV and humidity will take its toll upon [rubber components] and will age them faster. ”
To assist fleet customers get the most from their tires, determine what areas they serve — regardless of whether local, regional, national, or even global — and help them tailor a tire maintenance program that best fits their own needs plus locations associated with operation.
Streamlining Tire Servicing with FMS
Keeping track of support data is usually greatly important for fleets. Service and inspection records not just help preserve fleets compliant, they also assist prove proper asset maintenance in case of a good accident. As more fleet solutions become available, fleets are usually increasingly turning to fast management software (FMS) to consolidate all their data onto a single platform.
FMS helps fleet managers automate every day processes, stay on top of PM activities, and easily communicate in-house service requirements. Ask your own fleet customer which FMS they’re using and see if there’s a way you can leverage the software program to help those customers stay on top of wheel maintenance. Some fleet software has the built-in servicing shop integration, allowing fleet managers in order to streamline communication with third-party service providers to automate approvals for common maintenance items, such as car tire replacements and consolidated billing. Shops plus independent dealers can contact software providers to be added to their particular network and increase visibility among fleet customers.
Rachael Plant is a content marketing specialist for Fleetio , a fleet management software program company that helps organizations track, analyze and improve their fleet operations.