Fleets should look at tires as assets, not commodities, and treat them accordingly.
Back in December, we posted a blog that talked about fluctuating tire prices and the expected increase in demand from emerging markets. That will undoubtedly drive the price up again, even though the prices have recently come down due to the dropping price of natural rubber. So with this uncertainty of price and availability, it’s become increasingly important for fleets to implement tire maintenance programs. Trucking Info touched on this in an article last year, “The High Cost of Tires,” when they talked about treating tires as assets rather than commodities. And the ways to maintain the value in your tire and casing investment: good maintenance and proper tire inflation pressure. The article cites a statistic from the TMC that 90% of irregular wear and premature failures in tires may be attributable to under-inflation.
A recent article on FleetOwner.com, “Tire Costs: All the little things add up” suggests ways to optimize tire programs in order to reduce costs. Working with tire suppliers and dealers, and training drivers and mechanics on tire-related issues are two key recommendations. When drivers and mechanics are aware of what to look for, they can then inform their fleet managers of potential problems earlier. An early fix is a much less costly fix.