10 Ways to Maintain Fleet Tires
Any fleet manager would agree that maintaining a fleet within an affordable budget is a huge task. Add to the mix high fuel costs and there is no room for hefty tire repair fees or unnecessary downtime. By choosing the correct tires, keeping them maintained and utilizing fleet fuel cards, fleet managers can cut down on costs so that the vehicles aren’t working harder to overcompensate for failing tires
Benefits of using Fleet Credit Cards
- Control and Monitor fuel intake
- Manage tire costs
- Implement a tire maintenance program
- Put a roadside repair program in place
Ten ways to effectively choose and maintain fleet tires with fleet fuel cards
1. Re-evaluate your current tire maintenance program. Fleet managers should request that suppliers present their recommended plans on outfitting the fleet with tires. By doing research and talking to many different companies fleet managers can find the best tire provider that meets their exact needs
2. Choose a tire company that is available whenever and wherever vehicles travel. Costs can add up, especially if a tire company isn’t within a reasonable location to the fleet. Providers that must travel a long distance can result in longer downtimes for roadside repairs. Any tire company under consideration should not only be able to get to drivers fast, but also work with business fuel cards, which will help to provide better reporting and monitoring of roadside expenses.
3. Develop a repair program with a supplier to help cut down on costs. Flat tires result in incremental costs and downtime that can be harmful to a budget. As a result, it is important to choose a tire company that will work to develop a low cost repair policy. By doing this, the fleet is getting the replacement tires needed in a timely manner without price fluctuations and hidden fees
4. Work with a tire dealer to secure the same tires is on each vehicle. This will minimize costs and ensure that fleet tires perform optimally. Always pay attention to the actual tire specifications. Ideally each vehicle should have tires with the same tread pattern, same tread depth and same overall height on all new tires and replacement tires.
5. Store tires properly. Improper storage can cause damage and premature aging. Ideally tires should be stored in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. They should not be stacked, but rather stored on their treads.
6. Put in place a tire maintenance program. This means assessing tire use over a period of time to draw baseline data and then using that data to improve overall tire maintenance. Monitor and record air pressures, load weights, tire inspections, retreads, tire life and failed tires.
7. Ensure that employees dealing with changing and handling tires are properly trained to avoid costly mistakes, damaged equipment and even injury. Train employees to properly change tires and participate in ongoing tire maintenance training programs.
8. Train drivers to check tire air pressure. Not only should they be trained in properly working with fleet tires, but drivers should know some basics about their vehicle’s tires as well. This starts with knowing the air pressure requirements for each load. Since air pressure needs vary with different weights, drivers will need to know how to check air pressure, how much is needed per load and how often to check it when on the road
9. Enforce tire maintenance on the road. Drivers inspect tires pre and post trip. A quick inspection will help identify potential problems before they occur, therefore cutting down on roadside costs
10. Prepare drivers for roadside emergencies. Train drivers on how to pull, replace and repair tires when on the road. Additionally, hand out fleet business gas cards and train drivers on the appropriate ways to use them. This will enable fleet managers to monitor and control roadside costs
http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/Channel/Bus-Maintenance/Articles/2010/03/Tire-Maintenance-Best-Practices.aspx http://www.masstransitmag.com/article/10256147/getting-the-most-from-your-tires-from-technology-to-maintenance http://www.worktruckonline.com/Article/Story/2007/07/40-Ways-to-Reduce-Truck-Fleet-Costs.aspx?interstitial=1