How can you reduce your fleet’s tyre costs in Queensland?

The three factors of fleet tyre management

When deciding their policy for changing tyres, the three factors that should be considered by fleets are cost, safety, and the law. Though you might think about these separately, each has an influence on the other. For example, the amount of depth remaining on the tread affects safety on the road. Waiting longer before changing tyres may reduce your costs, but it could put your fleet’s drivers in danger.

In this article, you’ll learn how to balance these three factors, and how your drivers can help to reduce tyre costs and fleet impact of downtime while tyres are being changed.

The tyre law in Queensland

By law, tyres must have at least 1.5mm of tread depth to be legal on the roads in Queensland. This must be the depth around the entire tyre and its width. If you drive on an illegal tyre, you could be given an on-the-spot fine and demerit points. It pays to know when you need new tyres, yet it is estimated that one in three Australians is currently driving on illegal tyres. A new tyre will have 8mm of tread depth.

The safety factor for fleet tyres

Tyres are essential tools for the safety of your fleet’s drivers. Braking distances are determined by several factors, and condition of tyres is high on the list. No matter how good a driver’s reflexes and the condition of the road, braking is dependent upon the grip the tyre has on the road.

If your fleet’s vehicles are being driven on tyres with 1.5mm tread, the distance they require to stop is 38% more than on a new tyre with 8mm tread depth. The danger of crashing in a fleet vehicle is increased when drivers switch between vehicles, as anticipated stopping distances differ between vehicles with tyres at different stages of wear.

It is also worth remembering that not all new tyres perform equally. Even though new tyres have the same 8mm tread depth, a premium brand tyre is likely to perform better than a budget tyre.

The cost factor for fleet tyres

If a fleet changes tyres too early, it can drastically increase costs. The greater the depth when you change tyres, the more often you will need to change them.

Development of new tyre technologies by tyre manufacturers is increasing tyre safety, and so you should be able to change at a lower tread depth. Research by Michelin has shown that changing tyres at 3mm or 4mm instead of 1.5mm leads to an extra tyre change every two years. Those sorts of costs soon mount up.

If your policy is currently to change when the tread depth reaches 2mm, increasing this to 3mm could increase your tyre costs by almost 20% – not an insignificant amount when your tyre costs may be as much as a third of your fleet’s maintenance budget.

How to reduce tyre costs for your fleet

As a company running a fleet of vehicles, you’ll need to take all the above factors into consideration to minimise costs, ensure your vehicles’ tyres are legal, and ensure the safety of your drivers. And your drivers could help you to keep your tyre costs low.

There are tricks that can be used to make commercial tyres last longer – such as never overloading, always checking tyre pressures, and using a good driving technique. But these are not the only ways in which drivers can have an impact on your costs. By using our fleet tyre management service, you can help your drivers take more responsibility for their tyres. By booking tyre services outside of work hours and calling ahead to make sure that the tyre dealer has the right tyre, downtime can be reduced – and that’s a positive contribution to your bottom line.

To find out more about the fleet tyre management services offered by Darra Tyres in Brisbane, contact us today. We’ll help you get the maximum number of kilometres from every tyre in your fleet.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.