Is your fleet getting the maximum kilometres from its tyres?

Why tyre pressure and regular maintenance can improve your bottom line

It surprises me that so many fleet managers undervalue tyres and that drivers aren’t educated on how to get the best from them. After all, tyres are one of the highest costs of a fleet of vehicles, and they may be the most important of all a fleet’s assets. Consider these factors:

  • During the course of a truck’s life, its tyres will cost more than engine rebuilds
  • Without tyres, your trucks don’t move – and your company doesn’t make a profit
  • When tyres fail on the road, the result can be catastrophic

How much do your tyres cost you?

Can you say how much your tyres cost per kilometre? Many fleet managers don’t have this number to hand. They know their fuel costs and driver costs per kilometre, but they don’t have a deep understanding of how much their tyres cost.

You’ve invested heavily in your tyres. Large companies have millions of dollars invested in the rubber between their vehicles and the tarmac beneath them. They insist their office workers maintain their computers with regular backups, daily cleans, virus protection, and so on. Tyres are maintained weekly at best. Yet there is a daily tyre maintenance routine that your drivers should do, and which could save you a small fortune on your tyre costs.

Relieve the pressure on tyre costs by running tyres at the correct pressure

A truck’s tyres are reliant on running at the correct pressure. Inflation affects braking distances, handling and traction. If tyre pressures vary across axles, it affects your loading and puts pressure on transmissions. It affects suspension and shock absorbers. Your engine maintenance costs increase. Incorrectly inflated tyres wear more quickly. Add all of these effects together, and you have a heavy cost to safety, and to your bottom line profits.

Here are a few examples of how much poorly inflated tyres could be costing your fleet:

  • On dual tyres, a difference of just 5 psi between the tyres will mean one tyre’s tread wears far faster than the other. Meanwhile, the other’s casing wears faster. The life of both tyres is negatively impacted.
  • Wheel bearings are impacted by uneven dual tyre pressures, too. A difference of 5 psi could decrease life by 10%.
  • If you run a tyre at 10% underinflated from recommended pressure, it will wear out around 10% to 15% faster, and increase fuel consumption by around 3%.

Is a daily tyre pressure check enough?

As a tyre warms up, its pressure changes. Tyre pressure checks are usually undertaken when the tyre is cold, and so the dynamics change as the truck is driven. For optimum tyre pressure management, fleet managers are turning to tyre sensors and tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs).

Tyres also warm up at different rates according to their position on a vehicle. This variance in pressures between tyres on different axles can be 5 psi on dual tyre axles – with the effect on cost as noted above: a decrease in tyre life, poorer braking and handling, and an increase in fuel consumption.

Data collected from a TPMS enables pressures to be maintained at optimum levels, decreasing your costs and increasing your profits.

How do you maintain your fleet’s tyres?

What is your tyre maintenance routine? Do you have a weekly tyre routine, and a daily tyre check? Do your vehicles benefit from TPMSs? If you aren’t maintaining your tyres correctly, it’s likely costing your fleet heavily. Well-maintained tyres last longer, increase on-road safety and decrease fuel consumption.

To find out how our fleet tyre management services help you to get the maximum number of kilometres out of every tyre on every single vehicle in your fleet, contact Darra Tyres today.

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.