How truck fleet managers can reduce the top cause of breakdowns in Queensland

A truck tyre strategy for every day and roadside emergencies

In studies across Australia and around the world, tyres are the number one reason trucks break down while on the road. In this article, you’ll find out how you can reduce tyre issues while your truck is on the road, and what to do if you do break down on the roads around Brisbane and Queensland.

Cutting costs is a top priority for Australian truck fleets

It’s likely that your fleet is already investing heavily in cutting costs.

However, the competitive and cost benefits of modern technology and new working routines will be lost with truck breakdowns. So why do they happen, and what could they cost you?

What could a roadside breakdown cost you?

A roadside breakdown often triggers a domino topple of costly actions. You may need your truck to be towed. There will be downtime. You will probably have to dispatch another truck. You have a driver with wasted hours.

And the money saved by platooning a convoy could be a drop in the ocean compared to the damage a single truck breakdown within the convoy could cause: dozens of missed deliveries or pick-ups, and a previously unblemished reputation shattered. You could lose customers.

How likely are tyres to be the cause of roadside breakdowns?

Tyres are the number one cause of truck breakdowns on the roads, but just how much more likely is your truck to suffer a tyre issue than any other while on the road?

The most telling data available comes from FleetNet America. They compiled data from 60,000 truck repair vendors across the United States, over a five-year period. The research found that one in four roadside truck breakdowns was because of tyre problems. Tyres cause roadside problems twice as often as brakes.

What a difference it could make to your fleet costs and efficiency if you never had a tyre failure, or when you did, it was dealt with more quickly.

Use a strategy to help your tyres last longer

Improved maintenance procedures should help to reduce tyre problems on the road. In our blog post ‘Truck tyres in Brisbane – tyre management strategies that slash costs’, we detailed a 7-step fleet tyre management strategy to cut tyre costs:

  1. Purchase the best tyres that fit the required purpose
  2. Track truck tyres from day one
  3. Delegate responsibilities
  4. Create a tyre maintenance policy and set out procedures
  5. Carry out regular tyre cleaning
  6. Decide on a tyre replacement and buying policy
  7. Analyse why tyres have been scrapped

With a comprehensive tyre maintenance strategy in place, the occurrence of tyre failures while your trucks are on the road should drastically reduce. But there will still be occasions when even the best tyre maintenance program can’t stop a tyre failure on the road. How you handle this could be the difference between retaining and losing customers.

Your on-the-road tyre emergency plan

Before your trucks leave the depot, make sure that your drivers are prepared for a tyre failure on the road:

  • Ensure that mobile phones and radio systems are fully charged and that drivers have fully charged spare batteries onboard
  • Drivers should have contact details for all customers on their route – phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts – to warn them of altered delivery times as soon as they can
  • Routes should be checked for accidents, roadworks, and other obstacles (e.g. weather) before leaving the depot
  • Check that the truck is fitted with emergency equipment, including jacks, fire extinguishers, food and water
  • Emergency numbers of 24/7 roadside maintenance and repair services

While prevention is always better than cure, it pays for your truck fleet to be prepared for all eventualities.

To find out about our comprehensive services for truck owners and fleets, including our 24/7 truck and commercial mobile service – covering Queensland from south of Southport to north of Warana and east of Laidley – contact Darra Tyres today. Your fleet should never be stranded on roads in and around Brisbane again.

Keeping your business and fleet safely on the road,

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.