The worst nightmare for any fleet owner – a flat or damaged tire! Not only does your delivery schedule go haywire, but you also risk losing the client for not delivering on time. The key to minimizing this risk would be ensuring that your tires are in great shape.
Your tires need a lot of care not only to make them last longer but because the safety of your drivers and other vehicle drivers depends on it. As such, you need a maintenance checklist for your tires just as you do for your engine.
Maintenance Tips For Your Fleet Vehicle Tires
Here are some ways to get the best mileage from your tires:
Check Tire Pressure Daily
Your tire pressure decides the life of your tire, and maintaining it is not easy. It may go down sitting idle in a parking lot. So the tire pressure must be optimal before the fleet leaves every morning.
Every tire has a recommended PSI or pounds per square inch. If it falls by more than 20%, you are exposing your tire to excessive heat and flexing that could damage the tire casing.
The manufacturer provides you with a load chart listing the recommended load type and corresponding tire pressure. There are seasonal variations for PSI. Pay attention to these metrics for the best tire health.
There are multiple benefits of optimal tire pressure like improved gas mileage, protection against potholes and bumps, higher efficiency in cargo delivery, and better traction.
Don’t Take Gators Lightly
A little damage goes a long way. While your truckers feel nothing can come in their way, there is one little obstacle that can reduce the life of the fleet tire.
A road gator or blown-out tires on the road can be as damaging as potholes. Your fleet drivers should be instructed to avoid these thick, jagged pieces of rubber lying on the road.
Have A Rotation Schedule
You can extend the life of the tires by rotating them every 5000 to 8000 miles, depending on the kind of trips your fleet makes.
Just like the hours of service are necessary for a tired driver, your tires could do with a break via a standard rotation schedule. Reputed tire brands will sometimes recommend the desired rotation schedule.
The wear-and-tear of tires takes place at a higher rate in different positions of your tire as the truck is not perfectly balanced. When you rotate your tires, wear-and-tear won’t occur in the same place.
Regular Inspection After Trips
Tiny objects on the road go unnoticed by your driver, but they do their bit to damage the tires. These could be uneven pavements, tiny rocks, debris, or potholes, and all these add up when it comes to your tire life.
Left unattended, you could have a nasty surprise with a blow-out soon. The best way to handle these problems is to set up an inspection schedule. This schedule could be distance-wise or hourly.
Before the fleet leaves for a trip or when they return from one, inspect the tires so that the drivers are not at risk.
You need to also check the wheels for any dents that might have occurred due to disaster-grade pothole and needs immediate attention.
When it comes to road safety, the tire tread plays an important role in traction and should be included in your tire inspection schedule. The Penny Tire Test is a popular way to test your tires.
You need to understand the tread depth for this test. If the tread depth is 4/32″ or more, the tires are in good shape.
When the depth is 3/32″, your tires need to be replaced soon. If you find that the tread is 2/32″ or less, your tires need replacement now.
The test involves inserting the penny into the tread groove of the tire, with Lincoln’s head facing downwards. If Lincoln’s head can be seen fully, the tread depth is under 2/32,” and your tires have to be replaced.
The good news is your tires still might go a long way with a process called recapping. You can retread a tire for the second or third time, depending on the thickness of the tire.
This helps you get maximum mileage out of every tire you buy.
You might be going by the book when it comes to maintaining your tire, but how do you check if the fleet driver is taking you for a ride?
The way to check against misuse by your fleet drivers would be ensuring that IFTA requirements are met.
A part of IFTA reporting would be to calculate IFTA miles and record them according to the jurisdiction of each state the vehicle has passed through.
AI on the road is a lifesaver when it comes to checking whether there has been any deviation from the original route. The solution is asset tracking with real-time GPS to keep a tab on the exact location of your fleet.
Whether it is the extra miles or a detour taken by the fleet, it does take a toll on your tires. When you keep these under control, the wear-and-tear of the tires reduces, and they last longer.
Quality goes a long way for your fleet tires. The tires you buy need to be highly-durable with low rolling resistance so that you get the best value for every buck you spend.
Even though high-quality tires have a higher initial investment, their frequency of replacement is lesser, and the savings you make on maintenance provide high returns over the long term.
Get The Best From Every Tire
When you give your fleet tires the right attention, they reward you in many ways. With higher fuel efficiency and improved delivery, your revenues and profits go up.
Considering these multiple benefits, make sure that your scheduled maintenance includes your tires as well.
With regular inspection, you can minimize the risk to your fleet and your business. It also protects your fleet against accidents due to damaged tires.
Don’t compromise on tire quality and get the best for your fleet. Let your tires drive your profits to the next level!