Category Archives for "Truck Tyres"

Continental’s latest truck tyre pressure monitoring system is unveiled in Brisbane

Greater safety, lower costs and greener fleets promised

The Brisbane Truck Show is Australia’s premier truck event. This year’s show held over three days in mid-May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. In its fiftieth year, as ever, the show had something for everyone. Corner for the kids, a hub for those seeking a new career in the truck industry, and the fantastic Plaza Terrace BBQ Bar. For those wanting a little up-market R&R, the Piano Bar beckoned.

One of the favourites of the show is the Heavy Vehicle Industry Innovation Centre. This year the exhibits didn’t disappoint. They never do. Continental took this opportunity to unveil its new truck tyre check products. And they look pretty good.

The new all-seeing eye for your truck tyres

The best truck tyre pressure monitoring systems help a fleet save on fuel costs and increase mileage. They help reduce costs further by increasing the ability to retread the tyres. Equally important, these systems increase safety by reducing the potential for tyre failure.

Easy-to-install tyre checking

Continental’s ContiPressureCheck is easy to install and mounted inside the tyre. You don’t have to have Continental tyres fitted to benefit from the system, either – it’s compatible with all tyre brands.

The sensor monitors the tyre continuously for both temperature and pressure. This data flow can be integrated with an existing telematics system and viewed on an external device.

Giving control to fleet managers

Another tyre check system, the YardReader Station, lets fleet managers monitor the tyre pressures of their fleet. It reads the data from the ContiPressureCheck each time the truck passes the station in the fleet yard. The fleet manager is more able to control the fleet’s tyres, ensuring they are inflated to the correct pressure for load and driving conditions. This system is due to be released here in Australia within the next few months, at the same time as the new ContiConnect.

Analytics made easy – ContiConnect

ContiConnect has been designed specifically for commercial fleets. It monitors and analyses tyre data that has been collected by the YardReader Station from the ContiPressureCheck sensors in each truck’s tyres. A report sent to the fleet manager. In the report, recommendations made for any corrections that may be needed. It allows the fleet manager to be more proactive in taking action such as tyre maintenance.

The entire system configured to connect the entire fleet’s tyres for monitoring. It means that whether a vehicle is on the road for several days at a time, or in and out of the yard on a daily basis, the data is always relevant and ‘in date’. Receiver units connected in the depot or in vehicles that are on the road, with an online portal providing full reporting of performance and efficiency.

Fleet-friendly benefits

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) continue to evolve. The Continental system is an integrated system that works with existing systems and on all tyre brands.

Across an entire fleet, the effect of measuring, monitoring and correcting tyre pressures can be staggering. Mileage should increase as fuel consumption decrease. It is better for the environment as well as your bottom line.

With better tyre maintenance routines prompted by the reports produced by the Continental system, you should find that breakdowns caused by tyres minimised. It will slash your downtime, and increase the on-time delivery rates. Your drivers will be safer, as will other road users.

If you’d like more information about tyre pressure monitoring systems and how they could benefit your fleet, contact us today. Our mission is simple:

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Can low rolling resistance truck tyres save you money?

How not to jeopardise driver safety when you save on fuel costs

As a fleet manager, you’ll know that a truck’s tyres could be responsible for as much as 30% of fuel consumption. It is because contact with the ground causes a truck tyre to heat up and deform. It is rolling resistance. The higher the rolling resistance, the harder the engine must work to turn the wheels, and the higher your fuel consumption.

It stands to reason that a low rolling resistance tyre (LRRT) will reduce fuel consumption and cut costs. But are LRRTs worth the extra cost? And how do you choose the best for your trucks?

A little history of LRRTs

Low rolling resistance truck tyres have been around for decades. Michelin pioneered the technology back in the mid-1990s. Since then, the major tyre manufacturers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development in this field. Their aim is to sell more tyres, of course. To do this, they must produce tyres which are more reliable, and which deliver better energy performance with a longer life expectancy. Not only this, but fleet managers want their drivers to benefit from a better grip on the roads.

LRR technology is not simply about lowering running costs. If your drivers’ safety is compromised, better fuel consumption means nothing.

What affects your choice of LRRTs?

An LRRT has a different rubber composition to standard tyres. They are designed differently, and the tread is constructed to reduce resistance. They run more smoothly. However, it is not enough to simply buy the tyre with the lowest rolling resistance. The tyre that produces the lowest resistance on the road depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of vehicle on which the truck tyres will be fitted
  • The engine type
  • Loading
  • Axle torque
  • Type of roads and the conditions driven in, including weather and traffic
  • Driving style
  • Maintenance program

What other factors affect your choice of a truck tyre?

In addition to rolling resistance, you will probably also be concerned about surface grip and noise level. There will always be a compromise between different tyres and the business they are required to do in your fleet. Consider the advice provided by the manufacturers of your vehicles and tyre specialists.

Going green – an added benefit of LRRTs

A by-product of driving on LRRTs is that they reduce your CO2 numbers. Less fuel is consumed, so less harmful gases are released. If using LRRTs reduces fuel consumption by 1 litre per 100 kilometres in your fleet, this is equivalent to 2.66kg lower CO2 emissions per 100 kilometres. It is a reduction of 2.6 tonnes per 100,000 km!

No compromise on comfort

When a driver is in the seat of a truck for hours on end, their comfort is imperative. Fully inflated tyres are designed to soften the effects of potholes, cracks, bumps, and other imperfections on our roads. The major brands include comfort in their tyre tests, and LRRTs benefit from some of the highest comfort ratings.

However, the comfort level is not entirely the result of the type of tyre you equip your trucks with. It is also dependent on the even distribution of load, tyre inflation, driving style, and maintenance of tyres and vehicle.

More expensive, but cheaper!

LRRTs tend to be more expensive than other tyres. However, this initial outlay can be quickly recouped. These tyres give optimal performance when matched correctly to vehicle and use. Your trucks will cover more miles between fuel refills. Low rolling resistance tyres pay for themselves.

How do you select the best LRRT for your fleet?

With every new generation of low rolling resistance tyre, the fuel consumption numbers improve. So does longevity. However, unless driver safety can be maintained or improved, then the extra mileage and lower fuel costs are irrelevant.

When deciding on which tyre is the best for your fleet, consider what it will be used for, where and how. There is a reason why tyre manufacturers develop a range of tyres for different uses. The strain placed on a construction vehicle tyre is different to that experienced by a tyre used for a general transport vehicle. Long-distance journeys wear tyres in a different way to urban delivery routes.

For the best advice for your fleet tyre needs, contact us today. Our mission is simple:

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to make commercial vehicle tyres last longer

Tyre management strategies that will inflate your bottom line

Commercial vehicle tyres are one of the highest expenses your fleet incurs. A good tyre maintenance program will help your drivers avoid blow-outs on their trucks. A good tyre management program will help your fleet tyres last longer. And when tyres last longer, your costs fall, and your profits increase.

In this article, we discuss the causes of wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres that should inform your fleet tyre maintenance and management program.

Who is responsible for the tyre management program?

The choice of tyres and how they are used will depend on the specifics of your fleet’s operations. It requires a good knowledge of driver routes, loads, and driving styles. Motorway work is different to inner city driving. On-road is different to off-road. If a truck is turned around between one driver and the next without a break, tyre wear is different again.

The person best placed to examine how tyres in the fleet are affected is the fleet manager. By testing over a long period, they will be able to design a suitable tyre management and maintenance program that extends tyre life. The data collected will include:

  • Total mileage
  • Wear and tear
  • Tyre costs
  • Cost per mile
  • Warranties

What causes wear and tear on commercial vehicle tyres?

Shortened tyre life is caused by a range of factors that lead to irregular tyre wear. Taking action to shrink irregular wear and tear will help to reduce fleet fuel costs and extend tyre life. Here are the leading causes of irregular wear and tear on truck tyres:

·      Overloading

Your tyres bear all the weight of the truck and its load. A common mistake is using tyres that haven’t been manufactured for the load transported.

To ensure that you buy the correct tyres for the loads being transported, divide the maximum weight of the vehicle and its load by its number of tyres. If the vehicle and load are, say, six tonnes and it is supported by four wheels, you’ll need to buy tyres with a load rating of 1.5 tonnes.

·      Improper inflation

Improper inflation reduces tyre life and decreases safety. Overinflated tyres wear in the centre. Underinflated tyres wear on the shoulders and can damage sidewalls, with structural damage following.

Daily air pressure checks will ensure tyres are inflated correctly and get your drivers to check for damage to the tyres before, during, and after every trip.

·      Poor tyre rotation

Front tyres tend to wear most on their shoulders. Rear tyres typically wear first at the centre. A good tyre rotation policy can save your life and protect your tyres.

Rotating tyres is a time-consuming operation, so work out the optimum times to rotate without increasing costs. Most fleets coincide tyre rotation with regular service programs.

·      Improper alignment and balance

Misaligned and poorly balanced wheels are a major source of tyre wear. Balance weights can become dislodged or slip, causing the truck to run out of balance. Check alignment and balance at regular intervals.

·      Poor storage practices

How and where your trucks are parked will also impact tyre life. Oil, grease, fuel, water and other solutions degrade tyre rubber. If parked in one spot for too long, tyres can develop flat spots.

Park your trucks on a cool, dry, contamination-free surface.

·      Poor driving

The poor driving technique is another major factor in commercial tyre longevity. Cornering sharply, driving too fast over poorly surfaced roads, and braking heavily all contribute to tyre wear. Signs that a driver needs re-educating as to driving style include regular damage to sidewalls, denting, scratching, and bald patches.

How to increase the life of commercial vehicle tyres

As well as taking precautions against the specific causes of wear and tear we’ve mentioned above, you should also ensure that your truck tyres are cleaned regularly. Each time the vehicle is washed, clean the tyres thoroughly to remove debris, chemicals, mud and fuel.

Ensure that your tyre maintenance and management program doesn’t neglect the inside tyres.

You can also extend tyre life with an effective retread program. Providing the structure of the tyre is sound, there is no limit on how many retreads can be made. However, you should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of retreads as part of your tyre management program.

Keep an eye on costs

An integral part of a fleet tyre management program is cost maintenance. Your records should indicate the cost per mile and include a scrap tyre analysis. Keeping these records will help to decide on which tyres are best for which application, as well as highlighting problem routes and drivers that need to improve their technique.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of commercial vehicle tyres for a variety of fleets in Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today on +61 07 3333 5510 or (by Skype or on our contact form) and discover the Darra advantage that benefits so many other fleet managers.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Truck tyres – How to buy the best retreads

Truck tyres – Can retreads be as good as new truck tyres?

When it comes to truck parts, its tyres are probably the most important. They’re the sole connection between you and the ground, and they play a massive part in braking and handling. Only with the right truck tyres will you be able to haul your load safe and secure.

In this article, I’ll explain the benefits of using retread truck tyres, how they are produced, and give you a few tips to make sure that when you buy retreads for your truck, they won’t blow out half a kilometre down the road.

What is a retread truck tyre?

Simply put, a retread is a tyre casing that is reused. The old, worn tread is removed and replaced with new.

How is a retread truck tyre made?

Retreads are manufactured by either hot retreading or cold retreading.

On a suitable casing, a new tread is added. The casing itself must be stable and undamaged. Finding a suitable candidate for retreading can be hard because most truck tyres have done hundreds of thousands of kilometres before the haulier is ready to discard it because of worn tread.

Once a suitable casing has been found, any remaining tread is skimmed off. The result is a smooth casing ready for retreading.

When a hot retread method is used, hot rubber is gradually added to the casing in thin strips around the tyre. Once the depth is correct, the whole tyre is put in the press. It heats the tyre to 300 degrees Fahrenheit plus. The press also imprints the new truck tyre rubber with the tread pattern.

In the cold retread method, instead of strips of rubber, a whole ring of rubber is added to the base tyre. We then use a machine called an autoclave to add steam and apply pressure until the new rubber has bonded to the old.

Whichever method is used to retread a tyre, the truck tyre is tested for resistance and resilience to the loads that it will be subjected to when in service on the road carrying your products.

What is the advantage of retreads over new tyres?

The most obvious advantage over new tyres is the cost. A retread uses around a third of the rubber needed to produce a new tyre. The typical truck tyre requires 21 gallons of oil in production – a retread uses only around 7 gallons. The typical cost of a retread truck tyre is around 50% of its new equivalent (though it does vary).

However, there are other benefits that are less obvious. For example, retread tyres are the green option. As we’ve seen, retreads need less oil to produce. As well as this, each retread tyre is a tyre that has been salvaged and recycled. In the United States, three out of every four truck tyres are recycled, and most of these are retreaded.

Every truck tyre retreaded is a truck tyre that isn’t discarded in a tyre dump. That’s safer for all and better for the environment.

The big question: are retread truck tyres safe?

The one-word answer is ‘yes’. A good retread can be as good as a new tyre. If you want proof of just how reliable it can be, look at the airline industry. I doubt that you’d find heavier loads and tougher conditions in which tyres operate. An aeroplane tyre could be retreaded dozens of times before being discarded.

Not convinced? Look at your insurance forms. Nowhere will you see that you need to declare that you use retreads. That’s a big pointer to the safety of retreads right there. If retreads were less safe than new tyres, insurance companies would be all over it like a tramp on a sandwich – any excuse to squeeze a few more dollars from drivers.

How do you buy quality retreads?

To make sure you get the best out of your retreads you should ensure that they are as good as new tyres. You wouldn’t use a sub-par, shoddy new tyre, so don’t accept retreads that are below the standard you’d expect from a new tyre.

Here are a few tips when buying retreads for your trucks:

1.     Don’t buy on price alone

You’ll save money with retreads, but you get what you pay for. As with all tyres, the real cost benefit is in how long they last, and the kilometres they cover before they need to be replaced. Always buy the highest quality retread from the highest quality retreader in Brisbane.

2.     Make sure you see samples and testimonials before buying

Ask to review the retreader’s work, reviewing testimonials from satisfied customers and examples of retreaded tyres.

3.     Take a look at the testing equipment

Ask to see testing equipment, and ask to see it in action. If the retreader doesn’t have any, then you better move on to the next retreader as fast as possible.

4.     Don’t go alone

Take someone with you to inspect the tyre shops and retreading facility. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and especially if the second set is someone from your tyre department.

Follow these four simple steps, and there should be no reason why your truck retreads are every bit as good as the new tyres you used to spend twice as much buying.

Contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to check out the quality of our retreads.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck

Commercial vehicle tyres –  What causes a commercial vehicle tyre blowout

If you’ve ever suffered a blowout while driving your car, you’ll know how scary it can be. If a blowout happens to a commercial vehicle tyre, the result could be fatal.

In this article, I’ll look at why commercial vehicle tyres might suffer a blowout and how you can reduce your risk of accidents while on the road.

Why do commercial vehicle tyres blowout?

Commercial vehicle blowouts mostly happen for one of four reasons:

  • Excessive speed
  • Poor tyre maintenance
  • Defective tyres
  • Wrong tyre placement

Driving speed is a factor that only you can regulate while you’re on the road. If you plan to drive long distances at high speed, then always make sure your tyres are inflated correctly. Of course, if you’re driving at excessive speed, an accident caused by a blowout will be deemed to be your fault.

A good tyre maintenance regime will help you detect tread wear, incorrectly inflated tyres, and damage to sidewalls. These are the major factors that contribute to blowouts of commercial vehicle tyres. Poor maintenance equals an increased risk of a blowout. And poor tyre maintenance that leads to an accident is your fault.

With a good tyre buying and maintenance programme in place, you’re more likely to notice tyre defects. We’d all like to think that we’d never get sold a defective tyre, but like all products, there is always a risk of a batch being produced with defects. The manufacturer might recall a particular model. It’s your responsibility to return the defective tyres and replace with the correct ones. If there hasn’t been a recall, any accident that has been caused by the tyre will be the responsibility of the tyre manufacturer.

If you’ve placed the wrong tyre in the wrong position on your truck, or if the tread depths aren’t correct, or the tyres are mismatched, the chances of a blowout are increased – and any accident is most definitely your fault.

As you can see, responsibility is dictated by negligence. When you’re on the road, don’t be negligent about your tyres and your truck.

The five-minute truck stop check

Whenever you take a break from driving, whether for a bite to eat or other reason, before you pull away and get back on the road, take five minutes to do a quick safety check. It should include your tyres, brakes, under the cab, and lights:

·      Lights and reflectors

Turn on the lights, walk around your truck and make sure that all your lights are in working order – including your trailer lights and indicators.

·      Under the cab

Use a torch and get close to the ground. Look right underneath the truck and check for signs of any leaks. A drip could be the sign of a big problem further down the road.

·      Brakes

Check the airlines and brakes before you pull away. Look for rust and oil. If you’ve made this check a regular habit, you’ll know exactly what to look for. What looks out of the ordinary usually is. Don’t ignore your sense of hearing, either. Often the first warning of failing brakes is the one you hear.

·      Tyres

Run a gloved hand over each tyre. Use the torchlight to make a closer inspection if you feel anything unusual. Make sure you check the sidewalls for tears and balding. If you’re in any doubt about the state of your tyres, call us here at Darra Tyres (07 3333 5510). Our mission is to keep you safe on the roads. You won’t find a more committed tyre service in West Brisbane.

Don’t become the next victim of a tyre blowout

This simple five-minute truck stop check could be the five minutes that save your life, and the lives of other road users. You never know what has happened to your tyres on the roads in the time between your pre-trip check and the first stop, and between stops.

If your truck tyre does blow out, especially on a big rig, you’re likely to lose control of the vehicle – if only for a few seconds. A tyre blowout and the few seconds immediately after is all it takes for a dangerous incident to evolve into a serious accident. When an accident involves a big truck, the probability of serious injury and death is magnified. Five minutes is all it takes to reduce the chance of this happening to you. Of all the good habits that I know, the five-minute truck stop check might just be the best.

Whatever your tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – It’s time to profit from the benefits of tyre sensors

Commercial Vehicle Tyres – How a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring system) decreases fuel costs and increases safety

In 2012, one of the world’s top tyre manufacturers, GT Radial, announced the findings of a survey that opened the lid on the real cost of underinflated tyres. It found that Australian motorists driving with underinflated tyres are wasting around 20c per litre of fuel.

In the mining, industrial and fleet industries, commercial vehicle tyre and fuel costs are the two highest costs. Helping your tyres last longer and cutting fuel costs will directly improve your bottom line.

In this article, you’ll learn why manual tyre checks aren’t enough to ensure fleet safety and reduce costs. I’ll examine the benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Finally, I’ll tell you how a TPMS works.

The five disadvantages of relying on manual tyre checks on commercial vehicle tyres

As I discussed in my last article, “How to avoid a tyre blowout on your truck”, maintenance and manual checks at each stop are essential. These checks will detect damage to the tyre. But they won’t ensure that a tyre is working at its peak while you’re driving. Here are five reasons why manual checks aren’t enough to ensure your commercial vehicle tyres are performing at their peak, increasing safety, and minimising fuel consumption:

1.     Manual checks only confirm tyre pressure when parked

When a truck is parked, especially if it’s for an extended break, the tyre pressure will not be the same as when it’s running on the road. Unsafe tyre pressures could be missed.

2.     Manual checks can be inaccurate

Mistakes in manual pressure readings are not uncommon. And manual checks don’t take internal air temperatures into consideration. The result is that the tyre could be incorrectly inflated.

3.     Manual checks are infrequent

Despite advice from tyre experts, commercial vehicle tyre pressures are not checked as frequently as they should be. It leads to increased wear and tear and decreased tyre life. The result is higher tyre costs.

4.     Manual checks miss slow leaks

A damaged tyre or valve could produce a slow leak that goes undetected during manual checks. On the road, this could prove fatal.

5.     Manual checks don’t adjust tyre pressures accurately

The correct tyre pressure is dependent upon the internal temperature of the tyre. Manual checks can’t measure this. The outcome is that tyres could be inflated incorrectly.

The five benefits of TPMSs

A TPMS works on the move, providing real-time information about tyre pressures and temperatures. It adds to the effectiveness of regular manual tyre checks. It also provides the driver with an immediate warning of running problems that could also lead to engine damage.

A TPMS reduces fuel costs, increases tyre life, and reduces the time that vehicles spend in maintenance.

Automated tyre pressure and temperature checks made by a TPMS will:

1.     Reduce poor performance of manual checks

A TPMS is continuous, automated, and accurate. Human error is reduced, and the scans made by TPMSs are accurate to within 1% or 2%.

2.     Decrease fuel consumption

Every tyre which is underinflated will increase fuel consumption. GT Radial research concluded that a tyre running at a pressure just 5PSI below its recommendation could use 10% more fuel. Proper tyre inflation minimises fuel consumption.

3.     Increase tyre life

Improper inflation is a direct cause of increased wear and tear on tyres. A TPMS monitors tyres efficiently and effectively, helping to make sure they don’t fail before their next service.

4.     Reduce downtime

A TPMS eliminates errors and reduces the time it takes for manual tyre checks to be made. Because your tyres are working at the correct pressures, you’ll suffer fewer problems. The result is that downtime will be hammered.

5.     Improve road safety

Drivers will operate more safely, responding to tyre pressure changes as they occur. It reduces the risk of blowouts and accidents.

How does a TPMS work?

A TPMS is easy to install. A sensor is screwed into the wheel or rim or sometimes screwed directly into the valve. This sensor measures tyre pressure and internal air temperature.

The measurements are constantly made, and transmitted wirelessly to an in-cab monitor. The monitor can be configured to signal alerts at pre-specified ranges.

Fleet managers can then download data to the management PC. The software is used to produce charts and graphs. It enables easily identifiable tyre performance issues, which can be used in driver education as well as informing about tyre maintenance schedules. This information can also be used to make better commercial vehicle tyre purchasing decisions.

Isn’t it time you invested in a TPMS?

If you haven’t already, it may be time to invest in a TPMS. Tyre and fuel costs aren’t going down in the long term. A TPMS is easy to install, easy to use, and provides real benefits to commercial fleets. Automatic, real-time data helps your driver adjust driving style and increase tyre life.

Tyre problems are identified immediately, instead of at the end of a long-haul trip.

A TPMS doesn’t negate the need for manual tyre checks. But it does add an extra level of commercial vehicle tyre security that will help fleet managers achieve important aims:

  • Improve road safety
  • Increase tyre life
  • Decrease fuel consumption

Whatever your fleet tyre needs, contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

Truck tyres Brisbane – Tyre management strategies that slash costs

Truck tyres Brisbane – how to reduce fleet operating costs

As a fleet manager, you’ll understand how, whatever the economy is doing, it’s imperative to keep costs to a minimum. Fuel, insurance and labour costs are perhaps the most visible areas for savings to be made, but can you afford to overlook the cost of truck tyres in Brisbane and beyond?

Here, I look at how maintaining control of your truck tyres impacts fleet operating expenses, and what strategies a fleet manager can use to reduce costs.

The fleet market in Australia is alive and kicking

In its state of the Australian Commercial Fleet Market in 2016 report, Automotive Fleet noted that the fleet market was still growing despite some severe conditions in the major markets:

  • Fleet sizes in Australia range from fewer than 20 to more than 1,000 vehicles
  • Key commercial fleet segments are:
    • mining and construction;
    • telecoms and utilities;
    • daily rental;
    • Governmental (Federal and local).
  • SUV sales boomed in 2015, with the segment making up 35% of the market, while light commercial vehicles accounted for 17%.

The major challenge for commercial fleet managers is the total cost of ownership.

Truck tyres Brisbane are assets, not consumable products

Without truck tyres, your commercial fleet in Queensland could not operate. Many fleet managers treat truck tyres as no more than consumable products. If they were regarded as financial assets and selected and managed with the same care as the trucks and trailers to which they are fitted, then their life would be prolonged with costs of repair and replacement falling. With some new tyres costing thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars, this strategy makes huge financial sense − especially when you consider that tyres are the third biggest running cost for most commercial fleets.

I’m not suggesting you do what the operators of New Acland Coal Mine did following the global tyre shortage of 2008 (its stockpile of 250 tyres worth more than $7 million has become something of a tourist attraction), but with sensible tyre management initiatives you could see a sizeable positive impact on your operating costs.

A simple strategy for managing your fleet’s truck tyres Brisbane

The 6-step tyre check regime that increases the life of a mining company’s tyres are as follows:

  1. Check tyres on a daily basis
  2. Look for bubbling or blistering, cuts, or rocks stuck in the tread
  3. Signs of uneven wear could be a sign of a worn shock absorber or misalignment, for example
  4. Check rims and rim components
  5. Never mismatch rim components
  6. Finally, ensure that all your tyre maintenance technicians are suitably trained and qualified

A few days later, the manager of a commercial fleet here in Brisbane (and one of our customers) told me of the strategy he uses to keep a lid on truck tyre costs. He operates a cradle-to-grave truck tyre management process, which includes the inspection and maintenance check above. Since putting this plan into action, tyre life is up and associated tyre costs have fallen.

The 7-step fleet tyre management strategy that cuts costs

Step 1: Purchase the best tyres that fit the purpose required

Whatever they are needed for, buy the best tyres that you can afford for the need. A little extra spending now is usually rewarded during the life of the tyre. Decisions about brand and tyre type should be reviewed regularly, and selected with consideration of the application, terrain and weather.

Step 2: Track truck tyres from day one

It is essential. Modern technology, such as advanced computer software and tyre pressure monitoring systems, has improved tracking effectiveness. However, if such equipment isn’t within the scope of your budget, you can still instigate a programme that measures the effectiveness of tyre brand and maintenance procedures, for example. Pen and paper and excel spreadsheets are incredibly powerful tools themselves.

Some fleet management systems measure individual tyre performance by wheel position – this helps to decide on rotation requirements.

Step 3: Delegate responsibilities

Before setting tyre maintenance policies and procedures, the fleet manager should delegate responsibility for all tasks. For example, will tyre pressure checks be the drivers’ responsibility, or duty for the maintenance section?

Step 4: Create a tyre maintenance policy and set out procedure

Set a timetable for tyre inspection, and establish a system for measurement and recording. Training may have to be given, and there will need to be appropriate tools for recording and communicating information. Checks and maintenance will include:

  • Truck tyre pressures
  • Tyre damage
  • Tyre rotation and alignment

Step 5: Regular tyre cleaning

When dirt builds up on tyres, they become more susceptible to premature wear and tear. Oil, fuel, and other contaminants can deteriorate truck tyre rubber. Regular cleaning with a mix of detergent in warm water, combined with the removal of debris and objects such as nails, will help to prolong tyre life and increase tyre effectiveness.

Step 6: Decide on a tyre replacement and buying policy

You’ll need to decide how, where, and when you will replace your truck tyres and replenish your stock. Will tyres be re-treaded, and if so, at what point?

Step 7: Analyse why tyres have been scrapped

Whenever a tyre is discarded, examine it and its history (from your tracking programme) to discover why it needs scrapping. It will help you to figure out why your tyres are lasting for only the time they are, and put in place new procedures to prolong their life. It may be that a particular vehicle or driver contributes to shorter tyre life.

Cost-effective safety

As a fleet manager, you’ll be able to reduce costs by controlling all the factors within your control:

  • Buy the best tyres within your budget for the intended application
  • Remember the right tyre will aid performance, driveability and fuel consumption
  • Monitor tyre maintenance as well as truck and engine inspections and repairs
  • Make sure your drivers and maintenance staff get some training
  • Track tyre performance, you’ll recognise shortfalls in maintenance programmes more easily and faster, as well as discover which tyres and treads provide your commercial fleet with the best performance, and your best financial returns.

With the efficiency gains your fleet makes: costs reduce and profits increase. Making your fleet more competitive so you can invest and improve your fleet performance elsewhere.

Call us today on 3333 5510, we’re happy to discuss your fleet requirements and how we can help you get the best from your truck tyres.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

Truck Tyres – Fleet tyre services that reduce fuel costs

Business as usual for the ATA

As fleet tyre services specialists, we fully support the work of all that aim to increase safety on the roads, and as an authority working toward safety on the roads, the Australian Trucking Association has been busy of late:

  • It has lobbied hard for a strengthening of the Chain of Responsibility (COR) rules
  • It is supporting the National Roadworthy Baseline Survey
  • It has applied for its TruckSafe accreditation program to be recognised under the industry code of practice guidelines
  • It is developing a new Technical Advisory Procedure (TAP) to that covers tyres and tyre operations

That’s a whole lot of work!

Customers of truckers are now also responsible for safety

Here at Darra, and as fleet tyre services, we think it’s right that the COR finally recognises the pressure that customers put on trucking firms, and fully sympathise with companies that feel forced to operate for fear of losing business. The new COR rules force customers to accept at least partial responsibility for the safety of the vehicles onto which they load their goods. And if the ATA’s TruckSafe program is recognised it will strengthen the industry even further.

Seeking to make accidents related to truck tyres a thing of the past

According to National Truck Insurance (NTI), nearly four out of every 100 major truck accidents in Australia are caused by faulty truck tyres. As far as we’re concerned, that’s four accidents per hundred too many. But then our fleet tyre services operatives are passionate about truck tyres and road safety.

The ATA’s TAP is going to make a big difference to road safety and should come out next year. We’ll keep you informed as soon as we hear what the new guidelines say. For now, what we do know is that the ATA CEO, Christopher Melham, has said that the TAP will provide guidance on:

  • inflation pressure
  • correct load issues
  • tread depths
  • fuel burn caused by tyre wear

How to cut your fuel bills

The drop in the oil price over the last few months has offered some hard-earned relief to truckers, but do you know how tyre tread affects fuel consumption? In the UK, Michelin found that eco-friendly tyres reduced fuel costs for the average motorist by $120 per year. For heavily laden trucks, the savings are even more astounding. A fleet of just a few vehicles could save thousands of dollars each year by making sure they have the right tyres with the right tread.

In a study published by Goodyear, it was found that:

  • Most reduction in fuel costs is obtained by the tyre tread, compound, design, and depth
  • Tyre tread contributes over half or rolling resistance
  • Properly inflated tyres contribute to fuel efficiency

Not only will the ATA’s TAP improve road safety standards, but it will reduce fuel costs, too. That a win/win for the industry and your business.

Why not give our fleet tyre services a call on 3333 5510 to discuss how much our eco-friendly tyres will save your company on its fuel bills? We’re sure your customers will appreciate your cost conscious and safety approach – especially when they come under the new Chain of Responsibility rules.

When it comes to reducing your costs, you’ll find our fleet tyre service is second to none.

Yours in family and fleet safety,

The team at Darra Tyres

Toyo Tyres and More! Darra Tyres joins TruckPower Tyre Alliance

Hey guys,

We are pleased to announce that we are now members of the Truck Power Tyre Alliance which gives our clients around Australia access to tyres wherever they are. Through the alliance they can expect the same level of service as if they were at our Darra Workshop.

The main brands that will be promoted through the alliance are Boto Tyres, Leao Tyres, and Toyo Tyres but all brands will also be accessed through the alliance.

TRUCKPOWER brings 3 strong and recognisable brands (TOYO, BOTO and LEAO) together under one banner. TRUCKPOWER will enable truck, transport and bus operators to have full confidence in a motivated national tyre dealer support network, with a wide choice of quality branded products that are serviced by expert commercial tyre retailers.

The TRUCKPOWER commitment is to provide you with reliable and competitively priced truck tyres, whenever and wherever you need them. Our brands all provide great cost per km results and give you the widest choice to suit your application.

Our brands are leaders in each market tier:

Toyo Tyres

This is an ideal solution for our Truck Fleet, all you need to do is call Darra on 07 3333 5510 and we can organise a local distributor to supply and fit the tyres and the price and billing will still be done through Darra.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin and the team at Darra Tyres.

Ensuring Quality Tyres, Inspecting truck tyres for abnormal wear.

Hey guys,

Kevin inspects truck tyres for abnormal wear. The truck in the video is actually a new truck that has come in after 500kms for its first settling in check up. These tyres are straight from the manufacturer and already are showing signs of abnormal wear. Luckily its been caught soon enough that not much damage is done. Even high quality tyres should be inspected routinely to ensure they are now wearing abnormally due to an incorrect fitting.

Darra Tyres recommends that you check your tyre pressure weekly, especially if your using the vehicle for commercial purposes. Passenger vehicles should be checked weekly but realistically monthly is acceptable, however the concern is that most people never check until its too late.

If you have any questions feel free to call the team on 07 3333 5510.

Yours in tyres,

Kevin Wood

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