Ask any fleet manager what their go-to tire management platform is and chances are that they’ll say it’s a spreadsheet. It would be hard to fault them for it. While engine-integrated telematics have driven tractor uptime, tires–one of, if not the most, costly component to manage on a heavy-duty truck–haven’t had the benefit of being backed by years’ worth of digital management solutions. But the era of tire management via spreadsheets is coming to an end.
Thanks to a proliferation of integrated truck telematics and the evolution of tire technology, digital platforms that let you manage your tires are growing from a variety of manufacturers and service providers. In the past year, Aperia, Bridgestone, ConMet and P.S.I., to name a few, have showcased said platforms that offer everything from real-time tire pressure to service alerts.
In the past several months, Bridgestone has made several digital tire management announcements, including that it has surpassed 200 million commercial tire sensor readings and that its tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), IntelliTire, is available on MyGeotab Marketplace.
Of course, the transition to a digital tire management solution can be daunting. Keeping the focus on the gains in safety, productivity, and efficiency can make that transition manageable. With that transition comes benefits. Dan Levy, executive director of product, Bridgestone Advanced Tire Solutions, noted that one of the biggest digital tire management benefits is helping to ensure that tires are maintained at the optimal pressure, which is crucial for vehicle performance. It can also help improve productivity by automating tire checks, freeing up your best shop managers and techs for other critical maintenance tasks. Let’s not forget about the potential efficiency gains–maintaining optimal tire pressure, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and extends tire life.
In talking with Levy, it was clear that the transition to digital tire management also hinges on recognizing the value of human expertise in this digital era. Digital tools should augment, not replace, the knowledge and experience of tire management teams. Additionally, partnering with servicing dealers who are proficient in using these digital tools can be immensely beneficial.
Watch the video for all of Levy’s insight and thoughts on how fleet managers can bring digital tire management to their operations.
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