Meeting challenges: Fleets focus on tire choices and tire management practices

Meeting challenges: Fleets focus on tire choices and tire management practices

[Editor’s Note: This column was penned by guest editor Jason Roanhouse, marketing program manager for Bridgestone Commercial Solutions]

Jason Roanhouse Bridgestone
Jason Roanhouse, marketing program manager for Bridgestone Commercial Solutions

To meet an ongoing host of challenges, fleet managers are taking a progressive approach to the equipment their companies use to move freight. Today, that focus includes tires and tire management programs. Driving this activity are things like CSA and EPA’s SmartWay initiative, which place tires in a high visibility position as key safety and fuel economy items.

Regulatory activity is impacting tire design. Emissions-compliant diesel engines, along with natural gas engines, have added weight to vehicles, requiring new thinking about tires. Reduced stopping distance regulations have led to design changes as well.

Other factors impacting tire design have come from the desire to lower fuel costs. For example, the addition of auxiliary power units on over-the-road tractors, which add more weight to steer axles, affects how a vehicle is configured. Similarly, the adoption of technologies such as 6×2 axle configurations, lightweight components, and smaller tractor-to-trailer gaps are changing weight profiles and are playing a role in tire performance.

As a whole, the truck tire industry continues to rise to the challenge with technology that eliminates variables for a variety of industry segments and vocations. Working with fleets in numerous segments and vocations, as well as truck, tractor and trailer OEMs, tire manufacturers are refining their products, creating tires that are targeted for use on specific wheel positions and on vehicles assigned to different tasks and routes by long haul, short haul and vocational fleets.

While each tire manufacturer develops unique products, universal design goals are driving the industry as a whole. Factors that are impacting design elements include what a customer expects to do with a tire, and whether fuel economy, traction, wear or any combination of tire attributes are considerations.
Enabling better tire designs and specifications as well are new tools for evaluating how trucks, tractors and trailers interact with tires and how casings, rubber compounds and tread patterns perform in different operations.

Along with revisiting tire specs to meet operating criteria and lower costs, progressive fleets are also employing highly effective tire management practices. While the basics of tire maintenance remain in place, including ensuring proper wheel balance, air pressure and vehicle alignment, fleets are taking a holistic view of new tires and retreads as assets. By working with their dealer and/or tire manufacturer, fleets are implementing structured tire programs that maximize performance and aim to deliver lower operating costs.

For today’s fleets, in all vocations, taking into account equipment changes, operational needs, cost control concerns and environmental impact is leading to better tire design, specification decisions and more effective tire management processes.

You May Also Like

FleetDrive 360 updates driver onboarding and management options

The updates are the result of a partnership with Sentinel Information Systems.

FleetDrive 360 has announced a partnership with Sentinel Information Systems to incorporate Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) data in driver onboarding and management processes at a lower cost.

“Our partnership with Sentinel streamlines the hiring and management of driving records by automating processes,” said Nic Salis, COO at FleetDrive 360. “Sentinel brings decades of experience in the driving record and data management field to our compliance solution at a lower cost. Together, we will be able to provide drivers, fleet managers and human resources teams with accurate driving record information.”

Freightliner M2, SD Plus Series launch updates its medium-duty truck offering

Freightliner introduced the new Plus Series–enhanced versions of its M2 and SD models, including the M2 106 Plus, M2 112 Plus, 108SD Plus, and 114SD Plus. The enhanced models provide a major update to the interior and electrical systems of the M2 and SD models. The OEM noted that the Plus Series is designed to

Truck cruise control technology that looks at the road ahead

If you’ve ever visited the Northeast region of the country, you’ve most likely encountered intimidating terrain. The winding roads. The steep hills. The intricate routes that challenge any seasoned driver, and, most recently, advanced cruise control systems that aim to improve fuel efficiency and driver comfort.   Related Articles – Four ways A.I. can help cut

Four ways A.I. can help cut diesel fuel costs

The fluctuation of fuel prices has made it more challenging to operate day-to-day. Drivers get paid by the mile, and, when fuel costs go up, margins shrink, impacting how fleets profit and pay their employees. Intelligent technology can lessen the impact of high prices by improving overall fuel efficiency. Related Articles – New ways to

Peterbilt GM Jason Skoog charts today’s truck support, tomorrow’s truck solutions

Peterbilt made headlines recently when it became the first major North American OEM to open orders for an electric truck, the Peterbilt 220EV. In this exclusive interview, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Jason Skoog details the technology investments that are keeping fleets productive during this year’s trying pandemic and laying the groundwork for

Peterbilt General Manager PACCAR Technology Electric Truck

Other Posts

Drivewyze adds Newfoundland and Labrador to its PreClear weigh station bypass network 

According Drivewyze, the bypass sites represent the busiest areas for truck traffic.

Nexiq adds Cummins engine coverage to eTechnician

Nexiq Technologies eTechnician now supports EPA ‘13 and newer Cummins engine models.

Volvo Group North America recognized by U.S. DOE for efficiency

Volvo says they have now exceeded their initial energy sustainability goals by 52%.

Lytx adds weather hazard alerts

Lytx Inc. announced the rollout of its Weather Hazard Alerts, available to all clients as a project within the Lytx Lab tab in their accounts. Weather Hazard Alerts allow fleet managers the option to get notifications based on geospatial criteria and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather data and react to it in real