A good recordkeeping system to track fleet tire performance and costs is vital to making wise decisions, notes Tim Miller, commercial tire marketing communications manager at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
“Data will determine the actual costs associated with tires in a fleet,” Miller relates, “and effective tire-tracking software allows fleets to document tire-related information and predict tire wear that can help lower fleet costs. Knowing which tires are most cost-effective on a fleet’s trucks can assist future tire purchase decisions.
“Knowing the wear rates of tires also allows you to anticipate peaks and valleys in the replacement tire purchase cycle,” Miller also says. “This could help with budget planning. At the same time, various vehicle types must be considered in tire analysis. For example, high torque engines will wear out drive tires faster than engines with a lower torque rating. If you don’t evaluate tires on each vehicle type, your results will be meaningless.”
Goodyear offers two software products through dealers that can address tire performance tracking needs. With its TVTRACK program, information is entered for each vehicle, with mileage recorded when new tires or retreads are installed. Down the road, costs associated with these tires are also documented — for example, tread wear is measured and entered into the program when tires are 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent worn, as well as when they have been removed from service.
Another software tool offered by Goodyear is TireValuCalc, which uses data gathered by TVTRACK or other sources to calculate total costs associated with running different tire combinations. For example, a fleet manager may want to know whether to run new tires or retreads on drive axles, or see how a regional tire design holds up compared to a tire designed for on/off-highway use. TireValuCalc calculates the costs for each scenario as well as fuel economy differences between various tire combinations and varying wear rates to help determine which tires will deliver the overall lowest cost of operation.
Specifying tires designed for light- and medium-duty vehicle applications is also essential to lowering tires costs. To address this need, Goodyear recently introduced four commercial-duty light-truck tires that employ its new Armor Max Technology. Constructed with steel-reinforced sidewalls and steel belts to provide long mileage and casings for multiple retreads, the company says its new tires help drive down costs.
The four new load-range E tire models include the Unisteel G949 RSA and G947 RSS all-position tires for regional highway and city street use with constant turning, backing, hard braking and curbing, such as in a package delivery operation. Also offered are the Unisteel G933 RSD and G971 drive tires for heavy pickups, delivery vans and Class 3 trucks up to 14,000 lbs. GVW. A complete line of retreads is also available for use with Armor Max tires.
“Tires should be viewed as a system,” Miller concludes. “A combination of quality tires, effective maintenance practices and tracking software will determine what works best. Information is power you can put to work for you to make intelligent tire decisions.”