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Tire management, service options: What you need to know

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Editor-At-Large

There are many tire management and service options available to fleets; we will go through just a few of these options with the advice of the major tire makers.

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Some of the most beneficial service options available to fleets come from tire dealers and their trained technicians, notes Bridgestone. The dealers use the right equipment and IT systems to help fleets get the most out of their tire assets. They include regular yard checks, scrap tire analysis and mounted wheel programs, among others. The services and monitoring provided by the dealers can improve a fleet’s bottom line by extending the life of tires and reducing downtime and emergency spending.

Many fleets invest the time and money into an in-house certified tire technician and a tire shop that maintains each power unit and trailer; some fleets, on the other hand, may prefer to contract this service out to local tire dealers.

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The tire experts at Double Coin point out that the tire industry is ever evolving from regional-based to high-mileage regional products to strictly long-haul tires. Fleets can decide if they need to run fuel efficient tires or open/closed shoulder tires, depending on their typical loads and haul routes.

Through its dealer network and the aforementioned Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Center locations, Goodyear says it offers services that can help fleets avoid CSA penalties caused by non-tire violations as well.

They highlight the Goodyear Trailer-Readiness program, which is offered through the Goodyear-Fleet HQ program and checks wheel seals, trailer lights, air lines and other key items. Collected data is then made available through a secure online portal and also through the Goodyear-Fleet HQ Tire Trac management program.

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Michelin offers options of its own, such as Michelin Tire Care, a fully digital, nationwide fleet tire monitoring program, which is overseen by trained Michelin Commercial Service Network technicians who capture truck tire data electronically, nationwide.

There are numerous options at Yokohama as well, which include one of the most extensive servicing dealer networks in the industry. With their help, the truck maker is able to provide a variety of smart solutions to help fleets lower their cost of operation, notes Yokohama. Good maintenance is imperative for a fleet to survive in today’s trucking industry, they point out, but the first step to ensure a good maintenance program is just making the decision to invest in one and then be committed to follow it through.

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So what are the questions fleets should be asking its maintenance service provider to ensure that it’s the best fit for its operation?

Bridgestone recommends that truck fleet managers always consult with their service provider, who can evaluate their trucks’ individual needs and make the most appropriate tire recommendations.

Cooper Tire recommends that fleets look for service providers who are trained and certified by TIA in commercial tire service. The tire maker notes that there are 12 Roadmaster tires designed and engineered in the U.S. by the company’s experienced technical team.

Fleet Equipment‘s sister publication Tire Review’s August 2015 Brand Study ranked the Roadmaster brand tied for No. 1 as the Best Overall Brand and ranked No. 1 in Fill Rate. Roadmaster added that it has a strong team dedicated to TBR, including vastly experienced product development and engineering experts, as well as a focused sales and service team.

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Fleets tend to follow other operations of the same size in many different ways, such as how they spec new vehicles, Double Coin notes. It would be wise, they say, to ask the service provider how many other accounts like theirs they operate and or maintain on a daily, weekly or monthly basis just to be sure they have the right provider and are getting the best bang for their buck.

Michelin says that from a tire perspective, the service provider should be able to supply tires and tire-related services in a timely manner, as well as be able to address concerns. This will differ by fleet, so it is important for the fleet to understand the provider’s capacity for ensure timely delivery.

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