As the commercial transportation industry evolves, efficiency, safety, and reliability have never been more important. Fleets of all sizes are looking for ways to maximize productivity and minimize downtime, all while getting the most out of their investments. Tires are an important part of this equation, but when it comes to making mobility more efficient, they are one of the most overlooked and underestimated assets on a fleet’s yard.
To get the most out of tires, fleets must shift their mindset and explore all that a comprehensive retread program has to offer. Tires can be reused several times to help lower overall operating costs without compromising performance. By replacing the tread on a tire casing two or more times before it is removed from service, fleets can create efficiencies and unlock savings that can be reinvested into other areas of their business.
Retreading starts with the casing itself and selecting the right tire for the job. Premium tire casings are engineered with specific performance attributes in mind such as durability, fuel efficiency, and extended tread wear life.
Once the right tire is selected for the job, a complementary retread can be chosen. Using premium tire casings gives fleets the opportunity to achieve maximum wear life while ensuring they aren’t leaving money on the table by pulling a casing out of service too soon.
Bridgestone recommends fleets work with a trusted dealer partner to identify tire and retread solutions that best meet their needs. A trusted dealer partner can help design a custom tire program that is inclusive of retreads and tailored to a specific fleet’s business.
Whether a new tire or a retread, proactive maintenance is critical to the safety and performance of a fleet’s daily operation. To ensure tire casings are properly maintained, fleets should implement a proactive maintenance program where fleet managers and drivers assess the condition of their tires and address issues in real time to prevent future problems. Fleets that practice proactive tire maintenance can maximize the life of their tire casings and their retreads.
As a best practice, fleets should conduct pre- and post-trip inspections as well as regular yard checks. In addition, Bridgestone recommends fleet managers implement the following tire maintenance practices:
- Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressure for every tire before each haul.
- Inspect tires for road-related damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges, and penetrations.
- Do not exceed the maximum recommended speed of a tire, which may be lower than posted highway speed limits.
In addition to proactive maintenance, fleets should also understand the benefits of tracking performance. This is critical to ensure fleets get the most out of their tire and retread program. Fleets should work with a dealer partner with the capability to monitor and record retread performance, repair history, inventory, and casing rejection information in real time. For example, the Bandag Alliance System (BASys) provides dealers with actionable insights for their fleets, allowing them to work together to make strategic, informed decisions about their tire program. Through BASys, fleets know how many times a casing was retreaded and the integrity of the casing, which helps ensure tire casings reach their full performance potential.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Retread programs positively impact a fleet’s bottom line. After the first retread, fleet managers can begin to see spend reductions and cost savings, and they continue to realize those savings after the second or third retread. In fact, retreads could lower tire costs for fleets to less than 1.5 cents per mile, according to Robert Handfield of North Carolina State University, which is well below the industry average.
Specifying retreads alone can lower costs, but fleets can further capitalize on savings by pairing fuel-efficient retreads with fuel-efficient tire casings. For example, by using new fuel-efficient tires in the steer position then retreading the tire casing with a premium fuel-efficient retread in the drive position, fleets can increase savings and lower the total cost of tire ownership. When premium casings are paired with quality retreads, they work better together.
Retreads are also an environmentally responsible tire choice because they reduce natural resource consumption by keeping the casing in service and on the road for longer. Annually, retreading helps defer millions of tires from landfills and places them back into service to continue to run for more miles. When compared to a new tire, one retread saves 15 gallons of oil during its manufacturing process, according to the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau. Approximately 15 million tires are retreaded each year, meaning up to 225 million gallons of oil is saved annually through retreading.
Ultimately, as the commercial transportation industry sees new innovations and solutions, fleets will continue to look for ways to operate more efficiently, sustainably, and with a direct result to the bottom line. Bridgestone expects the retread value proposition will only continue grow as retreading is a reliable, profitable, and sustainable solution for a fleet of any size.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LaTres Jarrett is the director of marketing, Bandag, US and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). Jarrett is responsible for leading strategic marketing efforts to revitalize and grow the Bandag brand among customers and dealers. Prior to joining Bridgestone in 2017, she managed marketing campaigns for PepsiCo, Arch Chemicals, and CSM Bakery Solutions. Jarrett earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Master of Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS:
OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE
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