Ef fective f leet management is crucial for commercial vehicle f leets, especially when it comes to tyres. Tyres are vital and costly components that require proper care and management to prevent premature wear, costly downtime, and safety hazards.Louis Marais, general manager for commercial sales at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, says this goes beyond superficially inspecting worn-out tyres. He advocates conducting thorough scrap tyre analysis and comprehensive f leet surveys to identify underlying reasons for tyre failures, optimise tyre performance, and ensure f leet safety and profitability.“This expertise can have a transformative impact on the business growth of commercial f leets, empowering owners and operators to take proactive steps to minimise tyre cost per kilometre (CPK) and improve safety,” he says.Every commercial f leet should conduct a comprehensive examination of the entire f leet's tyres and vehicles at least quarterly. Fleet surveys involve examinations of the entire f leet's tyres and vehicles, providing valuable insights that impact f leet performance and budget. Data-driven f leet surveys empower f leet managers to make informed decisions regarding tyre selection, maintenance practices, and overall f leet efficiency.Essential parameters are recorded, including tyre make, pattern, size, tread depth, wear condition, air pressure, and the basic mechanical condition of trailers that affect tyre performance. Fleet surveys can also identify potential mechanical issues within vehicles, improving overall safety and reliability.The scrap tyre pile analysis is also a treasure trove of insights into the f leet’s tyre ef f icienc y. Scrap tyre analysis involves inspecting tyres that have been removed from service to determine the cause of failure or damage, and doing so regularly can provide invaluable insights into the operational health of the f leet. This will ensure early detection of a problem in the f leet, route variations or underfoot condition changes along a route, which can then be managed accordingly, supporting the f leet manager in his quest to keep within his allowable tyre budget. In addition to f leet surveys and scrap tyre analysis, f leets can benefit from the expertise of an In-field Technical Services (ITS) team. Sumitomo Rubber SA’s ITS teams work closely with f leet managers to understand their unique requirements and challenges. This personalised approach allows them to offer tailored solutions, helping clients select the most appropriate tyres and optimise tyre maintenance practices based on the specific needs of their f leet.According to Marais, there’s also continuous support and training, and ongoing guidance throughout the lifecycle of the tyres, including regular follow-ups, training programmes for drivers and maintenance staff, and updates on the latest tyre technologies and best practices. "We offer a comprehensive range of truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres designed using advanced Japanese technology, tested against Africa’s challenging road conditions, and manufactured in South Africa at a state-of-the-art purpose-built 180 000-square-metre TBR factory in Ladysmith.”It also has a fast-growing Dunlop commercial dealer footprint throughout the major cities.
Maximising fleet efficiencies: the power of surveys and scrap tyre analysis
31 Aug 2023 - by -