Managing a commercial fleet is often an exercise in patience, good planning, and proper maintenance. Good managers know that dealing with problems after they arise is a costly mistake, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to keep up with preventative maintenance. Keeping your fleet on the road means staying on top of oil changes, suspension work, and tires.
Unfortunately, many managers neglect this last point and allow their fleet to operate with tires long beyond their expiration date. If you don't currently have a good tire maintenance plan in place, then keep these three facts in mind to ensure that your vehicles can continue to operate safely.
1. Failures Are Costly
When one of your vehicles suffers a blowout or tire failure, the cost is far higher than a typical replacement. In addition to purchasing a new set of tires, you must also deal with extended downtime and potential tow costs. When you ignore tire maintenance, the likelihood of these on-the-road failure events increases significantly.
Even worse, failures can impact time-sensitive operations. If your fleet provides delivery services or jobsite support, then the cost of a delay in lost productivity has the potential to be extreme. Catastrophic failures can even result in accidents, creating severe liability issues for your company.
2. Proper Maintenance Requires Proactive Drivers
Regular inspections are the core of a good tire maintenance plan. If your company uses staff mechanics, then they should be conducting tire checks at every routine inspection. Keeping on top of tire issues requires more than just occasional check-ups, however. A good fleet plan also requires drivers to take a proactive approach.
Proper driving training is the first step to implementing an effective maintenance regimen. Training drivers to check their tires daily for both tread condition and damage can significantly reduce the likelihood of catastrophic failures. Paired with a responsive maintenance department, this can both help to avoid on-the-road incidents and minimize downtime.
3. Seasonal Tires Are Worth Considering
Finally, don't ignore the importance of seasonal tires in areas that experience inclement winter weather. While summer tires offer little benefit to commercial vehicles, winter tires can be (literal) life-savers. Equipping your drivers with the proper tires for road conditions helps to ensure that they can arrive at their destination safely, even when weather conditions are less than ideal.
Properly maintaining your fleet's tires helps to keep your drivers safe while also ensuring that unexpected failures do not negatively impact your business. Developing a plan for tire maintenance can potentially save your business a substantial amount of money in the future.
Contact a company like King George Truck & Tire Center for more information.