Fuel wastage is no secret in the road transport sector but Bear's Tyres says regular tyre maintenance in vehicles leads to smarter fuel utilisation and greater fuel efficiency.
Downtime and fuel wastage are two key factors that affect profitability in the road transport and logistics sectors.
The unrecognised reality is that downtime and unnecessary expenditure of fuel can easily be attributed to areas often forgotten on trucks and trailers.
Trucks and trailers spend considerable time in the yard for tyres to be changed.
Tyre lifecycle management specialist, Mr Brad Bearman of Bear’s Tyres says the key to smarter fuel utilisation is in maintaining the tyres rather than carelessly running them into the ground and changing them.
He says that neglect of tyre maintenance is directly attributable to unnecessary fuel wastage, particularly for long haul carriers that spend most of their time on the road.
When the wear patterns of tyres and their overall performance are neglected, trucks need to be driven harder, consuming more fuel, which costs the operator a lot of avoidable expense.
Mr Bearman adds that there are ample studies made by government departments and industry bodies to prove that tyre condition and fuel wastage are inter-related, causing transport operators to waste their hard-earned dollars.
A recent government ABARE report provides statistics on how petrol and diesel bills have risen in recent years for transporters in spite of carriers and truck manufacturers leaning towards developing more fuel-efficient technologies.
The report says that freight transport accounts for 38% of energy use in the transport sector and is growing at a higher rate than passenger transportation.
Energy use in hauling freight in Australia is dominated by road transport including light commercial vehicles (39%), articulated trucks (30%) and rigid trucks (20%).
When road transport technology is improving in fuel efficiency, Mr Bearman questions why the sector’s use of fuel has increased.
He attributes it to the condition and performance of tyres, which are carrying heavy loads around the country.
While operators spend time and money monitoring and changing their fuel filters and other aspects of the engine, the tyres are almost completely ignored and treated with indifference when they should be handled with care to operate smoothly, he adds.
Mr Bearman says that regular tyre maintenance will not only reduce the amount of downtime, it would definitely have a positive impact on the levels of fuel used to power the vehicle.
Bear’s Tyre Tracker software application puts the control of tyre management into the hands of the owner.
The tyre maintenance software system logs every single tyre owned by a fleet operator, allowing these tyres to be properly tracked, right down to the axle on which they are fitted, and ensures optimised rotation and rebalancing to maximise the expected lifespan of a tyre.