Current supply chain and labor concerns have many fleet owners worried about how they will keep quality tires on their vehicles and drivers safe. Most of the time, fleet managers don’t have to worry about tire access, but when there is a limited supply, that can create a ripple effect throughout the fleet.
Tires are one of the largest maintenance expenses across a fleet, and that’s why it is so important to make some changes now to ensure your tire supply and maintenance problems don’t worsen. Call for mobile tire services as and when you require them, so there are no unnecessary delays in attending to tire repair and maintenance issues.
Strategies for Overcoming Limitations
There is little doubt that supply chain concerns remain from the pandemic. Tire materials are harder to source than before, and rubber production has slowed due to labor shortages thanks to COVID-related concerns, specifically in Asian rubber tree farms. That has led to increasing prices, with reports from the Singapore Commodity Exchange finding rubber costs were up 70% from May 2020 to May 2021. All of this has made it hard to source tires, especially at good prices.
What can commercial fleets do? Consider these strategies:
- Can you improve the lifecycle of the tire? Reducing the need to replace tires frequently, is critical. The best way to do this is to ensure proper tire maintenance centered around inflation. Underinflated tires drag fuel economy and steerability, as well as create increased friction that wears tires faster. Pay close attention to tread as well. Misalignment of vehicles can worsen tread patterns, causing tires to wear down too soon.
- Can you perform tire inspections that are automated? These are fixed stations that detect tread and pressure status on vehicles as they drive through, which can aid fleets in prolonging tire life and minimizing the risk of premature failures. It also eliminates human judgment issues that could be a factor in some cases.
- Can you communicate better with suppliers? It’s also critical for fleets to have open conversations with suppliers and good working relationships with them. This builds an important network that may help ensure your fleet keeps the tires needed, in stock and available. Fleet managers, who are also responsible for axles, brakes, filters, and other maintenance tasks, need to work to develop good relationships with suppliers to minimize supply concerns.
- Are you prepared for the unexpected? Trucking fleets will need to prepare for what’s to come. Even as the economy starts to pick up and the product starts to move does not mean the trucking industry is ready for it, due to continued shortages. For that reason, fleet managers may want to work now to ensure their vehicles are in the best shape possible and that good maintenance practices are in place to reduce the need to replace tires too soon.
Don’t ignore what’s happening in the industry. Stay up to date on what’s occurring so fleets can act quickly to stay on the roadways safely.
Trust in Our Efficient Mobile Tire Service
We understand the complexities of tire supply issues and continue to work hard to meet the needs of our commercial truck fleets. If you need mobile tire service or a new retread, contact us today to learn how we can help you. STTC offers 24/7 emergency road service, tire maintenance, and new tires to help you stay on the roadways.
Call us now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online for any repairs or replacement needs.