If you ask a fleet why they are working with ABC tire dealer you usually get a response similar to “Joe has been working with my fleet for 20 years. He knows my various operations and understands which tire choice will work best for me. ABC supplies my new tires, retreads, and emergency road service. When there is a tire related issue, Joe just handles it. Joe has put together a tire inspection program and makes sure we have our tires running at the correct pressure all the time. ABC keeps our tire cost per mile at a minimum.”
It is very clear fleets want to work with a tire professional that they know and they can trust to make the right decisions for their fleet. Fleets want continuity with their tire dealer. The last thing they want to deal with is a new tire salesman every three months.
Tire prices continue to climb due to all sorts of reasons. If you don’t have a serious tire program in place the tire cost/ mile will become unbearable. Today’s radial truck tires are an engineering marvel when you think of all the abuse they take during the course of a single day. In one ten-hour driving day at 60 mph, a truck tire will experience over 250,000 revolutions at a high rate of speed. In truth, there is not a huge difference in treadwear, traction, retreadability, and overall performance between tire model A and B. Sometimes Tire A will generate maybe 5% better mileage than Tire B or vice versa. Maybe fuel economy is a little higher with one tire brand versus another. Fleets generally make their final tire buying decision based on that local tire dealer described above who provides all the valueadded support which is required to maintain a total tire program and keep tire cost per mile in check.
Typically vehicles are running all over the country so most fleets choose a tire supplier who is part of a larger, nationwide network. It is really important for fleets to find the products and services they require anywhere their vehicles may be travelling. This usually means 24/7 availability. Many networks provide standard pricing and centralized billing through their local dealer or truckstop.
The bottom line is that fleets know how critical tires are to their company’s overall profitability. Establishing a relationship with a tire dealer who can provide one stop shopping and support means so much to a fleet’s overall success.
Q&A PSI ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
Q. I am considering retrofitting 100 trailers equipped with dual tires to the new 445/50R22.5 wide base single tire. There appears to be several options with various wheel outsets. Is there a specific recommendation regarding which wheel to spec?
A. When running 22.5" dual tires, the overall width measured from outside dual tire to outside dual is 92.4". There are 3 options of widebase wheels that are available with outsets of 0",1.13", and 2.0". The 2.0" outset wheels are the most common because the overall width from the left tire to the right side tire is 92.0" which is closest to the overall width when specing dual tires. If you use the 1.13" wheel outset the width is 90.4". Specing the 0" outset wheel gives a width of only 88.2".
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