Every vehicle needs tire maintenance. But, commercial fleets often need special attention. Given the varied and frequent uses of such vehicles, tires might wear down or suffer damage at more frequent rates than on standard cars. So, if you are in charge of managing a fleet, what can you do to keep your vehicles in good shape?
1. Know the uses of your vehicles.
Some fleets might only travel on highways and residential streets. Others, however, might drive off-road to visit construction sites or make rural deliveries. Depending on where your vehicles will travel, they will need to carry tires that can handle what is underneath them.
Let’s say most of your construction vehicles must pull up to construction sites to unload materials. Because they will likely off-road a bit, they might need tires with deeper tread. The added tread can help these tires gain traction in mud or on other roads that have uneven surfaces.
2. Use routine, preventive maintenance
You don’t want to wait until your trucks have massive tire problems to get them fixed. Rather, taking small steps can often help you keep fleet tires in better shape longer. Also, keeping an eye on your tires when they are in good health might help you lower your risk of catastrophic failures and accidents. You might even be able to reduce your commercial auto insurance risks over time.
Inspect your fleet tires once per week. Test the tire pressure and add air as needed. Also look over the tires for signs of worn tread, nail impacts and slow leaks. Act to fix tires if problems arise. Ensure that your drivers have a jack, air pump, replacement tools and spare tire available. They should know how and when to check tires, replace them or report damage.
3. Make major changes at regular intervals.
In many cases, your fleet will have a standardized maintenance calendar. Your vehicles might all receive service at once, or have staggered schedules. Whenever you take your vehicles for maintenance, have the technician check the tire tread depth, balance and overall wheel system health. You should also have the tires rotated regularly to ensure that they wear evenly. The front and back tires will experience different levels of deterioration over time. Therefore, rotation will help keep the deterioration in balance.
Your mechanic can advise you on the best times to choose new tires. Usually, this time comes when the tread depth falls below 1/32 in. However, different tires will have different tread baselines. Therefore, you’ll need to check the tread recommendations for your specific tires.
The more care you take of your tires, the lower your accident risks and overall maintenance cost burden might prove. Therefore, think of your tires as an important cog in keeping your commercial auto insurance risks low.
Also Read: Reducing Your Trucking Insurance Costs