Tires are one of the most significant investments for a fleet and are crucial to keeping them on the road. Selecting the right tire for the right job is the first key step to ensure fleets minimize downtime and are able to get the maximum potential out of their tire assets. If a fleet selects an incorrect tire for an application, the intended design and purpose of the tire are negated. For example, if an urban pickup and delivery tire is selected for a line-haul operation, the tire will not perform well since it is not designed for that environment.
When selecting a tire, the main consideration is how and where it needs to perform. It is important to understand where a vehicle is going to spend most of its time (urban, highway, off-road, etc.), the application type and the performance attributes that are most important to a fleet’s business—such as traction, fuel efficiency, long wear life, and retreadability.
SELECTING THE RIGHT TIRE DIGITALLY
When it comes to selecting a tire, customers these days have a lot of choices and the amount of information available can be overwhelming. Fleets need a more simplified experience to make the decision process faster and more precise while addressing their specific needs.
GCR Tires & Service strives to make mobility more efficient for commercial customers. In line with this mission, GCR launched two new digital tools, the Commercial Truck and Off-the-Road (OTR) Tire Finders, that allow customers to quickly and accurately find products that meet their tire needs.
The GCR Commercial Truck and OTR Tire Finder tools provide users with both product-specific and guided search options. The guided search process is designed for users who may be less familiar with their tire choices and focuses on finding the right tires for a specific industry application, such as trucking, bus, RV, and off-the-road. After answering four simple questions, users can view the top tires for their needs while easily comparing product features and benefits.
For example, OTR customers need to answer four simple questions:
- What’s your industry?
- What’s your machine/equipment type?
- What’s the tire size?
- What’s the surface condition of the jobsite?
Based on the responses, the GCR Tire Finder fine tunes each successive question based on the previous response and suggests the most accurate tire for the application.
Alternatively, customers who want to view information about a specific tire can navigate directly to the desired product page by searching a product name or tire article number.
The tools, optimized for both desktop and mobile use, offer relevant, qualified tire information to customers with speed and accuracy—it’s basically like having a proactive tire advisor at their fingertips.
PROACTIVE TIRE MAINTENANCE
While making the right tire choice is critical, GCR Tires & Service strongly believes proactive tire maintenance is foundational to helping fleet owners maximize uptime. Fleets expect a lot out of their tires, making it imperative tires are inspected frequently to ensure they perform to their full potential. We recommend fleets follow these steps to ensure proper maintenance of their tires:
- Track mileage, regularly measure tread depth, and routinely check air pressure to monitor tire performance.
- Maintain proper inflation pressure for tread wear life and ultimately safety on the highway.
- Check alignments and rotations to ensure maximum tire performance on rigs.
- Watch for mismatched tread depths to avoid scrub out. Scrub out occurs when one tire has a larger circumference or tread depth than another and is worn down more quickly because of drag resistance.
- Abide by the tire’s maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than posted speed limits.
- Consider incorporating retreads into truck tire programs for cost efficiencies and to extend the life of a tire.
Technology and data solutions are having a profound impact on the way fleet customers are doing business. GCR has seen an increased desire from them for tools and technology that can help monitor tire inflation pressure in a more consistent and real-time way. Fleets are looking to work with service providers who can offer tools that capture tire performance information and data, while also translating what the data says into actionable steps.
GCR takes pride in looking after our customers’ tires so they can focus on driving their business forward. Backed by Bridgestone, GCR uses the Fleet Analyzer 2.0 tool to help fleets manage their retreaded tire assets. The reports from this tool provide detailed, actionable data on tread depth and tire pressure so fleet managers are informed and able to maximize their tire assets.
For OTR customers, GCR offers tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), such as Bridgestone B-TAG™ and the recently launched PressureStat™ system, which closely track and communicate tire pressure in real time, providing operators with the information they need to adjust tire pressure to recommended levels. These tire tracking technologies are linked to TreadStat™, the Bridgestone tire and rim management tool that provides immediate, actionable information directly to users’ computers, tablets, or smartphones, empowering customers to better forecast the demands and needs of their operation’s tire program, helping reduce costs and improve tire performance.
Lastly, GCR cannot overstate the importance of having a trusted dealer and service partner who can make a big difference in maintaining, managing, and servicing tire assets. A trusted service provider understands that a good tire maintenance program is designed not only to address the tires themselves, but also the environment in which they must perform. By understanding the route and role of each tire, a service provider can work with fleet owners and drivers to create a tire maintenance program tailored to each customer’s need.
About the author:
Timothy Netzel is the senior marketing manager for GCR Tires & Service, North America, and has been with Bridgestone for more than 15 years. In his role, he leads all GCR brand marketing programs based on customer insights and needs.
Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2018
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