By Scott Holub
Proper tire care is a very important part of protecting a company’s bottom line. Tires are a major investment for equipment, so it is essential to take care of them properly. Downtime costs money, so a little maintenance can lead to huge savings in the long run. It’s just as important for a small contractor as a large corporation to maximize the operating costs of their equipment and improve their bottom line.
CHECK EVERY DAY
Besides cost savings, a good tire maintenance program leads to safer and better performing tires. Tire abuse and misapplication are leading causes to decreasing the life of a tire. Creating daily practices to check both the tires and equipment and then also incorporating regular maintenance programs can help prevent failures and keep equipment running.
Before beginning the job, operators should pay attention to the conditions of the terrain and application to be sure the tires they are using are the correct type. It is important to select tires that handle the weight capacities, haul speeds, and temperatures of each particular job. Then, every day before beginning work, operators should walk around the equipment to check for lodged debris, uneven tire wear, cuts, cracks, bulges, and low air pressures. These minor checks can save unnecessary delays and address problems before they happen.
TIRE TRACKING METHOD
Tire Tracking Systems can also help ensure extended tire life. There are several different ways to record the performance of your tires. Some companies calculate the cost per hour by recording the mounting hours on and off. Others track this same cost by tracking mileage on and off and calculate cost per mile. Still, other calculate total tons of material moved, or cost per ton, within a certain period of time.
No matter which tracking method is used, it is important to constantly monitor the conditions the tires are operating in and any changes that may occur. Also, checking for the correct tire pressure daily is critical in tire maintenance. A calibrated tire pressure gauge is always recommended, but some tire vendors are providing monitoring systems to track tire pressure that sends regular reports and alerts when action is needed. Drivers should also follow the speed ratings for the tire to avoid issues and prevent road hazards.
Many tire companies offer services to analyze the operations of companies in order to better understand their equipment needs and the best solutions. BKT uses the SPOTech system to gather data to help the customer choose the most productive tire.
SPOTech technology uses GPS, Accelerometers, video cameras, and data loggers during site visits to record information regarding haul roads, distances, cycle times, and speed. BKT combines that information with the customer’s production data to calculate which tires will perform the best under the given conditions. This helps assess what tire pattern and compound will give the longest life and best resistance to cuts or heat.
Everyone benefits from a proper tire maintenance program. This will lead to a more efficient and productive operation. Tires that are well maintained will operate the safest and least expensive.
About the Author:
Scott Holub is manager, OTR technical services, with BKT Tires. For more, visit www.bkt-tires.com/us/en/.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2021
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