Full disclosure – at the end of this article, you will read about the new HVIA Training course: Best Practice Tyre Management, but the content between here and there could save you a motza.
The course’s development was funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, supported by the Australian Government. As the initiative’s title suggests, they choose projects to support based on the prospect of good safety outcomes.
Right now, however, we want to talk to you about another incentive to give your tyres and wheels more consideration – do it to save money.
Fuel prices have been fragile for a long time, what with everything going on from both an economic and geopolitical standpoint. That has only been compounded by the latest upheavals.
Of course, a good road transport operator is always across all of their costs, and as a reader of a publication like this, we can assume that you are pretty well-informed yourself.
So, I’m guessing you already look at all the efficiencies you can build into your business, without compromising safety and the wellbeing of your crew and the community.
The magic bullet then, is to address the two biggest consumable costs every operator has to contend with – that is fuel and tyres.
The question is: how do you look at the two in the same breath? I’m glad you asked.
The tyre is the only piece of equipment on a vehicle that is in contact with the road, so it is the only real means by which a vehicle can safely accelerate, steer, and most importantly, brake.
There are seven key principles of best practice tyre management, and if you make these a part of your business processes, you will not only enjoy the comfort of a safer fleet, you will also reap the rewards of less wear and tear (i.e. longer tyre life) and better fuel economy:
- Choose tyres and wheels that are fit for the task.
- Regularly check tyre pressures.
- Regularly examine tyre and wheel condition
- Monitor wheel balance and alignment.
- Set appropriate inspection intervals.
- Plan for repairs, and storing tyres and wheels and other parts.
- Establish procedures, responsibilities, training, and equipment.
These principles are explained in thorough detail in the Best Management Tyre Management online course by HVIA Training. The course is supported by diagrams, graphics, animations, and videos.
No matter what your role is in the heavy vehicle industry, these courses are invaluable for onboarding and refresher training for staff.
If the tyres or wheels on a vehicle are not functioning correctly, a vehicle’s handling, maneuverability, and stopping distance may all be negatively impacted, possibly to the extent that the vehicle becomes unsafe to drive.
In their 2020 Major Accident Investigation report, National Transport Insurance (NTI) analysed the causes of truck crashes resulting from mechanical failure, and found that steer tyre failure (blow-out) contributed to over half (52.9 per cent) of all mechanical failure crashes.
Remember, if you have any concern about a safety issue please talk to your team leader or supervisor and help make your workplace and tasks safer.