Unlocking the Future of Fleet Management with Tire Analytics

To ensure that fleets are operating safely and effectively, organizations must be equipped to monitor and analyze the performance of their tires, gaining visibility into key components.

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Given all of the intricate components that form the modern supply chain, it might be easy for executives to overlook tire management, but tires have a significant role to play that extends well beyond the movement of goods from one location to another.

According to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, an average of 33,000 accidents occur annually because of tires. As the third-highest expense in fleet management, the combined safety and cost implications mean that organizations cannot afford to treat tire management as an afterthought. 

The continued development and key milestones of smart and sustainable tires this year alone have started to grab the attention of more than just fleet managers. With the industry evolving beyond traditional, well-understood materials and toward greener manufacturing processes, there is a promise of higher performance in conjunction with sustainability. The problem facing organizations today is that there is less historical data to support that promise. They must collect reliability and performance data to benchmark the actual results of new tire technology across their fleets.

To ensure that fleets are operating safely and effectively, organizations must be equipped to monitor and analyze the performance of their tires, gaining visibility into key components like usage, age, and repair history. In doing so, fleet managers can protect the drivers, equipment and goods for which they are responsible.

The Pieces of the Tire Tracking Puzzle

The deployment of tire tracking technology provides stakeholders with the key data points they need to better inform overall tire inventory and maintenance decisions. These insights can offer a deeper understanding of tire performance, enabling fleet managers to connect the dots between tires and broader fleet performance.

There are several key components of a successful tire analytics program. Mileage tracking records the distance traveled by each individual tire, which helps teams plan for their eventual repairs and replacements. This ensures that no tire is left out on the road beyond its lifecycle and helps minimize the vehicle safety risks that stem from overused tires. Mileage tracking is also useful for planning regular maintenance inspections and helping organizations verify the equipment they have on the road is safe and compliant.

Once mileage is tracked, tire analytics software can automatically begin to generate preventive maintenance inspections and tasks. Even the simplest inspections can have a big impact on fleets. To give an example, proper inflation is just one component of the maintenance process, but underinflated tires carry a higher risk of puncture and aquaplaning, not to mention longer braking distance and altered handling around corners. Establishing regular maintenance schedules with tire analytics helps to ensure that these risks, and others, are remediated before they impact vehicles in service.

Tire inventory is key for fleet managers who are tasked with maintaining stock for their fleets while operating within fixed budgets. Without a sense of what an organization has available in its inventory, it can be difficult for them to know if they are ready for replacements, both routine and unplanned. A digital tire inventory allows fleet manages to track the volume of parts and keep more detailed records of mounting, repairs, and disposal. Too much inventory can require extra storage and upkeep, not to mention a bevy of concerns around age, mishandling, or theft. Too little inventory can leave organizations unprepared, especially in the case of an emergency. By relying on a digital inventory, managers can strike the right balance for their fleets.

Cost tracking capabilities enable fleet managers to monitor the expenses associated with tires, spanning everything from the cost of new purchases, to repairs, to disposal. Each fleet has different needs based on price and performance. The insights gleaned from cost tracking can help teams understand how tires across their fleet are performing and influence future purchasing decisions.

Understanding each tire’s positioning on a given vehicle can provide valuable insights on its performance, particularly for fleet managers that oversee a fleet comprised of multiple types of vehicles. By configuring and analyzing axle schema, fleet managers get a more granular look at how individual tires are wearing given their location. With this detailed axle information in hand, teams can identify trends among the fleet, such as which positions wear the quickest, and better plan for rotations.

Realizing the Benefits of Tire Tracking

As tire manufacturers continue to experiment with evolving technologies, and organizations seek out the tires that best fit the needs of their fleets, the importance of tire tracking and analytics will only increase.

The data gathered through the implementation of a robust tire tracking program helps build valuable insights that can be applied to make better repair/replace decisions, identify potential issues before they become critical and prevent those issues from happening while tires are in service, all of which can disrupt operations and put lives in danger.