Tires remain the top maintenance cost for most fleets, as they have for many years. Most experts agree that the best way to reduce tire costs is to ensure they are properly inflated, that drivers are performing proper checks, and that tires are maintained and replaced as needed.
According to TCA Benchmarking data in FreightWaves SONAR data platform, maintenance expense per mile (SONAR: MAINT.VCF), which includes parts, shop labor, supplies and outside vendor expense, for company fleet dry vans was 19.9 cents on March 29. It has consistently ranged between about 18.5 cents and 21 cents over the past year. At the same time, TCA data shows the gross fuel expense per mile for company fleet dry vans (SONAR: GFEMIL.VCF) was 42.8 cents per mile as of March 29.
Tires play a large role in these numbers. The difference between a tire inflated to 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) and one at 70 PSI is up to a 3.5% decrease in fuel economy, before additional wear and tear is considered.
Aperia Technologies is one of the companies that offers tire management technologies through its Halo tire inflation system. The company said that keeping technicians trained on the product is tougher with social distancing and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, so it is introducing a virtual training and support platform.
“The demands on the trucking industry to move goods urgently across the country is significant, downtime is more costly than ever, yet in-person training and support is challenging with social distancing and shelter-in-place orders,” said Josh Carter, CEO of Aperia Technologies. “We recognize the critical role we play in providing the trucking industry with our products, services and expertise during this crucial time, so we launched a virtual training platform to ensure uninterrupted support.”
In addition to fuel economy impacts, tires account for many roadside breakdowns, which according to the American Trucking Associations, occur every 10,000 miles. The cost of an unscheduled roadside repair is $450, Aperia said, which is why ensuring technicians are properly trained to install and maintain the Halo system is important.
The training platform features product, maintenance, and tire pressure dynamics modules, as well as recommended learning paths and a certification program.
Did you know?
The ultra low sulfur diesel fuel contract on CME closed down 16.09 cents a gallon on Tuesday, settling at 72.69 cents. That is a drop of 18.12% from Monday and down from its recent high of $2.0614 a gallon on Jan. 3.
“Get your stuff together and get in line.”
– Todd Amen, president of advisory firm ATBS, on what trucking companies and independent owner-operators can do to prepare for the next phase of the Paycheck Protection Program.
In other news:
Werner president talks protecting truckers
Werner president and CEO Derek Leathers talked to FOX News about the issues facing truckers on the frontlines, and how to better protect them. (FOX News)
Oil producers hold emergency meeting
After oil prices plummeted on consecutive days, OPEC+ ministers had an unscheduled conference call to discuss measures they could take to stabilize prices. (Bloomberg)
Small truckers face peril
Small trucking companies and owner-operators are facing a fiscal cliff as loads dry up and rates tumble. (Wall Street Journal)
Middle America states working together on transportation
A coalition of mid-America states are working collaboratively on transportation initiatives to ensure supply chains are functioning properly. (MAASTO)
US DOT relaxes more enforcement measures
The United States Department of Transportation has issued two new notices that clarify and ease restrictions on current hazardous materials regulations. (National Law Review)
April 22 is earth day, and it’s interesting to note that for the first time in 50 years, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on earth day shows real progress. It’s sad to note that this progress has come at the expense of so many lives and the economies of the world due to COVID-19. The closure of factories and shelter-in-place orders around the world that have so drastically cut transportation has led to a reduction in global CO2. Researchers in New York have found that carbon monoxide from cars is down 50% from this time last year, and global CO2 emissions are expected to hit their lowest levels in May since the financial crisis in 2007-2009.
Hammer down, everyone!