If you own a commercial distribution company, you may rely on a fleet of trucks to help you perform your duties and are always looking for a competitive edge. While there are many ways to make this type of business successful, you should begin by treating each vehicle as its own profit centre. After all, profitability will ride on vehicle reliability and performance if those all-important budget markers are to be met.
You may feel as if you maintain your feet adequately and keep to a set schedule; nevertheless, problems still arise. Could you be overlooking something rather subtle which could lead to cumulative problems?
Are You Missing Something?
From time to time, each truck will require a new set of tyres, as the old ones wear out. When this happens, the new covers will be properly balanced and the wheels aligned so that the vehicle is ready for another stint of service. However, this is not a 'set it and forget it' operation, and the alignment part of it should be repeated on a regular basis.
Truck wheels can – and will – fall out of alignment as the kilometres unfold. This is simply due to traction as well as the state of the typical Australian road and should be expected.
You may notice that your drivers are finding it difficult to keep their trucks in-line, as they may tend to pull to one side or the other. This will present additional work for the operator, who will complain of exhaustion at the end of a long trip. Furthermore, the trip in question will be less profitable because the vehicle will use more fuel.
When the vehicle is no longer aligned properly, the tyres will begin to wear unevenly and often on the inside edges. If left undetected this can considerably shorten the life of the cover and will prompt a trip back to the tyre depot ahead of schedule.
Being More Proactive
Don't underestimate how much of a difference wheel alignment can make to the profitability of your fleet. It's not sufficient to wait until you buy the next set of tyres before you balance and align the wheels but should initiate these checks on a monthly basis instead.
While the savings may be relatively small on a 'per trip' basis, regular truck fleet maintenance will add up to sizeable savings when they are calculated across the fleet.