Keeping Trucks On the Road

Of the greatest speeches in American lore, few capture the essence of victory like Vince Lombardi’s ‘What it Takes to Be Number One’. And within the text, nothing stands out quite like the strong intro.

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit.”

At this time of year, our weekends are often spent watching football. And in this part of the world, whether you’re a Packers fan, a Vikings fan, prefer college football or the NFL, you can’t help but notice the similarities between football and…trucking. Right? Think about it. You have winning and losing on the line, your goal is to get to the end zone without losing the goods, you battle the elements, heavy traffic, and many obstacles en route, and unfortunately, all too often you can find yourself sacked with (or without) the ball, forced to head to the sidelines and work towards better luck next time.

Stay on the Field

When a fleet of trucks is deployed its goal is to carry out a mission. But as we all know, with 18 tires plowing through rough road, at least one of them can have a challenge at any time. As with any maintenance issue, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive, so the question becomes:

Are you investing in the proactive care of your trucks with the same urgency as a roadside reaction after a blowout?

Fleet maintenance prevents tire issues that can occur with leaks and fixes impending issues caused by under-inflation. With Bauer Built, our Value Added Services Program takes on the following proactive elements.

  • Fleet performance analysis — Create a benchmark for your fleet’s tire program
  • Fleet analysis — Discover tire and maintenance practices that cost you money
  • Retread reporting — Access a variety of reports to guide cost-effective tire decision making

With preventative maintenance, tires last longer, run more efficiently and most importantly, trucks safely stay on the road. When considering the expense of fleet maintenance, it’s important to remember that it’s more cost effective than enduring costly downtime.

Of the ways to extend the life of truck tires and maintain them for extended use, retreading ranks number one. In the past 30 years, with improved processes, retreading has lowered the total cost of tires to about $.03/mile – especially for fleets with preventative maintenance, who are proactive with retreading. In 1990, the Chicago Tribune wrote about retreating ‘Getting More Respect’. At the time, consumers and even some truckers doubted the overall value of retreading. Today, videos like this demonstrate its effectiveness, safety and environmental superiority.

Ultimately, the process of retreading proactively, should be planned as a part of an ongoing Value-Added Services Program, such as Bauer Built’s.

“The whole issue of how tires flow through the fleet — whether to use retreads, how many times a tire will be retreaded, and at what point it should be retreaded — really needs to be clearly defined as part of a good tire management program,” said Michelin’s Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for Michelin North America in Work Truck Magazine.

With tires they can depend on for longer lives through 2-3 retreads, and proactive maintenance programs, fleet management can ensure their trucks not only deliver cost-effectively, but safely, efficiently and productively. Because whether it’s the gridiron or the interstate highway system, the journey to the end zone is perilous and littered with obstacles. Your truck has a tough job to do – make sure it’s up to the challenge. And with the proper care, proactive maintenance and planning through good fleet management, we can consistently win in trucking, delivering safely, on time and on budget. Because with the similarities between football and trucking, we can only wonder if this is what Lombardi was describing at the end of his speech.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

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