If you are responsible for fleet management, you know that you have to watch every penny and make sure that you get the maximum amount of productivity from all of the vehicles. Yet attention to small details can make all the difference when you are otherwise focusing on those big-picture or macro savings. What could you be missing in the all-important battle for competitive business?
Often, just a slight adjustment to each vehicle needs to be performed and this starts with proper alignment of wheels. Routine checks should be carried out to make sure everything is running efficiently. If not, your vehicles could be eating up their tyres and using far more fuel than they need to.
What's at Stake?
When you are sure that everything is properly aligned, you will undoubtedly reduce mechanical failure down the road. Reliability is key as you want to keep all your vehicles on the road for the maximum number of hours per month. Savings will extend into the cab as well. Drivers will not have to make as many steering corrections and will have a much smoother overall ride. This will result in less downtime, as fatigue sets in otherwise.
What Should You Be Looking for?
Have a closer look at the tyres to see if there is an abnormal amount of wear on any of the outer edges. This could indicate that the camber is misaligned, from a negative or positive angle, applying excess weight on a particular part of the tyre for uneven wear.
You may also find that the steering axis is incorrect, with positive or negative tilting towards the rear or front, affecting the overall handling of the vehicle. Premature wear inside or outside can also manifest as a result of incorrect 'toe in' or 'toe out' settings. This determines the angle of the tyres and wheels in relation to one another.
You shouldn't stop at just the towing vehicle either. If the trailer axles are not correctly aligned, excessive wear can occur. This will cause significant drag on the front, which will simply add to your overall fuel bill.
It is sometimes difficult to determine exactly what error is causing the wear on each tyre. This is where a skilled fitter comes into their own and should be brought in to help determine what is wrong. Checking the truck wheel alignment of each vehicle and trailer on a monthly basis can make a significant difference to your profitability.