With running costs identified by many fleet operators as their primary business concern, it’s no surprise that there’s a myriad of technologies available to help them manage and reduce their day to day operating costs. From sophisticated telematics systems, increasingly efficient engines, through to developments in the humble tyre, millions are invested in helping operators run an ever-efficient fleet.
In the search for such ongoing efficiency improvements, many operators recognise the important role that tyres and tyre management plays. Not only is proper tyre servicing and care important from a safety perspective, but the impact on costs also can be significant. Tyres that are not correctly aligned will wear unevenly and will not last as long as the manufacturer intended. Furthermore, as the misaligned wheel ‘scrubs’ across the road surface, its rolling resistance is increased leading to higher fuel consumption. Indeed, independent tests carried out by two major global tyre and truck manufacturers found that the regular use of wheel alignment systems could help fleets reduce their fuel bills by as much as two and half percent.
Despite these recognised benefits of regular wheel alignment, many operators have been guilty of overlooking and ignoring the potential savings due to the time needed to measure a truck’s alignment. Times in excess of 30 minutes to make wheel alignment measurements are not uncommon, meaning that operators have not carried out checks as often as they perhaps should.
With Hunters new alignment technology, comes dramatic reduction in wheel alignment measurement times – just 4 minutes!
For fleets, the main change that can be instantly made is the frequency that alignment checks are made. Clearly this will vary between operators depending upon the size of the fleet and their existing servicing schedule, but with measurement times slashed, there’s little reason not to measure the vehicle every time it makes a visit to the workshop.
By making more regular checks and adjustments, operators can be sure that they are maximising tyre life and fuel efficiency. A more proactive approach is adopted which embraces a philosophy of ‘prevention rather than cure’, as is the case nowadays with most fleets. Once uneven tyre wear is visible, it’s already too late and significant damage may have occurred along with wasted money. A new pre-emptive approach ensures fleets can take control of their tyre management rather than be in a reactive position.
Workshops and fleet operators who have already experienced the new Hunter system have been particularly impressed by its ease of use, speed and accuracy. Simply attach the six wireless sensors to the vehicle’s wheels on three axles. The important operation of rolling compensation, which eradicates any rim runout issues (and no need for Jacking Compensation) is carried out in one short easy roll of the vehicle. This is possible because of Hunter’s unique vehicle pusher ‘EasiPush’. Live readings are transmitted to the system console with results presented in a clear, simple to understand printable format or available online via HunterNet (Hunters cloud based work management system) or sent direct via email. Such is the efficient nature of the system that users are only required to walk around the vehicle two and half times.
So monitoring commercial fleet alignment on a frequent basis is now within the realms of reality – in doing so making a sizeable contribution to the management of fleet tyre and fuel costs.