Independent industry expert, Mr Brad Bearman of Bear's Tyres cautions
major transport companies about their cost cutting measures coming back to haunt
them with higher expenses.
According to Mr Bearman, transport companies are changing their
strategies for tyre purchasing and management to save costs. He explains that
several of these companies are dropping links with better known tyre companies
such as Michelin, Bridgestone and Beaurepaires for their supply and servicing,
instead purchasing tyres directly from non-traditional Asia-based producers and
appointing inexperienced in-house tyre fitters in the false belief they will
get better results.
He warns that the companies are likely to face problems a little further
down the track.
Mr Bearman, developer of the world’s only software based Bears Tyre
Tracker, comments that there is significant variation in quality of tyres from
such sources, risking predictability because the practice introduces cheaper
tyres into the truck fleets, diluting the attention to detail needed by truck
Tyre management ranges from tyre fitting through to maintenance,
rotation and replacement; however, there are very few tyre fitters in Australia
with comprehensive knowledge, leading to greater complications.
Mr Bearman explains that truck tyre management requires the tyre fitter to
spot problems at a very early stage, be aware of what every single tyre is
doing in its lifecycle, be able to manage constant upkeep aligned with quality
standards, and have someone with national links to handle blowouts and similar
challenges that may leave the vehicle stranded.
Mr Bearman says tyres made in China are becoming the tyre of choice, but
seeing transport companies enlist the services of a tyre fitter and thinking
they are ahead, is a potentially damaging illusion.
Australia’s only truly independent national truck and bus fleet tyre practitioner,
Mr Bearman has more than 35 years of experience in the truck tyre industry.
The Bears Tyre Tracker is a software-based analysis and reporting tool
that logs distances and advises rotations at optimised moments of each tyre’s
lifespan. The system has been designed to provide rotation schedules for every
The Tyre Tracker makes the actions of these in-house tyre fitters
totally transparent and shortcomings would be immediately visible as the data
unearths all performance and cost issues. Apart from enhancing tyre life, the technology
also delivers intensely accurate cost breakdowns for each tyre.
Unfortunately, except for a low bill from cheap tyre imports, transport
companies don’t see that hardly anything is being done on the ground. With no
grasp whatsoever on tyre performance, the companies don’t realise how their
naive tyre management is actually costing them more in wastage.
Tyre brands such as Michelin and Bridgestone are dropping their prices
because they don’t want to risk losing their market share to cheap, China-made
tyres. Even if the popular tyre brands dropped their prices so low they became
an attractive choice against the Chinese imports, it would still be a wasted
resource without proper management.