Operations

Gasoline Isn’t the Only Spiking Fleet Expense

Posted on June 4, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Bowie, MD — The Tire Industry Association (TIA), one of the leading international authorities on tires, is cautioning both consumers and businesses around the world to prepare for higher costs due to price increases associated with the production and distribution of tires. Many tire manufacturers are preparing to increase their prices as soon as June. The skyrocketing cost of crude oil is not the only factor associated with this increase; the cost of natural rubber has also been soaring. These are the primary raw materials used in the production of tires. And, it isn’t just automobile tires that are costing more. Tires for trucks, farm tractors and construction equipment are also seeing price increases. Undoubtedly, these costs will be passed along to consumers, thus squeezing their already-strained pocketbooks. What can consumers and businesses do to help soften the blow of higher tire prices? According to TIA Senior Vice President of Training, Kevin Rohlwing, here are four tips that can help: • Check air pressure. “Incorrect air pressure is the number one cause of both poor gas mileage and premature tire wear for passenger cars, trucks and all other equipment requiring pneumatic tires,” said Rohlwing.

• Rotate tires as recommended. According to Rohlwing, “both consumers and businesses often overlook this simple way to increase the life of their tires.” He advises that for passenger cars, tires should be rotated on average every 5,000 – 7,000 miles.

• If a tire is punctured, be sure it is properly repaired. “What many people and businesses do not realize is that on-the-wheel, or plug repairs are dangerous and could end up costing far more than the cost of a proper tire repair,” said Rohlwing. He advises consumers and businesses to look for service providers that remove the tire from the wheel and repair it from the inside, with a patch and rubber insert.

• Avoid hard stops and high-speed turns. Rohlwing says, “People often forget that aggressive driving leads to accelerated tire wear, which will force them to buy new tires before they really need them. And, with the cost of a new passenger tire averaging in the $75 - $150 (USD) range, this will add up very quickly over the life of the vehicle.”

“TIA and our tire service members worldwide understand that the current economic conditions are affecting virtually everyone, from farmers to truckers to consumers,” said Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA. “With just the smallest amount of attention and care, both consumers and businesses can make sure that their tires do not affect their pocketbook or bottom line.”

Source: Tire Industry Association

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