There are several necessities in fleet – and one of the most important items is the tire. It keeps the vehicle rolling and is literally where the rubber meets the road.
With a minimum of four tires on every single work truck, a variety of vehicles requiring various tire fittings, likely multiple regions with extremely different weather and road conditions, the headaches and expenses that come with tire management add up quickly.
Enough is Enough Already
By now, the savvy fleet manager has heard all of the tips on tire maintenance, knows the value of retreads, understands why they have to ensure their drivers are performing their pre- and post-trip inspections, and likely will scream if they hear another quote on the drop in fuel economy by underinflated tire psi.
Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. Many fleet managers, and drivers, are burned out on tire maintenance tips. They know the dangers and may have survived a few blowouts themselves without any additional damage.
So, drivers start to get a little overconfident. Perform their post-trip inspection a little more quickly, perhaps just check the boxes at pre-trip because, hey, they did that post-trip inspection and what could have changed?
Drivers start ignoring the messages in the safety newsletters about checking tire pressure. Perhaps they figure a few psi under isn’t that big of a deal and they’d rather save a few minutes to get back on the road.
This is when you start to see some major problems happening from your otherwise safe and aware fleet of drivers.
How to Get the Message Across
So, how do you ensure your drivers are still paying attention to the albeit small, but extremely important safety measures related to tires?
There are several options, a few of the most helpful ones I found I’ve shared below:
- Switch it up. If you are constantly repeating the same message the same way at the same time, it’s bound to eventually be ignored. Change up the wording, throw in some statistics or photos, include the messages in newsletters, but also send a standalone note or flyer out reminding drivers and technicians of the importance of proper tire maintenance.
- Make it fun. While a monetary award is always appreciated, many drivers would appreciate even a call out during a morning meeting about their tire safety and maintenance efforts.
- Keep drivers involved. If a driver is involved and has a sense of ownership of the vehicle they operate, they are far more likely to keep it maintained. If you have a maintenance shop that handles tire maintenance, find a way to involve your drivers and have them help out for a day to better understand everything that goes into tire maintenance and replacement.
Advancements in Tires
With the advancements in tire technology from tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to retreading technology, it can be easier than ever to monitor your fleet’s tires, but having the ability to do something and putting it into action can be two totally different topics.
Just like tire tech is advancing, so should the ways you communicate about their value to your fleet.
Are your drivers burned out on tire tips? What actions are you taking to keep them excited and involved? E-mail me and let’s chat!