One of the things I tend to always stress is safety. This is one of the most important things any operation should consider. With that in mind the other key consideration is of course, proper maintenance of all equipment.
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Your vehicles and trailers should always have a regularly followed maintenance schedule. Your drivers should always conduct checks of their trucks. Safety and maintenance, these two things are very important!
Some of the larger shops are able to have a proper maintenance support staff available on hand. It is their responsibility to ensure they conduct proper inspections. However it is also the driver’s responsibility to inspect his/her truck and to report any deficiencies found.
Smaller shops might have to set up a contract with other service centers to handle maintenance needs. That makes it all the more vital that they keep a close eye on their equipment. What might appear to be a small issue, can grow into a large problem if not taken care of right away.
This brings us to a key factor, where the rubber meets the road. That right, your tires. People often don’t think about them. Sure they check the oil, fuel, radiator and other fluids. But your tires are the number one thing you should check every time you (or your driver) stop.
What are you checking for?
Ensuring your tires are good is very important for a couple of reasons, which ties in with the first paragraph, safety. Bald tires require more stopping time, especially on icy or wet roads. Improperly maintained vehicles will add to the liability in the event of an accident, might even be given as the cause of the accident.
Shipping delays caused by blowouts or other mechanical issues is not excusable. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.
Well now that you know what to check for, what do you do if you have an issue? Obviously you must get the tire changed. That can be a costly issue! Because as we all know they are not cheap. But here are a few simple steps that can help reduce the cost…
Setting up an account with either a tire outlet or nationwide tire company can greatly decrease your overhead. Manufacturers and tire shops often run special ads or other discount promotions. Usually they like to hand these out to their loyal customers on a regular basis.
Remember, unless your operation is only local and your trucks return to your yard every night; don’t use a small or localized shop. It is better to go with the nationwide outlets. This is for two reasons, they usually offer better promotions and if you have account with them your driver can go any location, throughout the country, for service. This is especially important in emergencies.
If your shop either has its own maintenance bay, or you have a contract with a local mechanics shop try to buy in bulk. It is always cheaper to buy large quantities as opposed to single or a few at a time. That is why places like Sam’s Club and such are so popular.
Remember it might be a tad more expensive to purchase say 20 or 30 tires at one time. But rate per tire could be marked down considerably. Many times they don’t require you to physically maintain the inventory at your location. Instead, as you use them and the number on hand drops to a predetermined quantity, they will ship more. This is a double win; you save on space and money.
Depending on your needs and budgets tires can get expensive. If you drive primarily on paved surfaces and local then you have another option. Instead of buying brand new, you get retreads. In essence those are tires that are still good but have had the new tread ‘glued’ to the tire giving it several more miles of life.
Remember this can be a very effective and cost saving measure. Retreads are considerably cheaper than new. They are good for hard surfaces. There are some things to consider though when using retreads. They are not recommended for gravel and unprepared surfaces. They are also not recommended for extensively long treks. So you must weigh the cost saving against your actual need.
Places like Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, have lower taxes compared to other areas. So if you are in need, but can wait until you are in a reduced tax area, do so.
That can save you a lot. But it isn’t just the different states that have higher or lower taxes, also the individual counties, and cities will even have different tax rates. So if you are in an economically stronger location, more than likely the tax rate will reflect this by being higher.
Remember when you buy from a local vender they are subject to their prices and the local tax rates. Now if you have an account with a nationwide tire company or tire service center you’re per tire rate will always be the same, but the tax rate will still be subject to the state and community in which they are doing business. If the situation permits, check on the local tax rate before agreeing to have service done.
Many factors will affect the overall price of the tires and other related charges. But the stock market is good indicator of what future rates might be. If the stock market is strong that means prices will rise. So depending on the service center or manufacturer you use their prices might be affected as well.
Remember one of the key components in tires is still rubber, though other materials are used. So just like any agriculture or natural product, their stock prices might reflect future price changes.
So if stocks predictions are calling for a drop in stock price, wait until the prices are matched. Now this might not always be realistic, but if you are buying bulk and/or have account with tire center this could save you money in the long run.
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