Good truck tyres – quality pays off

How to save more than 2 litters of fuel per 100 km?
Profitability counts in transport – this also applies to tyres. Although tyres generate about 3-5% of costs in the transport industry, they affect up to 40% of the company's operating costs. Their malfunctions and damage translate into greater consumption of fuel as well as tractor and semi-trailer systems, more frequent service, costs of spare parts, and possible penalties for delays in deliveries. That is why the quality of tyres and their service is so important to both our health and our business. So how do you choose the right tyres? How to extend their service life?

Fleet companies with a responsible purchasing policy know that the purchase of tyres is an investment. Although brand-name tyres are more expensive at the time of purchase, they turn out to be more profitable than those from the middle and budget segments, and especially from those so-called exotic brands. Tyres from reputable manufacturers have the biggest number of technological solutions that provide the final product with features that are of great importance to carriers – fuel economy, durability, safety and the possibility of extending the life of the tyre by means of deepening and retreading.

– Brand-name tyres – especially premium tyres – use all the best technologies available to a given manufacturer to offer the best performance in many parameters. Tyre parameters are often contradictory – e.g. grip or friction reduction or resistance to aquaplaning and rolling noise – so combining many important features ​​in a given tyre model is very difficult. This requires major investments in the development of technologies and the discovery of new ones – hundreds of millions of euros are spent each year on developing them. In mid-range tyres, there will be less of these technological solutions, and their performance will be satisfactory level only in a few parameters – at the expense of others. The cheapest budget tyres only use basic technologies, so they will not have such advantages as short braking distances, durability or fuel efficiency. There are also tyres of the below-budget class, the so-called exotic brands, whose only advantage is their low price. However, they often do not even have the basic quality repeatability, they lack some layers, so they wear out much faster, and their carcasses are much weaker. It is not possible to produce a durable carcass and an energy-saving tread with cheap production methods. There is no way to safely retread such tyres – when worn out, they can only be disposed of, and in the end, they generate more costs for companies than brand-name tyres – points out Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).

Only premium tyres have a carcass strong enough to be retreaded – i.e. the process of applying a new layer of rubber in place of the worn-out tread. This method of extending the mileage of the tyre is responsible from the point of view of business and care for the natural environment, and directly translates into savings for entrepreneurs in the logistics industry.

Retreading is not the only solution that is profitable for fleet companies. Something as simple and routine as keeping your tyres properly inflated can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.3 litters per 100 km and ensure even tread wear on all tyres. In addition, to prevent faster wear of the vehicle's suspension components, also remember to balance the wheels.

The use of brand-name trucks with reduced rolling resistance tyres - which, let's recall, is almost 30% of fuel – saves over 2 litters of fuel per 100 km, i.e. an average of almost 5,000 litters per year[1]. In addition, with proper maintenance of such tyres, you can run even 600 000 – 800 000 km on them.

– Carriers and the broadly understood shipping industry are now going through a difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we are glad that most companies are aware that low-quality tyres generate additional downtime, which means losses and contractual penalties. Nobody can afford it now. Tyre is the third fastest rotating element of the car – every entrepreneur who cares about the health of his employees knows that their drivers must have no doubts that the tyres they are driving on guarantee the highest level of safety. Nowadays there is a slogan in the industry: "I cannot afford cheap and sloppy tyres". I think it will also continue after the pandemic – adds Piotr Sarnecki.



[1] At a mean annual milage of 240,000 km and 30l/100km fuel consumption

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association