Maintenance: An Ounce of Prevention

Maintenance: An Ounce of Prevention
A solid inspection routine is critical to maintaining a productive fleet.

Get a jump on potential problems, and avoid big problems before they happen.

Downtime costs. It costs fleets an average of $448 to $760 per day, according to Vehicle Service Pros. Downtime costs the mining industry up to $3,000 per hour, according to manufacturer Gates. Fortunately, regularly looking for potential problems before they result in downtime can go a long way towards reducing it.

Bridgestone recommends daily pre-shift inspections and regular formal inspections, which in themselves can be costly—the less time your drivers spend behind the wheel, the worse the payoff. The tire manufacturer is making it as easy as possible with new jobsite resources: a video and a poster that provide guidelines to be used in a regular maintenance program.

“The OTR customers are constantly evolving in their approach to tire asset management and asking for more support from manufacturers and dealers,” says Rob Seibert, Director, Off-The-Road Marketing, Bridgestone Americas. “We recognize their need for a regular tire inspection and maintenance program, which we believe is crucial to jobsite safety and productivity. We launched these educational resources in line with our promise to deliver a comprehensive approach for our customers to manage their tire assets and lower their total cost of ownership.”

The cleanly designed poster is, naturally, also a plug for the company’s TreadStat software, but provides quick hits of useful reminders of what to look for on the tread and shoulder, sidewall, inflation, beads, valves, wheels and rims, with a couple of best practices thrown in. The slickly produced four-and-a-half-minute video would make a good addition to an orientation package for new drivers, and includes additional general information about inspections themselves.

Free resources

Launched in late summer, Seibert says industry feedback has been positive. “These resources are free, and easy to follow to identify and report irregular tire, rim and wheel conditions early,” he says. “In just the last two months, we have had over 800 views of the inspection video and hundreds of inquiries for the poster. We expect many more inquiries and views in the coming months.”

A solid inspection routine is critical to maintaining a productive fleet, and the two new Bridgestone tools provide a good foundation. “Proper tire care and maintenance are fundamental to tire performance, particularly in an off-the-road setting,” Seibert says. “Tires are a large expenditure for OTR customers, and properly maintaining tires is critical to getting the most out of your tire investment. Over time, tire performance directly impacts productivity and that translates into a business’s bottom line.”

Get the poster and video here.

All Aboard

The key to successful implementation or expansion of your inspection and maintenance program is engaging employees. Here are five ways to get your drivers to get with the program.

1. Communicate

Prepare your fleet drivers by being explicit about the importance of the program and your expectations, as well as any penalties for non-compliance.

2. Personalize tasks

If you need individuals to be responsible for certain tasks, play to their strengths. Don’t put a big-picture thinker in charge of tracking a few tiny details.

3. Be available

Keep an open-door policy to address any questions or concerns.

4. Enforce

If someone on the team is resistant, be aggressive in addressing it. Small problems can balloon into big ones, and you don’t want gripers influencing other employees who are already on board.

5. Be open to change

Solicit feedback, and be prepared to adjust if team members offer sound advice.

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