Rock Products

MAY 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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38 • ROCK products • May 2019 EvaluaƟng Tires W e've all heard the adage: "You get what you pay for." In many cases that's true. Yet, when it comes to the tires in your fleet, it may not be the case. With tires, you can actu- ally get more than you pay for, and if you do, you're cutting operational costs significantly since tires often represent the second highest expense following fuel. Tires constantly evolve and applications vary. Those running dump trucks, or dump trailers – hauling rock and aggregate – know that long tire life and retreading go a long way in cutting costs. Tires are far from a commodity item, and tire price points don't always tell you the "life" you should expect to get from them. Just because you pay more for a tire doesn't mean you will get higher mileage and more retreads. That's especially true for those running dump trucks, or running tractors and dump trailers. When it comes to tires, the only way to determine what's best for you is to test them for yourself. That means developing an on-going tire evaluation program – an extra step that can end up saving you significant dollars. You'll be comparing the tires you currently run with a possible newcomer to your fleet. At Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., when we test new tires for our Cooper line of commercial tires, we benchmark against tier 1 brands. Our tests are macro in scale and we run the same test with multiple fleets. We then compare the data to see how our tires stack up to the competition. Unlike a tire company that is testing products day in and day out with dedicated technical professionals and sophisticated equipment, most fleets do not have the capability or band- width to conduct exhaustive testing. Yet, you can still do a valid evaluation within a fleet and get results that give you confidence in what to expect from selected tire brands. Steer Tire Evaluation To conduct an apples-to-apples comparison, you need to keep all unnecessary variables out of the equation, which may not be easy in an operation with some off-highway elements. You should run like-brand and like-model tractors or trucks, and they should be the same age with the same specs. In addition, drivers comparable in skill level should run the trucks. Drivers can impact tire performance in subtle ways. Routes and loads should be identical, or as similar as possible. Once proper "like" equipment is identified, you'll want to outfit four of the trucks with your new evaluation steer tire, and outfit another four with the steer tire you're currently running. You'll be doing a head-to-head analysis. There are two reasons to run at least four vehicles: 1. To get a good average wear rate considering any variation in vehicles, routes, or driver. 2. If you lose a tire due to a road hazard, you will still have three vehicles left running. Drive Tire Evaluation Drive tires are somewhat easier to evaluate. Instead of pitting vehicles against each other, you can use one vehicle to test two brands of tires. The only caveat is that their diameters need to be within ¼-in. of each other. To put that into per- spective, you can run one drive tire with 30/32nds of tread depth, and have the competing drive tire within plus or minus 4/32nds of that figure. Any larger variances will cause tire scrubbing and inaccurate results. Tire Evaluations: Test to Get the Best With Tires, You Can Actually Get More Than You Pay For. By Phillip Mosier

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