One of the most important aspects of a fleet manager's job is monitoring the cost efficiency of their vehicles' tyres. For a medium to large haulage company, the cost of maintaining the fleet's tyres represents a major source of expenditure. It's estimated that 42% of medium to large truck fleets (those operating 51 or more vehicles) could be failing to achieve maximum cost efficiency from their tyres.
PPK: A More Cost-Effective Way
A spokesperson for Michelin Solutions, who offer tyre solutions to corporate fleets, says that many haulage company managers are still handling the purchase, replacement and maintenance of their tyres in-house – a system that is costing them dearly not just financially, but also at the expense of their green credentials. While it may work for smaller, independent operators, for larger companies – especially for those operating out of multiple sites – the figures and resources required to maintain this don’t stack up.
Because tyres are such a major expense for a medium to large haulage company, managing that particular outlay correctly can make for a significant reduction in operational costs and show up directly on the bottom line. The answer, says Michelin Solutions, is PPK: the pence-per-kilometre system.
How PPK Works
The PPK system does not believe in replacing tyres prematurely, but instead takes each tyre on its merits – effectively providing a bespoke maintenance service for every individual tyre. Replacing a tyre before it is necessary wastes a significant amount of tread depth, sizeably reducing its usable life. Multiply this by an entire fleet over a year, and the effect on profits can be dramatic.
A PPK contract establishes a managed system for the client, ranging from the original fitting of the most appropriate tyres to personalised management. The latter programme includes a procedure of turning and twinning on the rim, along with regrooving at strategized points in the tyre's life. Through this careful, targeted system, haulage companyfleet managers can not just be certain of compliancy, efficiency and increased safety, but also of obtaining the maximum mileage from each and every tyre.
Contract With Confidence
While Michelin Solutions are not the only company to offer tyre management programmes, they claim that theirs is among the largest, most comprehensive and most competitive – in fact, more than 300,000 vehicles throughout the UK and Europe are under their PPK contracts. Their trademarked EFFITIRES™ system offers not just the procurement, inspection and maintenance of tyres, but also covers logistics, optional fuel commitment solutions, administration and provision of KPI reports.
In its most distilled form, PPK takes on the entire encumbrance and risk of the fleet's tyre management, operating on a fixed payment scheme that's directly related to the distances driven. This kind of micro-management enables a haulage company manager to keep a tight rein on the symbiotic relationship between budget and activity.
For fleet managers of medium to large operations who are still purchasing tyres on a transactional basis and carrying out in-house maintenance, the time may be nigh to run some numbers on PPK and consider the change.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides a valuable service for haulage company managers, matching delivery work with available vehicles. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.