Clive Seabrook, CEO of Pro-Align, urges operators to think about wheel alignment as a useful tool in the battle to keep costs down and mileage up.
Ensuring vehicles get to their destination on time, safely and efficiently is of paramount importance for fleet operators. Any vehicle downtime can result in a serious loss of cash for businesses which often has a knock-on effect for its customers and can end up tarnishing reputations due to unreliability. Furthermore, with many multi-drop commercial vehicles heading from one job to the next, drivers often find themselves mounting kerbs and hitting potholes, meaning vehicle damage and wheel alignment is affected by the hour.
Regular vehicle maintenance plays a crucial role in reducing vehicle downtime, but one service that is often overlooked by fleet operators is wheel alignment.
Accurate and regular wheel alignment checks can help reduce fuel consumption, tyre wear, vehicle emissions and even driver fatigue, which in turn helps to increase driver safety. This also helps businesses save money on fuel and expensive new tyres, while reducing their carbon footprint.
Wheel alignment servicing can help fleet operators seriously reduce their overheads and keep vehicles on the road earning money, yet it is still often disregarded by many across the industry.
When a truck’s wheels are correctly aligned, tyre life can be extended by as much as 22% and 10 % for drive and steer axle tyres respectively. This is because the properly aligned tyres no longer scrub across the road surface, causing additional rolling resistance and higher fuel usage.
Some studies have shown that fuel economy can be improved by up to 19%, helping to reduce running costs by tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of pounds a year for operators. These figures simply cannot be ignored.
Fleet operators must work with workshop owners and their technicians to ensure the right work is being conducted to help trucks and other commercial vehicles keep businesses from hitting a massive financial bump in the road.