Tire Strategy and Your Bottom Line
By Humphrey Ho
A key component to operating a successful forest products business, whether logging or manufacturing, is the continuous, cost-effective, and efficient operation of heavy mobile equipment. Given that tires account for nearly 20% of the maintenance costs of logging trucks, loaders, and other wheeled equipment used in the logging block or mill yard, careful attention should be given to how you select your tires, keeping in mind the wide portfolio of tires that are necessary to address your needs. Here are a few tips from the tire industry experts at Dynamic Tire Corp., a distributor of quality tires that includes products for the forest industry
By Humphrey Ho
Tire Applications – The Right Tire, For the Right Job
The key to selecting a long-lasting, cost-effective, and appropriate tire for logging or mill yard work is to look into some key features of tires that can address your job needs.
For logging trucks, a couple of key considerations include stone ejection and where the truck will be operating. Choosing a tire that can increase stone ejection can reduce tire casing damage. Failure to remove embedded stones results in tread and casing damage over time, as uneven surfaces can cause tire failure due to pinpoint pressures.
When it comes to operating environment, most logging trucks run on logging roads and paved highways so open-shoulder drive tires such as the Aeolus HN596 or Sailun S758 provide excellent on- and off-road traction while delivering excellent comfort and durability in on-highway situations.
When it comes to logging equipment, where you are located in Canada will play a big role in tire selection. Often, a decision has to be made between high flotation tires and standard tires with high flotation rubber frequently favoured in wet conditions such as those found in B.C.’s interior where they are still dealing with mountain pine beetle issues, and in parts of Ontario where ground disturbance needs to be minimized.
For the mill yard, the tire experts recommend both radial and bias ply tires, but in both cases maintaining correct tire pressures is critical to extending tire life and improving mobile equipment productivity and fuel efficiency.
Tire Procurement Management
When looking at your next tire purchase, consider making a checklist that answers these questions:
- Have I accounted for economies of scale/volume discounts by purchasing tires for all of my project equipment?
- Where is the closest retailer or distributor to my project for my tire needs in case of emergencies?
- Do I have a list of high tire turnover equipment that should have a minimum stock of tires in inventory?
- Which tire brands and products are the best-in-class for my particular application?
- Seasonality – Are my tire treads deep enough to provide adequate traction in the fall and winter?
- What’s my cost-benefit to retreading a tire vs. buying a new one?
The last two questions are important when it comes to logging truck tires, but coming up with answers to all of these questions should be a part of your tire strategy, as a downed piece of equipment can cost hundreds of dollars per hour, far outstripping the costs of not having tires at your disposal when a failure occurs.
Did you know that it takes only seven gallons of oil to make a retread, compared to the 22 gallons in a new tire? Not to mention that giving a properly maintained tire casing a retread can reduce landfill pollution. “When it comes to logging trucks, in many cases the retread rubber being applied to a serviceable casing is of higher quality than the original, giving a longer service life. Not to mention a retread can save up to 60% of initial costs versus a new tire”, says Marcel Leclair, who has been in the truck tire business for almost 40 years and is CEO of Ironhead Rubber Technologies, a Canadian retreading provider.
Considering the tremendous cost savings, as well as the environmentally-friendly message attached to retreaded tires, they are definitely worth adding to your tire purchasing strategy.
Asian-Made Tires – Worth Looking Into
With rapidly advancing technologies, initial cost advantages, and improved casing durabilities, Asian brands such as Aeolus and Double Coin are worth looking into when exploring your next tire purchase. These days, Asian-made tires are not just cost effective and cheerful, but they offer exceptional value.
Humphrey Ho is senior director of marketing at Dynamic Tire in Brampton, Ont. He researched and produced this article for Canadian Forest Industries with input from Ray Giansanti, a forest products tire specialist with Dynamic and Ron Dolan, a commercial tire specialist with Dynamic.