As the fleet business is expanding, fuel and tyre expenses tend to grow exponentially for commercial vehicle owners. There is an immense pressure in the market to remain in the race with shrinking profit margins. For commercial vehicle owners, fuel and tyres can affect the TCO(Total Cost of Ownership) by up to 50%. Tyre expenses tend to remain one of the most overlooked aspects of fleet business.
Tires wear out; that is inevitable. However, the longer the tires stay in good shape, the more money you make. Over-Inflation and Under-Inflation tend to wear out the tires faster. A good Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS) can help you monitor this and optimize the tire-life.
How Tyres can affect fuel consumption related expenses
On an average, a commercial vehicle is fitted with 6 tyres. Tyres typically have an average life of 40,000 km. A vehicle covers 300-350 km a day, covering over 6000 km per month on an average. Considering an average mileage of 5 km per litre, fuel expense can average to about Rs. 84,000/month(at Rs 70/litre) for diesel, the commonly used fuel for commercial vehicles in India. Annualized, fuel costs for a vehicle could be up to Rs. 10,08,000!
At 6000kms month, a truck will have to change tyres every 6 months. With an average price of Rs. 20,000/tyre, a 6 tyre vehicle would need to two tyre sets at a total cost of Rs. 2,40,000. Using rethreaded tires, this cost can perhaps be reduced by about 30% to roughly Rs. 1,50,000/ year.
Effects of Under-Inflation
Under-Inflated tyres have a significant impact on fuel efficiency. Increased rolling resistance is the result of under-Inflation, increases the area of the tyre in contact with the road and engines overwork to overcome the resistance. Based on the observation by Singtech, a Singapore based company, under-Inflation causes up to 6% loss in fuel efficiency. Translating that into costs, it amounts of an increased cost of about Rs. 60,480 for fuel. This is a significant amount of wastage that can be avoided with the help of TPMS.
Effects of Over-Inflation
Over-inflation of tyres is a serious safety hazard and also reduces tyre life by about 25%. Assuming this, over-Inflation can have an annual cost impact of up to Rs. 50,000 for tyres
TPMS is an electronic system designed to provide real-time data about tyre pressure by monitoring the air pressure inside the tyres. TPMS warns the driver about Under-Inflated or Over-Inflated tyres. Using TPMS to monitor tyres continuously and adjusting inflation levels can save fuel costs and extend tire life, while also improving overall vehicle safety. The typical cost of a 6-tyre TPMS system is about Rs.23,000.Based on the potential cost savings in fuel and tyres, TPMS investment can be recovered in less than 5 months.
While there is an upfront investment needed for TPMS, longer-term, return on investment is very clear. Also, monitoring and maintaining tire pressure also is critical for vehicle and driver safety and helps fleet managers avoid unwanted expenses due to accidents, adding up to profits.