With austerity measures still biting hard and companies looking to save money on their fleet it is understandable that fleet managers overturn every rock to put an extra few pence back into their budget to finish the year on target. Although wear and tear, tax, no claims bonuses and cheap van insurance are costs every fleet manager has to build into the annual budget, as far as running costs go, they all pale in comparison to fuel.
And when we think, as a layman, of fuel costs, we automatically think diesel. Or hybrid, petrol and even battery power, these days. End of. That’s as far as our train of thought goes. Find the cheapest petrol station, fill up, saved a few bob, job done. But fuel efficiency is so much more than that, even without considering GPS tracking and the software that fleet management specialists can monitor or install for you.
One of the key aspects to achieving fuel saving is tyres. Quite simply, the right tyre will not only help keep your van on the road in an emergency, thus delivering you a cost saving by protecting your fleet van insurance premiums, but it can also deliver significant savings in your day to day hazard free driving.
Bridgestone are going to great lengths to remind fleet managers of exactly that fact. Getting ahead of the game with the latest announcement, the tyre company are currently testing their new ‘low rolling resistance’ tyres and will continue to do so throughout 2012 in anticipation of the official launch of the product, next year.
Using the existing Ecopia tyre as a template, the next generation is targeting performance maintenance yet still delivering fuel efficiency – a winning combination if the product is as successful as initial reports suggest it may well be. Based on their figures, that saving can be considerable.
Bridgestone’s marketing and product manager, Andy Mathias, has gone on record as stating that a reduction in rolling resistance by a fifth could contribute as much as five percent back to the bottom line of the fuel budget simply by using less of it. For large volume fleets, this has got to be target area, one that perhaps many do not take into account under normal circumstances.
What’s more, getting the pressure wrong in a tyre can have dire consequences, according to the tyre firm’s spokesman. Low tyre pressure can actually lead to excess usage of fuel, reduction of the life of the tyre and even poor handling, an aspect that Bridgestone’s Nano-Pro-Tech Compound is helping to avoid especially in wet conditions.
And there is so much more to the technical spec., even down to stone ejection being built into the Ply design, the design features speak for themselves. The right tyres are not just about saving skins in light of an unforeseen circumstance or helping to achieve cost saving on wear and tear and having a product that van insurance brokers will look at to offer you the cheapest deal.
In this day and age, your carbon footprint is often as critical as out bottom line, especially in spotlight industries; it seems the right tyre could help you get a grip on both.