Darry Stuart has helped numerous trucking fleets, both large and small, reduce their tire operating costs by focusing on three essential elements:
Of course tires are black and they should be very round, or uniform. “Plenty of rubber” is the key to point #1. “I’ve always been a big fan of deep tread rubber,” the longtime fleet management veteran says. “Some people say that extra deep tread contributes to irregular wear, but with a quality tire, it simply provides longer wear . . . as long as you maintain proper alignment in your trucks and trailers.”
Stuart, who started DWS Fleet Management Services in 1999, says it’s critical for fleets to align themselves with a local tire dealer who takes the time to truly understand their business and proactively helps them manage their tire program (more to come on this in a future blog post).
Pricing relates to the acquisition price and the ultimate value a tire delivers in terms of tread wear, reduced down time and retreadability, according to Stuart.
This is where Double Coin comes in. At a time when the “big boys” were raising their prices to astronomical levels, Stuart began investigating alternatives for his fleet clients. That’s when he came across the Double Coin RT606+, an ultra premium 5-rib regional steer/all-position tire, in a dealer’s warehouse. “It was just a beautiful looking tire with 22/32” tread depth. Like I said, I’m a big fan of deep rubber. And the price was much, much lower than what the Tier 1 brands were charging,” he recalls.
There was one problem though – the fleet manager was reluctant to give Double Coin a try; but Stuart convinced him to test the RT606+ tires on the trailers. “I took every single Double Coin tire in the dealer’s warehouse and have never looked back,” he says. “They did a fine job for that fleet manager, and I have been recommending them for trailer positions ever since. I’ve never had a problem with these tires.”
The RT606+ (pictured to the right) is designed for the rugged environments of P&D, urban and regional applications. Built to resist cuts and abrasions, its 5-rib design promotes precise handling, lateral stability and superior traction. Add to that list a very retreadable casing and good pricing, Stuart says, and you have an absolute winner.
In his 17 years of running his own business, Stuart says he has helped save millions of dollars for fleets of various sizes – anywhere from 50 trucks to 10,000.
He advises his clients on tires, but devotes most of his efforts to personnel and organizational issues. Call him a “limited time executive” or a leadership coach; just don’t call him a “consultant.”
“A consultant is someone who looks at your watch and tells you what time it is,” Stuart says, half jokingly. “My approach is a mixture of results-oriented, effective problem solving practices and tactical hands-on common sense efforts which help my clients achieve maximum profit gains, cost reductions, lower acquisition costs, and increased customer satisfaction.”
One of the biggest issues facing the trucking industry today, Stuart says, is a lack of qualified maintenance managers. “There’s a lot of publicity about the shortage of technicians, but many fleets are being held back by their maintenance managers. And often times, it is not the manager’s fault; it’s just the situation that he has been put in.” (Look for a future blog post from Stuart on this critical issue.)
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