ORLANDO, Fla.-Goodyear has developed computer software to help truck fleet managers identify the best tires for particular applications-and make Goodyear and its commercial dealers more valuable suppliers. ``Goodyear's Tire/Vehicle Tracking System is the first program to correlate tire and vehicle specifications and relate their effect on tire performance,'' said Al Cohn, marketing manager, commercial systems engineering, at a Feb. 27 press briefing in Orlando prior to the annual meeting of The Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations.
Numerous other programs track either tires or vehicles, Mr. Cohn said, but Goodyear's is the first to connect the two.
Goodyear has identified 11 vehicle parameters that affect tire performance. By tracking tires on a representative sample of a fleet's vehicles and linking the data to these parameters, dealers or fleet managers are able to determine whether tires on one specific vehicle combination are outperforming those of another, Goodyear said.
The vehicle parameters are:
Vehicle (tractor) type: cab over engine, conventional, spread-axle trailer etc.
Whether or not it has a setback front axle;
Average front axle load;
Type of rear suspension: air bag, spring etc.
Gross vehicle weight;
Engine horsepower; and
Type of service: line haul, pickup/delivery, logging etc.
To aid in analysis of the data, the program can quickly generate a variety of charts and graphs via a built-in graphics package. It also can transfer data to virtually any spreadsheet program a fleet may be using, Goodyear said.
In designing the Tire/Vehicle Tracking System, particular attention was given to making data entry as easy as possible, since that's the hardest part of getting people to use such a program, Mr. Cohn said.
The system also is pre-loaded with virtually all brands, models and sizes of all-steel commercial and light truck radials, with their original tread depths, as well as most popular retreads-more than 3,000 entries in all, Mr. Cohn said.
While Goodyear is marketing the program directly to fleets, it also is available to the company's commercial dealers, who could then offer tire/vehicle analyses as a service to their fleet customers, Mr. Cohn said.
He emphasized the program isn't intended to track every tire on every fleet vehicle-which would be too time-consuming-but only on a large enough sample to be representative.
The Goodyear Tire/Vehicle Tracking System will operate on any IBM or compatible computer running on DOS 5.0 or higher, with at least 2 MB RAM and 3.5 MB of hard disk space. It costs $150 (plus $3.50 shipping and handling), which includes free updates. Training is available at an additional cost.
For more information, call: (800) 552-2032.