NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has produced a computer OTR tire tracking system and a scrap tire analysis video as sales tools for its dealers. Both help customers identify and solve problems and are seen ``as a way to strengthen the three-way relationship between us, our dealers and the fleets,'' a BFS spokesman said.
The tracking software currently is available only to OTR dealers, who can resell it or use it themselves to develop tire-cost analyses or tire-wear reports for current or prospective OTR tire customers.
``With tires being second only to labor as an operating cost for most users of off-the-road tires, making every millimeter of tread count is critical to profitability,'' said the software's designer, Keith Rowell, manager of training/new business development for Bridgestone/Firestone Off Road Tire Co.
The software is Windows-compatible and allows users to calculate the amount of tread used, remaining tread life, current cost per hour/mile and current cost per 1/32nd inch of tread.
The software can help firms record dates of purchase, installation, removal and inspections for every make of tire, using serial/brand numbers, manufacturer identifications, tread patterns and ply ratings, to help an owner determine value and life expectancy. It also will store data on wheelbase configurations, vehicle model maintenance and worksite applications.
Unlike other manufacturers, Mr. Rowell said, BFS does not require dealers to share the data they gather with the company.
The advantage to BFS, he said, is that the program helps BFS customers ``be more aware of (tire) performance and makes them smarter buyers.'' The software performance data can make BFS tires look better or, if the converse is true, the user can ``show us the data and we can go fix it.''
BFS' scrap tire analysis video is designed to help fleets save money by more accurately evaluating reasons for premature truck tire removal and disposal.
Available free to fleets and tire dealers, the video shows a variety of tire removal samples, explains why each occurred and how similar failures may be avoided.
Data tracking forms are supplied with the video for individualized assessment of removed tires. By using the forms, the company said, a fleet maintenance manager can spot trends or recurring problems and then implement corrective action.
``We have seen fleet operations that are losing significant amounts of dollars because they don't have effective scrap tire analysis programs, and we've seen some very good programs,'' said Ken Ball, BFS' senior manager of engineering services.
The video is available free through BFS commercial territory managers. The OTR software-with a suggested retail price of $1,295-is available through local BFS earthmover product managers or by calling: (800) 543-7522.