Preventative maintenance is one of the essential ingredients to reducing the long-term costs of a commercial fleet. Deferring work until it reaches a critical stage often leads to more costly failures, significant downtime, and the potential for accidents that can injure drivers or other motorists. Wheel alignments are one of these essential services that can help reduce your fleet's repair costs.
Unfortunately, keeping up with wheel alignments can be just as challenging for commercial fleet managers as for individual owners. If you don't currently make this maintenance item part of your fleet's regular maintenance schedule, then these three reasons should convince you to start as soon as possible.
1. Reduced Tire Replacement Costs
Wheel alignment is a major contributing factor to tire wear. Improper alignment can cause uneven or unusual tire wear, potentially leading to premature failure or early replacement. Uneven tire wear can also cause vehicle handling to become unstable, which can be an issue when dealing with large and heavy commercial trucks.
Since tire replacements can cost more and require more downtime than wheel alignments, routine inspections can help reduce your fleet's operating costs. You'll also ensure that your drivers don't face potential safety hazards if they need to make sudden maneuvers or otherwise rely on stable and predictable grip from their tires.
2. Better Fuel Economy
Poor alignment can moderately impact fuel economy on passenger vehicles, but it can significantly impact fuel usage on heavy commercial vehicles. Allowing your trucks to operate with poor wheel alignment can mean increased fuel costs. These changes may be challenging to notice at first since they can develop and slowly worsen over time.
Wheel alignment can impact fuel economy by up to 10%, so the effect of fleet-wide alignment problems can drastically impact your overall operating costs.
3. Longer Suspension Component Lifetimes
There's a positive feedback loop between suspension wear and wheel alignment. As suspension components on your truck age, the vehicle's alignment will slowly drift out of spec. Poor wheel alignment forces the vehicle suspension to work harder, accelerating wear on those same components as the situation worsens.
Replacing suspension components can be costly, especially if you're performing these repairs more often than necessary across an entire fleet. Routine wheel alignment service ensures that your trucks' suspensions remain as reliable and durable as possible. Not only does this save you money by avoiding repairs, but it further reduces the likelihood of excessive or premature tire wear.
Reach out to a professional who provides truck repairs in your area.