What Are The Current Challenges For Fleet Owners?

Air-Seal Products Heavy Duty tyre sealant being installed into on-road van

The automotive industry has faced various unprecedented challenges over the last few years due to Covid-19, Brexit and supply chain issues caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These challenges are particularly evident for fleet owners who are struggling to combat rising costs and long lead times as a result.

What Are The Challenges?

Parts & Vehicles Shortages
The shortage of critical components such as semiconductor chips mean that vehicle manufacturers cannot build new fleet vehicles and fulfil orders. These integral parts are only produced in a handful of specialist factories that have been severely impacted by global issues and has therefore created an ever-increasing gap between supply and demand.

With demand racing ahead of supply, fleets are facing longer delivery times, higher list prices and reduced discounts on new parts and vehicles. The average delivery time between ordering and delivery has tripled since the start of 2020!

Energy Costs
Fuel prices have fallen slightly since the £2 per litre peak in July 2022 but diesel is still proving more expensive that it was a year ago, and electric vehicle charging costs have also doubled in the same period.

The increasing fuel and energy prices affect operating costs for all businesses, but vehicle manufacturers specifically, will reflect this in higher prices for parts, vehicles and workshop time. Not only do fleet owners have to deal with the higher operating costs of their business but also accommodate the increased prices imposed by manufacturers.

Repairs, Maintenance and Tyres
Due to longer lead times and increased prices, vehicle manufacturers are prioritising components for new vehicles, whilst workshops are holding less stock and instead choosing to order on demand. Staff shortages because of the pandemic, decreased immigration and a skills shortage with electric vehicles, is also contributing to the longer lead times. The combination of these pressures has resulted in repair costs skyrocketing for fleets.

How Can These Challenges Be Mitigated?

It is going to take time for these challenges to be resolved and so minimising costs and downtime where possible has become even more important for fleets. The use of Air-Seal Products tyre sealant can help cut fuel costs and extend tyre life by maintaining optimum tyre pressure and avoid costly downtime waiting for tyre repair or replacements.

A fleet of ten trucks and trailers could see savings between
£17,000 – £30,000 per year as a direct result of using our tyre sealant range. Smiths (Gloucester) Ltd said the following:

“We keep records on all tyres which include full tyre life, repair, and replacement. These figures show the monthly repair costs on the treated tyres over the initial nine-month trial were reduced by almost two-thirds from £3,500 to £1,200, a saving of £20,700. When the tyres of all our vehicles have been treated, the total savings are expected to reach £27,600, before downtime costs.

Still not convinced? Speak to a member of our technical team on +44 (0)1823 674411 or contact us online to find out more.

Tyres: A Crucial Safety Feature

Out of 2,000 UK drivers, only 14% described tyres as the most crucial safety feature on their cars in a recent survey conducted by Bridgestone. 24% of motorists deemed airbags to be more important than the only contact points between a vehicle and the road, despite tyres being directly responsible for 491 casualties and 12 deaths in 2021.

Only 42% of motorists knew the legal tread limit of 1.6mm, and a staggering 54% didn’t believe that driving on illegal tyres is an extremely dangerous act. Bridgestone believe this lack of awareness on the importance of tyres is putting lives at risk. The tyre manufacturer is reminding motorists that any safety feature on a vehicle is only as good as the quality of the tyre beneath it.

Andrea Manenti, Bridgestone’s North Region Vice President, said; “the survey indicated there seems to be a lack of understanding of the critical role that tyres play on a car, and we at Bridgestone are determined to bring this to the forefront of minds. For example, the research also revealed that only 46% of motorists would call out a friend if they knew they were driving on illegal tyres, when the very act of doing this could be the difference between life and death.”

“Tyre awareness remains a huge issue in regard to road safety, but not an insurmountable one and we’ll be doing all we can to keep the issue of tyre safety at the forefront of motorists’ minds”. Read the full article here.

Air-Seal Products tyre sealant is often employed as an effective tyre management strategy for on-road fleets to help maintain optimum tyre pressure and prolong tyre life. Though it does not remove the need to check tyre pressure and tread depth, use of our tyre sealant range will reduce tyre replacement costs and remove unnecessary downtime. See more on fleet savings here.