Monday, October 4, 2010

Treading the Green Path with Cost-Saving Tire Technology

Saving your tires and money: (left to 
right) George Rodriguez, mechanics helper; Pablo Rios, garage 
supervisor, and Keith Salkeld, fleet manager.Let's talk tires. The district's Fleet Maintenance Department has a new product that saves tires, thereby saving money and fuel. The product is called Equal, a new substitute for lead tire weights.

Equal has changed tire balancing methods in relation to static and dynamic balancing, while reducing their toxic contributions to the environment. Equal is a dry, granular, polymer mixture that is placed inside the tire. It is non toxic, non hazardous and requires no special disposal. Plus, it can easily be removed when the tire is dismounted.

Since switching to Equal, our district has had zero complaints from drivers of more than 519 buses and 436 maintenance trucks. That number again? Zero complaints. Fleet Maintenance experts say tires wear more evenly, saving in the cost of tire replacement. Equal has paid for itself in terms of labor hours and tire service repairs.

Fleet Maintenance has experienced an improvement on radial force variations and lateral force variations associated with tire shimmy and disturbance.  Since Equal is a free and moving product, it continuously adapts to changing speed and acceleration/deceleration forces. Equal has paid for itself in terms of labor hours and tire service repairs.

Even better than the money savings is the environmental savings. California has banned lead wheel weights. Lead is toxic and those found violating the law with lead weights could face penalties of $2,500 a day for each violation. For information, please contact Keith Salkeld, fleet manager.

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