Partners in Business

PIB TIP: PERFORM ROUTINE MAINTENANCE. Proper maintenance of tires, wheels, axles and the steering column also will help keep your tire costs down. Wheels naturally lose alignment and balance. Bushings, shocks, bearings and valve stems wear out. Checking wheel alignment periodically can pay big dividends. Whenever you start seeing a heavy spot or a flat spot, the tire has ceased to be centered on the hub. When you need to scrap a tire, inspect it ...

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Roadside Attractions

A review of recent interesting or odd parts of trucking, plus industry data, coming events and a truck gallery.

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USE RETREADS. Premium tire makers design casings for retread use. Theoretically, undamaged casings can be repeatedly retreaded, although the tire maker’s casing warranty might run out at, for example, 750,000 miles or after three retreadings. On the downside, some carriers restrict retread use on steer axles, and some states limit the number of times a steer tire can be retreaded. If the retread isn’t from a reputable dealer, or if its markings have been scrubbed ...

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PIB TIP: WARRANTY A FACTOR IN TIRES. Most standard new-tire and retread warranties have coverage limited to normal-use defects in workmanship, product and material. Warranties are based on time or wear, not mileage. Some fully cover the tire’s lifespan, or until tread wears to a specified thickness. Most warranties have buy-back plans for retreadable tires. Know exactly what the warranty is before you buy. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the ...

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PIB TIP: SHOP FOR THE BEST VALUE. Get the most for your money in tires, whether you spend a little or a lot. It’s tempting to shop primarily by sticker price, but cost per mile and retreading potential are more important considerations. Making an informed choice means keeping written and dated records of purchase, fuel mileage and tread depth, then comparing records between models you’ve used. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive ...

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PIB TIP: SPEC FOR YOUR APPLICATION. Effort put into careful spec’ing will pay off in any of the four main tire applications: long haul, regional, on/off road and urban. The different applications mean different tire lives. Specific steer, drive and trailer tires are available for each application. If you're spec'ing a new truck, you can pick any tire size suitable to your application. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the consultants ...

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PIB TIP: YOUR IFTA ACCOUNT. You must get your own International Fuel Tax Agreement account to do your own fuel tax reporting, whether you do it yourself or through a third party. You do not have to have your own operating authority to get an IFTA account, but independent owner-operators must have such an account in their base plate state and be responsible for quarterly reporting. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive ...

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PIB TIP: GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Owner-operators can save an average of 6 cents per gallon when they are able to participate in major carriers’ discount fuel networks. If your fleet has a fuel-optimizer program, use it. An optimizer program helps an owner-operator plan a trip, based on fuel prices and locations in the carrier’s fuel network. Fees for using such networks have become rare, thanks to competition for drivers. The Partners in Business program ...

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‘Who’s inefficient?’ Four wheels or 18?

So asks New Cumberland, Pa., resident and owner-operator Tom Bowers in a letter to the editor published in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, in response to a letter from another area resident heaping the bulk of energy inefficiencies in the transportation arena on the back of the big rigs of the trucking industry. Bowers' argument for the comparable inefficiency of the auto industry, where fuel used per-pound moved is much higher than the same rate in  big-rig ...

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PIB TIP: ASSESSING FUEL TAX. Each state gets its share of taxes based on the number of miles truck drivers run in a state, according to the International Fuel Tax Agreement. If you run 100 miles in Missouri and your truck gets 5.9 mpg, for example, you pay tax on 16.9 gallons of fuel used in Missouri. The state then bills your home state, which bills you. If you buy more fuel in Missouri than ...

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