Robert Kreglow drove a truck for 20 years, before the days of cell phones, when CBs (citizens band radios) were the big “10-4.”
“Back then, dealing with tire issues on the road was a huge inconvenience,” he said. “If I couldn’t get help through the CB, sometimes I would have to hitchhike into town so I could find a tire dealer to come out and replace a tire. It was time-consuming, to say the least—and costly.”
Today, cell phones make handling emergency tire problems easier, but there is still a discrepancy between a well-run over-the-road tire program and an unreliable program.
“Before moving to fleetHQ a year ago, we were getting by with a program that we thought was the norm in the industry,” said Kreglow, who serves as transportation manager for Sandusky OH-based Ohio Eastern Express. “We were working with a tire service that charged us close to $50 per incident, and they directed us to tire shops and truckstops that would sell our drivers retreaded drive and trailer tires that were questionable in quality to say the least. We were generally billed $300 or so for a retread, with no recourse on the tire since we were paying with a Comchek. What we got is what we got. We were stuck.”
Upon learning of the fleetHQ program from Belle Tire, in nearby Toledo OH, Eastern Express was quick to adopt the program for its fleet of 60 tractors and 60 trailers.
“We haul fresh pork and general freight from Ohio to the Eastern seaboard—typically New York,” said Kreglow. “About half of our fleet is owner-operators leased to us, and we have them enrolled in fleetHQ through us, as well. The program gives a small operation like ours big fleet benefits—and it’s great for our owner-operators.”
After a year with fleetHQ, Kreglow figures the company saved close to $4,000 on fees it no longer had to pay to locate service facilities.
“With fleetHQ, the service call is free—no incidence fee. We specify that we want Kelly tires on the trailer position and a premium steer tire such as Goodyear’s G395 LHS on the steer or drive position. If we put it on the drive, when we see the truck in a day or two, we’ll swap out the steer tire that was put on the drive position, save it for later, and replace it with a retreaded drive tire.”
Since all the bills are consolidated and come through Belle Tire, Kreglow no longer has to manage and input receipts and paperwork from various tire and truck stops.
“The fleetHQ program makes everything so easy,” he said. “We pay what we normally pay at home. We don’t get gouged, and we have much better tires with long life to control our costs. Plus, our downtime when repairs or new tires are installed is reduced. We generally get back up and running in less than two hours. I’m estimating that we’re saving in excess of 20% in our total tire program thanks to fleetHQ.
“We’ve come a long way from the CB and hitchhiking to find a guy to help with a tire problem,” he said. “I sure wish I had fleetHQ when I was driving.”