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Money Matters: Tire Costs

Bruce Smith February 1, 2013

Money Matters: Tire Tactics


Choosing the right tires for your pickups—and when to make seasonal changes – improves both the corporate bottom line and employee safety


By Robin Walton

Growing up in a small town, I often saw the logo of a large lumber company that incorporated the words “safety first.”

A penny is a good tool to measure tread wear. Flip ol’ Abe upside down and place the penny into the tread grooves. If the top of Lincoln’s head shows, then the tire is worn out and needs replacing.

I keep that slogan in mind when making decisions to improve the bottom line of our company — right down to ­developing a strategy for what types of tires we use on our pickups.

Tire selection might not seem like an important item to most business owners. But tires play a crucial role in more than employee safety; they also affect the company’s financials through fuel economy and ­vehicle ­maintenance/repairs.

The problem with choosing the best tires to run on your pickup fleet is it almost always involves compromise.

For instance, the stock street tires that come on most work pickups grip really well on dry pavement and deliver good fuel economy but don’t work so well in winter conditions or around jobsites where mud and loose gravel are prevalent.

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