For a few years now our research team has been tracking the perceptions and acceptance of the new offshore tires among both fleets and owner/operators.
Our latest research, completed this summer, found that the general perception of the quality of these new tires (we looked at products such as Double Coin, Triangle, Woosung, Double Diamond and Aeolus) remains low. Asked to rate these products on a scale of 1 to 5, fleet managers scored no product above a 1.65 while owner/operators, although a bit more generous, did not give a score above a 1.9. In other words, all these products received failing grades from owner/operators and fleet managers alike.
Yet use of these products is on the increase. This year we found that 18% of managers said their fleets had experimented with the new offshore brands. The same percentage of owner/operators said likewise. Double Coin was the brand used most often by fleets and Aeolus the brand most used by owner/operators. Both fleets and owner/operators predominantly use these brands in the trailer position. But about a quarter of both fleets and owner/operators are using them in the drive position and 16% of owner/operators and 9% of fleets are using them in the particularly challenging steer position.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was how much they’re paying for these tires. Although the vast majority are paying between $200 and $400 for offshore trailer tires, 18% of owner/operators and 4% of fleets actually reported paying above $400.
In my next blog I’m going to look at how use of these tires is affecting retreading practices.
With more than 25 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics. All posts by Lou Smyrlis