Stock up for this winter with one of our great pallet deals to keep your fleet looking great. Get your FREE Water Proof Coverall.
Deal 1Order Code - PBS-191
3 x 25L Commercial Grade Screenwash De-Icer concentrate
2 x 25L Super TFR & Wax with rinse aid
1 x 25L Fleet Shampoo & Wax
2 x 25L Multiclean interior/exterior cleaning concentrate
1 x 25L Wheel Bright - wheel cleaner concentrate
1 x 5L Clear View Glass Cleaner
Vikan Hi/Lo Wash Brush with water-fed extendable handle
Vikan Flexi Wipe-n-Shine Squeegee 350mm (compatible with above handle)
FREE WATERPROOF COVERALL
Deal 2Order Code - PBS-192
2 x 200L Commercial Grade Screenwash De-Icer concentrate
1 x 200L Super TFR & Wax with rinse aid
2 x 25L Wheel Bright - wheel cleaner concentrate
FREE WATERPROOF COVERALL
After the Brexit vote, many UK SMEs have had to face rising costs, which has resulted in revenue dropping a considerable amount for numerous businesses.
These two economic factors have started to pile on the pressure for businesses that highly rely on a fleet of vehicles to carry out their fundamental operations.
The question that arises here is this: what can these SMEs do to reduce costs and protect themselves from the impending impact of Brexit, especially when it comes to their reliance on fleet vehicles?
Our team of experts at Parma Group have come up with four ways of reducing the rising cost of running a fleet:
1. Staying on top of maintenance
The way your fleets are maintained has a huge impact on its fuel efficiency. Dirty engines tend to use more fuel, while wheels that are worn out, or those that do not have wheel nut safety installed can have a negative impact on your vehicles and eventually your business.
Additionally, poor understanding and application of maintenance techniques can also result in your business spending more money than needed. Hence, it is always advisable to keep on top your maintenance
game, as prevention is always better than cure!
Having your fleets property managed and maintained will help you to ensure that they are running efficiently and most importantly, cost effectively.
2. Optimising through telematics
When you attach telematics, SMEs gain access to a rather huge, intricate set of fleet data. For example, people that are responsible for fleet management will have a better understanding of the routes being taken by their drivers, how efficient their driving is with respect to fuel consumption and how average speeds are impacting overall efficiency.
With this data, SMEs can improve their drivers’ overall performance. Alongside this, they can also monitor their drivers’ full journey details, which includes pence per mile calculations, without the need for receipts.
3. Use of technology
Technology is a crucial part of most businesses today, and the use of it for the majority of sectors plays a vital role in making businesses efficient and reliable.
Similarly, we believe that technology can be very helpful for fleet managers to improve the productivity of their operations.
However, if fleet managers want to do this, they need to have complete access to comprehensive information (MI) protocols and processes, so that they can gather and analyse data effectively.
With an ability to analyse fleet data, SMEs can get back get in the driving seat and control cash management effectively. Access to fleet data will help businesses to work out which fleet is inefficient when it comes to fuel and maintenance, meaning they can make the necessary adjustments to improve.
4. Opting for a fuel card solution
To save time and effort, your business should look into using a fuel card solution, if it isn’t already. If you’re not too sure what is involved, don’t worry, as we will explain the basics below.
When a business works with a fuel card provider, they are given fuel cards which they issue to their employees. These fuel cards can be used in lieu of credit cards or cash at many petrol stations across the country.
A vast amount of petrol stations are involved with the fuel card scheme and locating refuelling points is super easy thanks to smartphone apps. But it’s unlikely your employees will even need to use an app, as huge names such as Shell, Texaco, BP and Esso are a part of fuel card schemes.
Fuel cards are fantastic as they are a hassle-free payment solution, meaning companies don’t need to deal with hundreds of invoices for fuel as they are billed directly.
Making your fleet operations efficient is not just about being cost effective and saving money either, as your business will also be saving precious time. And time is money, after all…
At Parma Group, we make sure that we are not only helping UK SMEs to save costs on their fleet operations, as there is far more at stake when it comes to logistics. Our aim is to make every road journey a better experience, and we play our part by providing wheel safety products to companies that are often behind the wheel.
Brakes are by far the most significant safety device on your car. By inspecting your brakes for wear and tear at least twice annually, you can make sure that your passengers (and yourself) are safe in your car. For fleet managers, ensuring the safety of their drivers, as well as their vehicles, is the top priority in all operations, so it is vital to put the time and effort into doing accurate checks.
It will also save you a lot of money if you spot potential issues earlier on, rather than dealing with it after they have gone through considerable damage.
In a lot of cars, it is possible to inspect the brakes without having to detach the wheel. If your car has alloy wheels with enough space in the middle, it will be possible for you to conduct an initial assessment by simply peering through the gap.
Regardless of whether or not you have to take your wheel out, always ensure that you have clear a sight of your brake pads and the big disc.
A simple inspection of your brakes can convey if there are any significant issues to deal with regarding your brakes. If you detect potential issues, it is absolutely necessary that you conduct a more comprehensive inspection of your vehicle’s brakes, preferably with the help of an experienced professional.
The guide Parma Group have put together below should provide you with a good, general understanding of brake’s and how to assess your brake’s current health.
Inspecting the brake discs
Let’s begin with your brake discs. It should appear uniform and it should also be shiny from the inside to the outer edge. If you observe very slight lines on your disc, don’t panic, that’s just normal wear and tear.
Do you see any pronounced grooves or rough spots in your brake disk? If yes, you should look to replace the brake disks immediately. You can check for rough spots or deep grooves along the surface of the disc by using your finger – make sure your brakes are cool.
So that you don’t compromise your vehicle’s safety and driveability, make sure that you replace brake discs in pairs.
Are your brake pads bad or worn out?
Now let’s inspect your brake pads. You will need to look up to see your brake discs. But if you trace the surface of your brake disk right to the top, you will notice that the outside pad is touching the brake disk. It is time to get new brake pads if there is 1/8″ (or less) remaining on them. On a more positive note, it does not cost a lot to replace your brake pads.
A quick inspection of the brake lines
Now, it is time to check your brake lines. Your brake lines should appear supple and soft. If they look rigid or cracked, you will need to get them replaced instantly. It is important to check the metal lines, as they tend to get corroded, especially in snowy locations.
By conducting regular inspections of each of your vehicle’s integral systems, such as the wheels and brakes, you can not only prevent potential mishaps but also end up saving a lot of money.
If irregular maintenance leads to your vehicle breaking down, it’s going to have a significant impact on your wallet.
For more information on how to improve the safety of your vehicle, get in contact with the team at Parma today.
You are probably really excited about an upcoming road trip with your friends or family and so you should be – getting out on the road is a wonderful experience. But without wanting to put too much of a dampener on your current excitement levels, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that many things can potentially go wrong during a road trip.
But, that being said, don’t worry though. The team at Parma Group have put together these tyre tips to help ensure that your travels go as bump free as possible, meaning you can enjoy your upcoming trip as much as you should do.
1. Check the pressure
A recent study has shown that 75% of motorists don’t know how to check tyre pressure properly. Why is this important? Firstly, under inflated tyres is the primary reason why a whopping 1.2 billion gallons of fuel is wasted every year. Fuel efficiency can be improved by almost 3% by simply ensuring that the tyres are properly inflated. It is also a big money saver as properly inflated tyres are safer and more durable in the long run.
Check your vehicle’s tyre pressure at least once each month and almost always before you take a long road trip. If you have not driven your car for some time, it is incredibly important to check tyre pressure before you even think of taking it out for a long road trip.
To know the right tyre pressure specifications, check your vehicle manual. Tyre pressure should be identical for tyres on each axle, but it can differ from the front axle to the rear axle. Always close the valve caps tightly. By doing this you protect it from dirt/dust and also avoid any possibility of leakage. If there are missing valve caps, replace them as soon as possible.
2. Always make sure that you carry the spare
The majority of vehicle owners carry a spare tyre in the trunk of their vehicle at all times. At the start of each month (or before you head out for a long road trip), make sure that your tyre is in sound working condition and is inflated to the right pressure.
One important thing to remember is that tyres also start wearing out due to age. So, if you have been carrying along the same spare tyre for a long time, get it replaced before you head out.
3. Proper tread depth
If you wish to avert any possibility of skidding or hydroplaning, proper tread depth for your tyres is of paramount importance. The minimum tread depth for your tyre is 1.6mm – about 2/32nd of an inch.
Advanced wear can reduce your tread’s ability to suitably grip the road in unpleasant weather conditions. Be on the constant lookout for uneven or unusual wear and tear or any other sign of damage.
4. Stay in line
If you hit a curb or pothole, the subsequent jolt your vehicle suffers can lead to considerable tyre damage or even worse, it could lead to misalignment of the front end. Misaligned wheels tend to deteriorate rather rapidly. Make sure that you check the alignment of your wheels periodically to ensure that the risk of wheel detachment is as low as it can be.
5. Don’t pack on too much weight
Overloading can shorten the durability of your tyres while also hampering your vehicle’s fuel economy. Double check the owner’s manual to know your vehicle’s maximum load limit.
Adjusting Wheel Bearings – What You Need To Know
Usually after every 12,000 miles, wheel bearings should be removed and carefully inspected for any inconsistency that could affect the functioning of the wheel. Wheel safety guidelines suggest that wheel bearings should be adjusted after every 12,000 miles and repacked with grease after every 36,000 miles.
Influence of Design
Bearings which are installed on undriven wheels i.e. the rear wheels of front-wheel-drive cars and front wheels of rear-wheel-drive cars are known to have a similar design.
The hub nuts placed on driven wheels, which have their independent suspension, are tightened to a high torque setting. As a result, the bearings which are used on driven wheels require less adjustment than those installed on undriven wheels.
The method of adjusting bearings which are fixed on driven wheels varies from vehicle to vehicle. The bearings which are installed on rear wheels on a live axle are not frequently or easily replaced. It takes a few extra steps compared to the replacement procedure of unitized bearings.
Adjusting Non-Driven Bearings
The bearings which are installed on non-driven wheels should be adjusted in the following two situations:
- The hub nut should be tightened, if found to be loose.
- The hub nut should be loosened, if found to be too tight.
To carry out the procedure, the wheel must be attached to the car and an axle stand should be used to raise the car so as to provide the right angles required for making adjustments to the bearing.
The bearings cannot be adjusted without removing the wheel trim. In certain vehicles, the wheel may need to be taken out before the trim can be removed. However, before adjusting the bearings, the wheel has to be installed back in its place. The wheels on which no maintenance work is to be performed should be chocked so as to prevent the car from moving.
The wheels on which the handbrakes are applied should be serviced only after releasing the handbrake. The dust cap should be removed carefully using two medium sized screwdrivers. The screwdriver should be placed between the raised flange and the hub’s surface. With a swift inward motion of the screwdriver’s handle, the dust cap can be taken off without causing damage to the hub’s surface or the dust cap.
If a cap has not been removed for a long time or the vehicle’s condition won’t allow for the dust cap to be taken out, it can be hammered off without causing much damage to it. Even if the cap does get damaged, it can be conveniently replaced as they are inexpensive.
The hub nut that you encounter after having taken off the wheel trim and the dust cap decides what your approach should be and which tool you may have to use to carry out the necessary maintenance task.
The hub can be any one of the following types:
- A castellated nut i.e. a nut which has notches cut into one of its ends. Each notch or slot is also threaded from the inside. The nut is retained in its position by a split pin.
- It can also be a plain nut with a castellated retainer fastened over it and held in its place once again by a split pin.
- Another way the hub can be secured is by ‘peening’. In this method, the outer edge of the metal is punched until it spreads over the surface. It acts as a seal on the threaded axle end.
- There is also another type which has been used in certain models of VW. It makes use of a nut with a threaded collar which is squeezed tight by a bolt. Wrenches with predefined sockets may not be of much help when unfastening them. However, pliers with adjustable grip over nuts such as self locking wrenches can be used to turn them.
In order to remove the fastened nut, you should use a wrench with a socket that fits the nut well. In case the nut has been held in position by a split pin, you should have a right-sized pin ready for its replacement. The same goes with a peened nut as it too gets damaged in the process of removing it. For a peened nut you must make use of a cold chisel and hammer.
The nut and axle end should have some grease on their surface. If they are found to be dirty, the bearings should be taken out. Using clean grease, the bearing should be repacked in the right quantity.
Traces of metal are a sign of disintegration and the bearing should be replaced at once.
The torque wrench should be correctly calibrated according to the hub nut. The calibration differs depending on the type of vehicle and can range from 11 to 60 lb ft (or 1.5 to 8.3 kg m).
It should be noted that the adjustment should be done strictly according to the service manual provided to you or as advised by a local dealer.
Now the wheel must be turned slowly using one hand, in the forward direction of travel. At this point you should carefully tighten the hub nut in accordance with the torque set on other wheels. It has been done correctly if the wheel is able to rotate smoothly.
When the nut becomes too tight, you may notice that the wheel is dragging or its movement is facing resistance as a result of moving too close to the surface on which it has been mounted.
Adjusting Driven Bearings
High torque settings are generally applied to the hub nuts of driven wheels which are not mounted on live axles. It can range from 150-200 lb ft (or 21-25 kg m). The wheel should be in contact with the ground and it should be under the weight when the final tightening is being carried out. Care must be taken to ensure that the calibration of torque is exactly as per guidelines.
Contact us today to increase the safety of your wheels. Parma Group strive to improve the wheel safety of vehicles on the road and provide all the products to ensure the safe movement of huge fleets involved in business operations.