No matter the type of business you run, when you’re in the transport industry your wheels are the lifeline of your business – so looking after them is your number one priority.
Unfortunately, wheels can also be your number one cost and time consumer. Ask nearly any driver or fleet manager, and they’ll tell you polishing and maintaining their wheels is one of the biggest headaches they face.
There are some, however, who are overcoming this problem and avoiding the costs of wheel maintenance – simply by switching to chrome wheels.
Five transport providers, five problems, one solution
Problem #1: Polishing times are excessive
“Before, our drivers would have to sit there and polish – which could be an hour for each wheel.” Nathan Smith, Fleet Manager
With 35 trucks in their fleet, Winston Express Haulage was cleaning a lot of wheels. With their estimate of an hour on each wheel, that could mean 350 hours of polishing – talk about tedious.
Apart from the cost of that labour, the time commitment was astronomical – especially if presentation standards mean keeping wheels looking consistently good.
The promise of never polishing a wheel again was too good to pass up. Winston Express switched their trucks to chrome wheels and are now spend more time admiring than cleaning – “even if the rest of the truck is dirty, the wheels look good.”
Problem #2: Wheel lifespan is too short
“They last much longer than standard wheels, which saves me money.” Kim Paten, Fleet Owner
Gerimoo Pty Ltd trucks carry bulk steel all around Australia. It’s tough and heavy work that also comes with a presentation standard – meaning they need their trucks and wheels looking good on every job.
But these requirements were becoming hard to achieve. Both their steel and alloy wheels weren’t lasting the distance or looking the part, requiring a lot of cleaning and frequent replacements.
In search for a more durable alternative, they decided to switch to chrome wheels – and 14 years later they haven’t looked back. They now enjoy longer-lasting wheels, zero cleaning time and quality truck presentation that has helped grow their business.
Problem #3: Maintenance costs are too high
“We found ourselves painting and repainting steel wheels or continually polishing alloys… Our Depot Manager did not realise it was costing us so much time and money.” Geoff Searle, Owner
Does this sound familiar? For regional bus transport company, Hannaford’s, unsealed dirt roads were causing havoc on their wheels. The cost of polishing and reviving dull wheels was getting out of control – and with the size of the fleet, it was never a quick or easy job.
They made the decision to trial chrome wheels on their new buses – and after noticing they’re now experiencing “no painting or polishing downtime, and saving money over the life of the bus”, they’ve decided to update their older buses as well.
Problem #4: Presentation standards are hard to meet
“Anyone who knows me, knows I like my trucks to look good.” Geoff Somerville, Owner
As the owner of Somerville Transport, Geoff takes a lot of pride in the image of his trucks, which is why he always bought alloy wheels. However, he noticed that his wheels “looked great when new but became a pain to keep polishing”.
Alloy wheels are soft, making them susceptible to wear, tear and scratches that dull their look. While polishing them was a pain, it was necessary for Somerville Transport to maintain their strict presentation standards to win new business and keep existing contracts.
As soon as the process for chrome plating alloy wheels was developed, Geoff jumped right on board knowing that not only would his trucks always look good, but he’d receive other benefits as well. “If it can extend the life of my wheels and stop my drivers from spending time polishing – that’s a bonus!”
Problem #5: Wheel reliability wasn’t guaranteed
“I learnt about the 7-year warranty [which] gave me the confidence to fit out the new truck.” Scott Waites, Director
North Coast Towing don’t just use their trucks for business, but also get a thrill out of showing them off at “as many truck shows as we can”.
After seeing the best of the best at several shows, they realised there was something missing from their fleet – it was the extra shine of the wheels. However, they didn’t want just looks – they needed practicality too. So, they started doing some research into brand quality.
When it came to the big decision, they couldn’t go past the world’s only 7-year chrome warranty – “I am extremely happy with both the quality and ease of maintenance of the chrome.”
Jump onboard with chrome plating
These problems aren’t isolated – the cost and time that is invested into wheel maintenance, appearance and replacement is something that nearly every truck, trailer and bus driver or owner has to deal with.
But these five companies have managed to find an alternative that has greatly reduced the maintenance issues and costs – and it’s one that’s simple, risk-free and easily accessible.
As you can see, chrome wheels are more than about what they look like (although that is a big factor). Chrome plating your wheels can lead to an increase in wheel durability and reliability, and huge savings across the life of your wheel.