143: Keeping Your Rig Rolling: Tire Talk for Owner-Operators

This week on the Oakley podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chatted with David Covington, Fleet Solutions Sales Manager at Goodyear. During the episode, Jeremy and David discuss all things tires. From the availability of certain sizes, different materials tires are made of, tips for getting the most life out of your tires, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Oakley Update: Join Us at Mid-America Truck Show (March 30 – April 1, 2023) (1:37)
  • David’s Background in the tire industry (4:32)
  • The availability of tires today (7:50)
  • What affects the price of tires? (11:02)
  • The importance of quality in choosing a tire (16:02)
  • Tips for maximizing lifespan for your tires (21:41)
  • Commercial tire business vs personal tires (28:47)
  • The importance of quality equipment for owner-operators (32:51)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


David Covington  00:13

Most of the industry we have today in some form or fashion was built on the independent contractor. Very important to the industry. Very important to our transportation supply network as a whole. I like to try to do as much as I can to help them. I would just once again stress maintenance is just not just what tires but everything in general. You know, it doesn’t take long for a $300 maintenance project on a truck to turn into a $3,000 maintenance project on a trip. Sure. So upkeep and maintenance is probably the best thing that the owner operators can do, you know, to keep their equipment healthy, and keep making them money.

Jeremy Kellett  00:46

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. Hi, this Jeremy Kellett, Director of Recruiting here at Oakley Trucking. I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. And this is episode 143 that we’re doing today and on today’s episode we are talking tires is what we’re doing we’re we’re going to talk with Mr. David Covington, fleet solution sales manager with Goodyear and we’re gonna get a little more detail in you know, I know it’s you may think it’s hard to do an episode on tires, but I get a lot of talk questions from drivers wanting to know more about it. And we’re going to talk a little bit about like the availability of certain sizes, you know, the fix of pricing on tires, you know, some of the main materials, tires are made out of, which may surprise you just a little bit how it comes back to tie it all back to independent contracts, which of course is what we like to do here on the Oakley podcast. So we’re going to do that with David Covington here in just a second but first let’s get it Oakley update sponsored by Arrow Truck Sales. Arrow Truck Sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast. Dre visor and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and our needs here at Oakley. They carry all makes and models to choose from with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you’re a seasoned owner operator or a first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast. So basically, the Oakley update is a Mid America truck show update. It’s not like I’ve done it before. But my plan is to attend the Mid America truck show in Louisville, Kentucky, it’s March 31 through April 1 or second. I’m sorry, I don’t have the exact dates. But it’s the end of the month. And it’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And we’ll be there. Like we always are , we gotta have a booth set up, we’re actually going to be recording a bunch of episodes of the podcast there. So come by and try to get on the podcast with us. We’re going to be doing a bunch of things that we’ll have operations guys there. We’ll have recruiters there. And we’re going to be answering a bunch of questions, giving you all the information you need to know about Oakley trucking, but I really want to encourage our owner operators to come. It’s always good every year they hang out in booths with us. And they end up doing some recruiting themselves and just talking to people and it works out to be a great opportunity for everybody. We’re also going to be running PSPs which, while y’all don’t know what that is, but the drivers have CDL. If you get a CDL we can run your PSP and it tells you all the roadside inspections you have had in the last three years. That’s always interesting to do too, because a lot of people don’t think they have anything we run it and oh, how to get that. So anyway, keep that in mind. Mid America Truck Show. The end of March 1 April. Louisville, Kentucky. Be there. All right. Let’s talk tires with Mr. David Covington. Hey, David, if you will, how are you doing this morning?

David Covington  04:25

I’m doing great. How are you doing?

Jeremy Kellett  04:27

I’m good. Appreciate lunch. I forgot to even thank you for lunch. Oh,

David Covington  04:32

good. You’re paid for it. And it was pretty good. So I appreciate you all for it even though you kind of drew back there at the

Jeremy Kellett  04:37

well you know, I had those alligator clothes, you know, let you grab it first. You know, appreciate you dropping down and doing this episode because tires or a critical important component of a tractor trailer. Correct. I think sometimes we take it for granted. I know I do just on my vehicle. I take tires for granted now because they’re always there when I need them. Matter of fact, I’ve got a commuter car that I just took to my mechanic last night, and he’s putting new tires on today. And for the last two weeks I’ve been driving. The sign has been pulled to the left, you know, because of a long story, my son bought a new tire for it when he was using it. The other three were worn out, and we changed sides. I wanted to pull that right now. So I’m thinking it’s a bad tire. And anyway, I took it to that guy to get me some new tires today. Because you don’t realize it till something’s wrong with them of how important tires are. And I would like to, you know, take this episode and talk a little bit more about tires, specifically tractor and trailer tires that you’re knowledgeable with. But before we get into it, tell us a little bit about yourself, if you would, maybe your background. So our listeners kind of know who’s talking here.

David Covington  05:53

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you guys having me here today to talk about some of the stuff but I’ve been having a good year. I’m in my 20th year now. And it’s all been on the commercial side. So I’ll have to do truck and trailer tires. Not really much on the consumer side. But I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot. You know, you learn something new every day when it comes to tires. There’s something that somebody might bring up that you just never crossed your mind until it gets brought up that day. And you do research on it. And you’re like, man, it makes sense. Yeah, and it can be something simple. And most times when we’re talking simply, we’re talking about something like air pressure or something like that. So what yet, I’ve got about 20 years here, and I’ve loved most of it. So it’s been pretty. It’s been pretty fun. And you live. I live in Springdale, Arkansas. Okay, so I was in West Memphis, Arkansas for a while recently, I guess within the last three years. My wife and I and our family moved up to Springdale, a great country that has beautiful mountain streams. It’s just a really nice place to be.

Jeremy Kellett  06:52

Well, yeah, from West Memphis.

David Covington  06:55

We had bios and the river and stuff in West Memphis. A whole lot of bad about it. That was home for a long time. I met a lot of nice folks there. So that’s good. But yeah, I liked it. I like northwest Arkansas. Yeah, so you have a family? Yeah. Wife been married for 300 years. I mean, 2027 28 years, high school sweetheart. You know, met in West Memphis on the west Junior High football field and just kind of been ever since then. That’s been the love of my life and hopefully she’s felt the same way. I think she has managed to hold on to her for a while. So I don’t think either one of us will go anywhere after 20 something years. So we’re just stuck. Do you?

Jeremy Kellett  07:31

Do you go with it?

David Covington  07:33

Yeah, one way or another? But no, I have three boys. Youngest was 15. oldest ones. 26. My middle son is in the US Navy. So proud of him for that. And yeah, that’s about it. What do you do only after your spare time? I try to fish and golf as much as I can. Now, I am not a good golfer. But I love playing. Okay. And some might say I’m not a good fisherman. I love fishing. But out of the two I’d probably say I’m a lot better at fishing and I am a golf. But I do enjoy it so much. But other than that my wife and I, especially during spring and summertime, we do a lot of exploring on the weekends, we’ll go out and see waterfalls, trail hiking. As you can see, I’m not in the best shape of my life. So there’s not a long trail right before we go do some exploring from time to time. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  08:22

I’m in the same boat with you on that. My wife likes to go hiking and I make sure it’s not too terribly far because you know, I have a maximum limit there on how far I want to hike. Yeah, yeah. She’s talking about wanting to go to the Grand Canyon this summer. I’m like, Okay, now let’s get let’s set some boundaries here. I’m okay with going there. I’m not walking there.

David Covington  08:44

I’m not walking the whole Grand Canyon. You know, we’ll see. I lucked out the first day. I lucked out on that one. Because my youngest and my wife, neither one of them care for heights very well. So they don’t like being too far up. They can see what’s down there below. Yeah. So I don’t think I have to worry about the Grand Canyon, or any of those other long hike places.

Jeremy Kellett  09:02

Alright, let’s talk about tires. A little bit. I think I want to educate our listeners and me on how to get a little more in depth of tires. He got some great notes or it looks like I guess we’ll start out first with the availability of tires because we went through a spell where we couldn’t get any tires, right? I mean, especially the size we use 24 five on our trailers was very difficult to get. What does it look like now?

David Covington  09:26

Now you’re kind of rebounding. And to find out how we got to where we are we have to kind of go back. I mean, you know, when COVID hits your major manufacturers, you know, they shut down for about a month, maybe a month and a half. Well what that did was that caused the dealer supply to use their current inventories instead of constantly getting a shipment from these tire suppliers because they weren’t being made. So everybody kind of blew through whatever they had an inventory for the most part as it lifted or some of the restrictions lifted and so on plants started moving back to production, but you still ran into the issue of you were so far behind that you were playing catch up. Okay. And one of the main things that we have to take into account is that you have 20, I think in 2022 it is 27 point 7 million units, tires were sold, okay, and that was a record year for tire sales. In 2023, I think it’s forecasted at 29 made, so it’s gonna be even higher than that. And it’s supposed to level off around 24. So you should start seeing that kind of level off a little bit after, you know, 2023, which we’re still looking at record sales are desperate goes, they’re

Jeremy Kellett  10:37

building their inventory back up their will, they’re building it back up. And

David Covington  10:40

you know, trucking, as most people know, during the pandemic, you know, trucking was getting it, you know, trucking was still hauling hard, and with tires not being available, while it was sucking up some of that supply. So we’re playing a lot of catch up on that. And, you know, 20% of the transportation industry, or I’m sorry, 80% of the transportation industry is 22, five sizes, that’s a Lowepro 25 or 11 or 25. So most of your production was geared around that 20 to five size as you still have, instead of having 24 fives or some of your MCs service fleets run on a 315 at 22. Five or something like that. So they had to shift to production to take care of the largest portion of that segment, which was the 22 five SaaS tires. Were at 80% of the business. Yeah, yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  11:30

I understand though. So that’s part of the reason 24 files were slow coming around. Yes. Because Are we good now? And 24? Five?

David Covington  11:37

Were the simple answer. That would be no, we’re getting there. When I say we are entire suppliers, because you will have this issue with all suppliers, because you also have some transportation issues, from tires coming from overseas or wherever they’re being manufactured, getting hung up at the ports and not getting offloaded in time. So all that had an effect on the overall tire supply. The 24 fives right now. They’re available, but they’re not nearly availables as they were before the pandemic. So it’s getting back to that supply, but it’s slowing up.

Jeremy Kellett  12:14

What affects the price of these tires? I mean, I know we were talking at lunch about how they just went up and kept going up. I mean, is there an end to that? Or they’re going to come back and be reasonable or what well, how does that look?

David Covington  12:27

Well, it’s actually mostly it’s, of course, just like everything else upon demand. But then you have your raw material cost. And we can go over some of that here in a second too. Sure, that affects the price of a tire’s transportation costs. Of course, the fixed prices tire, most of it once again starting to level off. So we may, you know, I can’t sit here and tell you that there won’t be a price increase in 2023 on anybody’s tires. But we may see a period of time where that level off has happened. It might kind of remain steady.

Jeremy Kellett  12:58

But it will shoot up. What 2021 When Yes, yes, it started in the shot up again. Yeah, at 20. Last year.

David Covington  13:07

Yes. It’s been on a steady rise. And if I would have thought about it, I would have brought the Price Index over with you and I and Beyonce which I didn’t even think about. But it shows an increase in it. Yes. And yeah, we can get it up there. Yeah, I can definitely do that. Yeah. But I’ll get that out to you. And you can see from this graph here to show just a steady take on guns. So but that, you know, inflation, everything comes back to affect the price of the tire in one way or another.

Jeremy Kellett  13:34

Thank you for leveling off a little bit. I guess it depends on maybe the raw materials. We can talk about the main materials that go into making a tire.

David Covington  13:41

Yeah, and that should happen. Now. That’s what I was saying a minute ago is that for the most part, raw materials have leveled off. Now, that’s just one component because you still have transportation still not leveled. You got fuel you got I mean, I mean everything else but as far as your, your, your main ones, petrochemical based products are probably your main ingredient next year. Your carbon black or synthetic rubber fabrics and other rubber chemicals that make about 46% of a new tire. You also have to say that again, what makes 46% of a new tire petrochemical based, which is all based. So that’s your carbon black and your synthetic rubbers and other rubber chemical types that come out of that same petrochemical. That’s the majority of guitars half, almost half of your tire. Okay, the other ones are an agricultural base, which is just your natural rubber from rubber. Then you have a metal base, which is your steel wire bead wire, steel rods, zinc, that’s about 18% So with agriculture being 36 is in the middle basically and 18% by far the largest percentage comes from the petrochemical side. Wow. So the new site petrochemicals that like the price of oil effect, yes, there. Yeah, okay. Okay. As. And that’s almost everything hinges on the price of oil because there’s a old component, or a some sort of petrol component that’s in most everything, whether it be plastics, tires, microphones, I mean, there’s stuff in and it’s got a petrochemical of some sort in it. Okay. So that’s probably why it’s the main driver that

Jeremy Kellett  15:22

yeah, he wouldn’t think that, you know, that’s really good numbers out there to know what a tire is made of, you just wouldn’t think of all of that goes into it. And what it depends on the price of tire I mean,

David Covington  15:34

well, and that’s also why a lot of your companies go with retrace, I don’t want to turn this into a retail Yeah, so but by going to a retread, you take out a large portion of that, because you already had the casing, which is what your cost is coming from. So now you’re just paying for that extra rubber that goes on top of it. And that’s a whole that can be a whole nother segment. So the majority of it is the sidewalls, your casing case and years ago, your innards, I guess you can call them, okay, because then the rubber just goes on top. Now, the rubber itself still has those same products in it. But if you look at the size of a tire between two, five or 24, or five in your gas case, I mean, that’s a lot of ground compared to what the trade covers. So one of those ways to reduce that cost is eliminate the casing costs that you’re not paying for because you already own it, and you’re gonna put a retrieval C and that’s why you’re That’s why you always hear it all the time that it’s cost efficient to run retreads versus new tires, especially in larger fleets. But, you know, it’s also up to the independent owner operator how he wants to operate his business LoRa

Jeremy Kellett  16:39

route, which we encourage. We don’t encourage retreads. I mean we do some on the front axle of some of our trailers, but you know that you should go back and listen, I did a podcast with Toby. Okay. And we talked about retreads along with other stuff. I forget what episode that was, but you know, we’re here because he was talking about he actually goes and looks at the retreads, you know, and at the plant wherever he might appear in Russellville or somewhere where we get them. But yeah, he goes and looks at him. So it’s very interesting, which is a good segue into the difference between high cost high and low cost. I mean, everything. I mean, there’s hot fishing rods, there’s cheap fishing rods, you know, but you can catch fish with both of them. Yep. But what about the tires? I mean, is it one of those deals where you get what you pay for? In

David Covington  17:31

In most cases? To put it? bluntly, yes. But in some cases, it all depends on what you’re looking at as far as what you consider your cost or what you consider high quality and low quality. If you’re looking at it, overall acquisition cost, compared to just a frontline invoice cost, then yes, you’re looking at how long that is that tire gonna run, what’s my cost per mile gonna be, if it wears out faster is that gonna increase my downtime is that casing that’s on there. Since I’m not retreading, am I going to be able to sell that casing back to someone else to get a discount on my next set of tires, because somebody else will use that casing for retreading? So you have to look at, you have to look at all those factors. If you’re just looking at the frontline invoice cost, then I’d say you know, it’s up to the individual what they can afford, or what they feel comfortable with. Most of the time, you’re higher quality, like everything else is gonna have a little bit higher cost. But that’s where you’re gonna get your larger return on investment, the ROI is gonna be larger on that because if you’re not retreating, you can sell a premium casing back somebody

Jeremy Kellett  18:38

and probably a law that just comes from experience, you know, that, hey, I’ve used these tires, you know, then I know I’ve been getting good life out of a set of these and we’ll go with another Saturday you don’t think a lot of guys probably look at that. I do that on my vehicle.

David Covington  18:54

Well, and you would be able to tell me because I could, you know, I could tell you Okay, an endurance lhhs steer tires gonna get you on average, you know, 180,000 miles on your truck. But if that’s a test that’s not done on how you drive the terrain you drive it and where you operate that vehicle and application you operate that vehicle on or didn’t, those mileage is gonna be nothing to you. You could get more than that, you could get significantly less than that depending on how you drive and where you drive compared to where we tested the tires on the line haul fleet. true, so true. But all that comes into play with it. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  19:31

Which makes more no you know, if I’m going down a road interstate driving miles, I mean, cars, that how long they will last you know how many miles my will get out of?

David Covington  19:39

Yeah, and you can that’s just something that that the driver would have to do they have to map the season. You

Jeremy Kellett  19:45

know, you go in they have they needed a tire. I mean, it’s got 250 bucks or 500 bucks. I don’t know, I’m just guessing. I don’t know.

David Covington  19:53

You probably got from 300 to around 600

Jeremy Kellett  19:57

Yeah, A choose a tire, but your

David Covington  20:01

hat. I mean, if you’re buying, you know, we get a lot of worn tires that get introduced into the market. And it helps at the price point, you know, on the invoice. But if you’re buying two sets of those, we’ll just call them less expensive cars. And I’ll like using the term cheaper. But if you’re buying two sets of those less expensive services a year, and you’re buying one set of your more premium brand, a year, like grin. Yeah, I mean, if you’re paying 550 for that good year, steer, which you’re paying 350 For that foreign brand steer. If you have to buy two of them, then you’re $700 Compared to 550. So you’re already in the hole. They just didn’t hurt you as much on the front end. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  20:42

Yeah. Which a lot of times I mean, we’re human nature right now. You know? Yeah, costume. Yeah. Now.

David Covington  20:49

I understand. We all suffer from sticker shock. I mean, that’s it. That’s a true

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Jeremy Kellett  21:41

I bet you got some tips on getting the majority of the life out of a tire, whether it’s steer tires or drive tires. What’s What’s your suggestion, don’t tell an hour, you know, our owner operators will take into

David Covington  21:54

The biggest is just you know, one phrase: air pressure, air pressure is probably whatever fleet is probably one of the biggest issues you run into as far as tire not being properly maintained.

Jeremy Kellett  22:11

So how many pounds I mean, are we talking at first, it depends on the size well makes a difference. But five pounds, all will make a difference in well, error on the tire industry standard

David Covington  22:23

if it’s 10%, then the tire is considered flat. So if you’re running, we’ll just use 100 to make it easy here for calculations like myself. So if you’re running 100 pounds in your spare tire, and you check it and it’s at 90, you’re 10%. So technically that tire is flat. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s got a hole in it, that doesn’t mean it wore out, it probably means that the air cooled over time and it dropped down. But that’s also why you have to constantly check your air pressure. When you check your air pressure, you have to check it when it tires cool. You can’t, don’t run all day, get home and check your air pressure. Because it’s a good possibility that if you run on 100, you might have 125. And by the end, Oh really, because that heat builds up over time, which increases the air pressure. And if you let that air out to get back down to 100, because you think you’re running over inflated? Well, when you woke up the next morning, you got 80 pounds, because it’s all cooled and gone away. So definitely check your air pressure. First thing when it’s cool. Don’t let the air out of a tire when it’s hot. Just let it cool down, if you need to adjust it adjust its what adjust it was cool. Because the same thing on the other side of that if you check it in the afternoon, and it’s only got 100 in it, that means you probably ran about when you started, it was probably around 7580 psi, it was low. So it was low when you got it, which means that there’s probably gonna be some sidewall or causing damage in there somewhere if it’s run too long like that. But yeah, overall maintenance allowance.

Jeremy Kellett  23:50

I see all these sometimes I’ll be out here looking at these gas trucks. And I’ll tell you about this cup and their drive tires. And I’m like, Man, how does it even do that? You know, wear it out or wear it out in one spot, you know, and not the whole tire? I mean, what are they doing wrong when that happens, David? Well,

David Covington  24:08

and it’s not actually something that they might be doing wrong or why they’re driving effects, I mean, can be as simple as the suspension needs to be maintained a little better, or they got to spring on the back that’s, you know, about to fail. So it’s causing issues, or, I mean, it could be a number of things. It’s just, it’s all made or too late. I couldn’t sit here and tell you Okay, well, if it’s got to dip without a doubt it was caused by this right here. I don’t know if there’s anybody that can tell you that.

Jeremy Kellett  24:38

Well, I guess you think about it. I mean, if you think about you know, eight tires back there most of the time, I mean, running side by side and that that’s it’s gonna be hard to keep them to where at the same depth all the time I would think would be hard to do that unless, I mean everything is

David Covington  24:59

Believe it or not lined up, believe it or not, most of them should wear within a couple 30 seconds of each other. Okay, that creates another problem. If you have, say you have a truck that you have a flat tire blowout on, alright, and you replace one of those tires. Well, if you replace that with a new tire and you’ve had those tires on air for your truck for a while, and there’s more than 30 seconds difference in the trade, it’s going to eat that new tire up, because it’s gonna put more strain on that tire with a higher tread depth. So it possibly would bail you before one of the other 70. Well, no, dang it, y’all.

Jeremy Kellett  25:36

Y’all created so I’ve had to buy two new tires,

David Covington  25:39

I can tell you what, I’m not smart enough to create that up.

Jeremy Kellett  25:42

So that’s what that’d be the smart thing to do.

David Covington  25:45

I mean, yeah, well, a lot of companies now are starting to use what we call a match meter. And it gauges the overall diameter of the tire. So if they have a bunch of us tires, they’ll write on there. I don’t know 789 however, they want to calculate it. And they know that they have to mount those, when they mount those on the unit, they have to match them up, because you’ll get the mess life out of your tiredness. Binder USTAR. Well, now just if you’re like, well, we’ll say Toby out here, for example, I’m sure Toby’s got some used tires, and he pulls off a trailer, when he puts those back on, you know, Tony, Toby knows a lot about the tire. So I mean, he’ll match those as best as he can with each other, to make sure they run as true as I can, you’re probably not going to find one on your guys a lot that’s got a inside tire it boy toiled in and outside tire it for, okay, it’s just not how we operate. So it’s probably gonna be within, if that one’s at 10, then it’s not going to be plus or minus four. That’s beside and it makes sense. That’s another way to, to help with abnormal wear on the tires. And, you know, once you get to wear a pattern and attire, people probably tell you your whole life and I get to slip it or you know, move it to another position. When you get a wear pattern started. It’s there, you really can’t do anything about it, you might be able to slow some of the wear down. But in some cases, it might even speed up if you flip it or move it to another position. So they’re not designed to run like that. They’re designed to run with a smooth footprint.

Jeremy Kellett  27:12

Are those air things that they put on their wheels? To set call center Matic

David Covington  27:21

central Max the bouncers so we’ll bounce your know that it’s the talking about the auto inflators. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  27:26

Yeah. Is that I mean, is that something that’s a plus that you recommend?

David Covington  27:31

I would say yes. If you’re not checking your tires, pretty constantly, or because they keep it at a steady pressure. And if there is a leak or something, most of the systems nowadays will let you know, hey, you know, it’s, we’re constantly putting tires are constantly putting air in this tire in this position. So they can be a little expensive to start with. But it does take that need to constantly check yourself, check the air pressure. So it kind of takes that LT equation. So

Jeremy Kellett  28:02

How good are my good questions, David. I haven’t stumped you yet. Cuz I don’t really know much about that. Or I’m filling up with some good books. That’s what we ‘re part of when you’re this fleet solution sales manager I made. It’s got to be sane, says it all, says it all. You know, is it? I’ve always put this question down there and sent it to you because I thought I really didn’t know the answer and still don’t know the answer. But when it comes to selling tires to more tires, is the commercial tractor. Is that a bigger business than the regular automobiles? Do you think so? You know?

David Covington  28:40

I couldn’t tell you exactly. I mean, you got millions of cars on the road. Yeah. But I can tell you that. That’s the trucking industry or transportation industry. You know, it’s mean, they go through more tires? Yeah, yeah. Well, you’ll run to where a car might have a set of tires on for three, four years. Yeah, most of your trucks just because of the mileage that they’re running. I mean, she, you know, they might make it a year, year and a half, some depending on, you know, some of the regional routes that they run, they might go through, you know, two sets a year, you know, mixed service, you know, trash company or something like that. I mean, they might go to two or three sets a year. So, that’s kind of hard to say, I wouldn’t want to give you an answer, because I don’t know. 100%. Yeah. And I don’t have numbers to back it up. Well, I

Jeremy Kellett  29:23

don’t either. It’s something everybody can just Google.

David Covington  29:27

Google will tell you.

Jeremy Kellett  29:29

But I just know you know, I was thinking about Taylor wrote it down that man has gotten the transportation industry goes through so many times just one after the other where automobiles don’t mean well, you’ll

David Covington  29:40

say the industry. Now if you talk about as far as on commercial, okay, just that segment, which includes your mix service, your transportation and all that, then yes, they probably use more because I got more classic trucks. So classic trucks have better positions. In turn I’m going to use more tires. So

Jeremy Kellett  30:02

thank you, right? We didn’t even touch on it. And I didn’t put this on notice. And she: What about before we wrap it up here? What about Super singles? Is that something that is popular? Or is it declining? I know, you know, when they came out years ago, that was like the thing to do there for a little while, it seemed like he’s kind of faded. I know a lot of owner operators don’t have them. We’ll have a few that do. But a lot of them seem to steer away from what’s your thoughts on? Well,

David Covington  30:32

Since you didn’t include those on the notes, and I didn’t have time to prepare, I’m gonna refuse to answer that question. No, no, no. Yeah, super singles, you know, they were designed to kind of help lower the weight. So anybody that’s a weight sensitive fleet has had, you know, mostly changed to super singles. What you’re seeing now is a lot of them are starting to convert back, either due to availability, or the issue with having one position running instead of a set of tools running. Personally, I think if you have a super single, you know, if you have a flat tire, you’re down. Alright, there’s no limit, where if you have a set of tools, you might be able to nurse that a little bit to that next exit without damaging the wheel. Because then you’re looking at, you know, if you do that with a wide base tire, you’re looking at a six $700 wheel on top of a $1,000 tire. So it can be pretty, it can get pretty expensive. Can I make the super singles last longer? But once again, it depends on the application. Yeah, you have some locations, or some fleets that are hauling them on, like a liquid bulk, or something like that. And if they’re running straight routes, you know, up and down the interstate all the time. Not many turns. It could possibly last them.

Jeremy Kellett  31:45

She said I see the loves coming in and out here at their trailer seem to have them on there.

David Covington  31:50

Yeah. Well, once again, it’s if I lighten my load, yeah. Oh, my equipment, I can get more fuel. Yeah. So. So that’s, if you’re not in an almost step out outlet? I would say to me personally, this is an opinion, before anyone writes it down as fact. If you’re not in anything that is very weight sensitive, like liquids, or fuel or something or some of your, I guess some of your flatbed operators, I would really not see the benefit of a wide base over a set of doors. Okay.

Jeremy Kellett  32:24

Fair enough. You heard it, Myles. He said it.

David Covington  32:28

I am gonna get calls now “What do you mean, we can’t run? You said it.”

Jeremy Kellett  32:34

So, last thing, I always like to tie this stuff, whatever we talk about back to independent contractors, and how this conversation can benefit them. And I think you touched a little bit on it earlier, when you were talking about, you know, what they need to consider when buying tires. But I mean, I guess, you know, what do you think of independent contractors? What part do they play in the tire business? And what would you recommend them to look for when they go to buy a set of tires? Well, first, I

David Covington  33:09

would say that the independent contractor, I mean, they obviously play a huge role. I mean, most of the industry we have today, in some form or fashion was built on the independent contractor, very important to the industry, very important to our transportation supply network as a whole. So I’m a big, big time advocate for the independent contractor, I like to try to do as much as I can to help them. One of the things you and I have talked about as the independent contractor, contractor pricing for Oakley, currently reviewing that, due to some of the price issues that we’ve had over the last couple of years. To put it simple, it kind of got out of whack, not where I wanted it to be. So you’ll be getting some from that, or something around that for too long that you can distribute out to everybody. But yeah, they just, you know, independent contractors, that’s a, you know, you own that piece of it. That’s your business, you have to look at that, like you know what your return on investment can be on it business. And that’s when you need to go back to what we were talking about before, you know, is the cost is that firsthand invoice costs that I’m gonna get on that lower price tire, is that equal to or better than my overall acquisition cost that I might get on that entire entire in most of the guys are, you know, they’ve been doing it long enough, like figured it out, hey, if I run set x of tires, I get this many miles and it cost me this much. If I run this other one, I get this and it costs me this much. So most of your guys can pretty much for the most part know about where they need to be as far as their tire cost, fuel costs, how much fuel they are using a month or a week or whatever. So I think most independent contractors have a good grasp on what I would just once again stress. The maintenance side of maintenance is not just for tires, but everything in general. You know, it doesn’t take long for a $300 maintenance project on a truck to turn into a $3,000 maintenance project on a trip for sure. So upkeep and maintenance Probably the best thing that the owner operators can do, you know, to keep their equipment healthy and keep making the money. Well, when I set

Jeremy Kellett  35:07

A tire costs what it does these days? I mean, it’s one of the biggest expenses independent contractors have. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, after their fuel and maintenance on a truck, I mean, tires are a big expense, and you have to actually plan to buy the tires. And if they’re doing it every year, every year and a half, it’s a big expense that to get a budget for when planning for so

David Covington  35:29

well. And I would say that, you know, everybody likes it, that loyal customer, they, we love customers that are loyal to Goodyear, you know, other car companies have love customers that are loyal to them. But when it comes down to it, you have to don’t just, I guess, just because you’ve done something for a while or stuck with something for a while. It doesn’t hurt you to step outside that box every now and then. And see if there’s a better you know, a better option available, whether that be with a good year, or whoever. You might find that it surprises you from time to time.

Jeremy Kellett  35:59

Well, you got to do your homework. He has an independent contractor, you want to do your homework, and our guys do their homework. They know what maximizes their profits. Yes. David Covington good year, fleet solution sales manager. Man, I appreciate you coming down here and doing this for me. I think that is some great information for independent contractors. And I really appreciate you doing

David Covington  36:19

it. Any other time that you need somebody to just sit down and think of words and say back to you without knowing what you’re talking about? Let me know. We can do it, it was my pleasure being here. Anything I can do to help? I’m always available.

Jeremy Kellett  36:33

Thank you very much. Hey, and just like every week, I appreciate you guys listening to the Oakley podcast. You have made this thing better than I ever thought it would be when we started it. And I really appreciate you so be sure and check us out on YouTube. If you don’t watch it. If you just listen to it. You might check us out on YouTube and and watch it and when you do that, Subscribe, Like, Comment and let us know what you think too. About the podcast, anything else you want to hear? And once again, we appreciate David and we’ll talk to everybody next week. Thanks. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.