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Tire inspection transformed with TOMS

Kal Tire’s new Tire Operations Management System is harnessing data for powerful insights By Kaitlyn Till, Managing Editor


mining truck is only as good as the tires it rides on, and inspecting and maintaining those tires is a big job with significant implications for both productivity and safety. With its new Tire Operations Management System (TOMS), Kal Tire is demonstrating that tire management can benefit from more effective fleet inspections and improved planning and communication of required tire work. With TOMS, the company is making the tire inspection and reporting process clearer and more efficient today, while common language data capture and centralized data management will lead to predictive tire maintenance, AI recognition of damage and more effective training

“Over time the system will increasingly change from one that is a collection tool, which probably is 70 percent [of TOMS] today, to one that actually is driving recommendations and standard procedures.” Mark Goode, director of Business Insights for Kal Tire 50



for inspectors in the future. Historically a significant challenge for tire inspections has been the lack of a consistent, clear method for capturing and communicating damage issues. Mark Goode, Director of Business Insights for Kal Tire, said that the software and paperbased data collection methods traditionally used have been effective at gathering information for use in historical tire performance reporting, but haven’t been as efficient at capturing or communicating tire work that needs to be planned. “Tire work that needed to happen immediately was handled pretty effectively by the tire technician simply calling Dispatch on the radio,” Goode said. “But tire work that needed to be planned and that could take place at the same time as the equipment was down for other work was often missed as it wasn’t captured effectively, nor communicated. This led to a lot of tire work being unplanned and incurring unnecessary downtime.”

How TOMS is changing tire inspection

“The concept came from the fundamental recognition that Kal Tire, as a tire service provider, works primarily for the maintenance team on site and, as such, that we needed to use a similar maintenance planning tool as our customers,” said Goode. “In short, we needed to think and be able to talk the same maintenance language.” TOMS is a work-order-based solution built on an enterprise asset management system (EAM). A core concept of the system is to plan work and report on the successful completion of inspection tasks and generated tire work. A powerful feature of TOMS is that all information flows into one database. While the basic process of doing an inspection as defined by Kal Tire’s Safe Work Procedure doesn’t

significantly change, using TOMS, inspections are planned for each piece of equipment at agreed upon intervals. The inspector uses a pre-determined task list based on variables that are agreed upon with the customer up front in a Maintenance Activities Plan (MAP). The MAP is regularly reviewed and evaluated to ensure that it continues to accurately reflect the operation’s needs. “We use the core functionality of the system to produce a planning report for our customers that can be automated or run for a determined forward-looking period. This planning report includes all the tire or wheel work required for the period ranked by priority and organized by truck. This work typically covers upcoming rotations, rim NDTs and all identified work found as part of the fleet inspections,” said Goode. Another vital feature of TOMS is its use of one common language. This means that inspection findings, actions and priorities, for example, all have unique codes removing any ambiguity from written notes. Consistency has long been a problem in gathering data from written inspection reports. With its central database, Kal Tire acts as a gatekeeper to ensure consistency in coding and data capture remains intact. “Consistency of data capture is important for reporting purposes and also data analysis, but inspectors can always add their own notes [to the report]. If I’m inspecting a truck today, and you had done it last week, I can see your codes, your findings and recommended actions and also any notes you might have left me as well as any photographs you might have taken.” The first phase of TOMS was paper-based, the inspector using a common booklet of codes that includes all inspection, removal and scrap descrip-

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Heavy Equipment Guide July/August 2019, Volume 34, Number 7  

Heavy Equipment Guide July/August 2019, Volume 34, Number 7  

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