Budgeting Around the 2021 Rubber Shortage

As if we don’t have enough to worry about in 2021, the mobility industry is again pivoting to planning mode. The need for rubber due to increased demand for safety gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a less-than-favorable seasonal crop, may potentially impact tire availability.

It’s understandable that fleet specialists are bracing to adjust their plans especially as winter nears and the need for snow tires ramps up in certain regions. But now is not the time to panic – some simple planning measures can put your fleet in a good position for the season!

Take inventory of potential needs

The first step is assessing what you’ll actually need in the near future. Take a look at your tire storage (if applicable) to see what your inventory currently looks like, and review your data to predict driver behavior trends in the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.

While right now may not be the time to invest in an all-weather tire solution or winter tires for the whole fleet, you can better understand which vehicles will actually need new tires in the near future and plan accordingly.

Plan based on vehicle type

A preventive maintenance mindset goes a long way when it comes to crafting your tire strategy. Make sure to adjust your plans based on vehicle types within your fleet:

  • For cars and light-duty vehicles, simply plan to secure tires earlier than your usual replacement interval.
  • For medium and heavy-duty trucks, conduct yard checks to survey tread depth and lean on your tire affiliate to assist in checking inventory availability.

While not a fit for all fleets, in certain regions where tire chains are permitted, their application can potentially be expanded to additional vehicles for the upcoming winter season.

When it comes to mission-critical vehicles, get in touch with your suppliers or connect with your ARI team for support in checking product availability in your areas.

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