Keeping Greens Green
Moving fresh vegetables from the field to the supermarket shelf in just 12 hours makes for a very tight schedule and requires a totally reliable logistics system. Deliveries are at risk from the weather, road conditions and transport breakdowns; to minimise part of these risks, the biggest greens grower in Europe relies exclusively on Michelin tyres.
Marshalls of Butterwick grows many varieties of cabbages, cauliflowers and organic vegetables on its 6,200 acres of fenland soil to supply the major supermarkets in the UK. Marshalls also grows crops in Cornwall, Spain and Italy to deliver fresh vegetables all year round to British shoppers. It is this complexity that adds further pressure to the reliability requirements of the transport of these perishable foodstuffs.
Michelin is the tyre brand of choice for fleet engineer, Brian Garnham: “For 30 years we have had a perfect partnership with Michelin – we are 100% Michelin on tractors, agricultural implements and trailers, our HGV trunking vehicles and our forklift trucks. I know from experience that Michelin tyres give me the best performance and the best reliability at the most cost effective price.” Marshalls pioneered the pre-packaging of vegetables in the 50s and 60s and at that time employed a full time mechanic just to fit tyres to keep the machines in service.
Marshalls now operates 42 Toyota forklift trucks on its two sites in Lincolnshire on a 24/7 shift pattern all year. “It’s slightly less hectic when the UK growing season is over but then we have the volume coming in from abroad so there is very little let up,” says Mr Garnham. The forklift trucks are exclusively fitted with Michelin XZM pneumatic radial tyres.
The trucks operate on concrete surfaces with electric machines being used inside the chilling and packing areas and gas powered units mainly outdoors. Michelin XZM tyres take these varied surface conditions easily in their stride and the XZM has been proven to last up to three times as long as other brands. Originally, the Toyota trucks came on different OE makes but, according to Michelin, these tyres lasted less than a year and also suffered considerable damage and downtime. Now XZM is the OE fitment on the Toyota forklifts delivered to Marshalls.
Michelin XZM pneumatic radials have a large tread area for maximum traction, braking and cornering grip. Steel reinforcing protects the sidewalls and the crown from damage and punctures. The radial construction minimises heat build-up and limits the surface vibration transfer that damages the machine, the delicate load and the driver. And it extends tyre life. The low wear-rate of the Michelin XZM also means that there is negligible tyre dust generated – another essential benefit where foodstuffs are being prepared.
Tyre management and maintenance for Marshalls is provided by Boston-based Fossitt and Thorne.