Regular Checks and a Tyre You Trust – a Winning Combination
Companies operating vehicles on intense round-the-clock timed-delivery work need tyres they can depend on. One such company is PF Whitehead Transport Services Limited, based in Croydon. PF Whitehead perform a wide array of work – including dedicated pallet load haulage as part of the Palletways network and contract work for the DIY chains B&Q and Ikea – and this varied work sees the company running a fleet of 39 vehicles, ranging in size from 3.5 tonne panel vans right through to 44 tonne HGV units.
PF Whitehead know the old adage ‘time is money’ is more than just a wise saying. As fleet manager Geoff Walker explains, “delays caused by tyre failures are not only costly in terms of call-out charges and replacement costs, but they’re also highly disruptive to an intensive delivery operation where tightly-scheduled deliveries are required.” He adds: “When you take account of all the costs involved, an on-road tyre repair or replacement can cost in excess of £500.”
This is why the company only fit new tyres to their vehicles, and they have developed a strong loyalty to a particular brand that has provided them with reliable running. “For our predominantly Mercedes-Benz fleet our choice is Continental. They’re also the choice of B&Q, who own the 15 Scanias that we operate on their behalf,” says Walker.
The company also emphasise the importance of each driver checking the tyres on their own vehicle. According to Walker, “a good driver will usually spot a problem, such as low pressures or sidewall damage, and they are encouraged to report it. Tyres are also carefully checked during six-weekly inspections and this gives us early warning of any problems.
“Specifying the right tyres from the outset and maintaining correct pressures for the application are important too. On our three-axle Actros tractors we use Continental HSR tyres on the front and lift axles and HDRs on the drive axles…Experience shows that on vehicles that are running full-loaded for most of the time, this delivers very good mileages; typically 200,000 kilometres over the lifetime of a tyre would not be unusual. It also gives us even wear on tyres on the same axle.”
Continental’s HDR and HSR tyres have been designed for optimum performance in regional traffic conditions, making them highly suitable for the work PF Whitehead’s trucks typically encounter.
The Continental HDR combines an extremely wide and very deep tread pattern with a closed shoulder to enhance mileage. And tests performed by Continental show the tyre’s multiple transverse edges provide good grip in all weather conditions. The HSR features finely-structured intermediate sipes for good grip when cornering. The Continental-patented tread groove design is designed to eject stones and minimise any associated damage and its depth allows for effective braking performance long into the tyre’s working life.