Keeping Costs Down with Conti
Bitumen supplier Nynas has exclusively fitted Continental tyres to its fleet of 120 tractor units and trailers for the past 15 years, and the decision to do so appears to be paying off – the company’s annual tyre budget is said to be lower now than a decade ago. A combination of good tyre husbandry – an annual independent audit by entyrety shows the company as being amongst the top performers in terms of its tyre management process – and the tyres chosen are to thank for this happy situation. Nynas reports achieving good wear from the tyres, while benefitting from their low weight and the contribution they make towards fuel efficiency: it is said that each truck can carry up to a tonne more payload every week, with fuel consumption of 8.64 mpg for tankers running at 44 tonnes.
“Careful tyre management based on a three-way partnership between ourselves, our supplier Nation Tyres (a ContiNetwork Partner based on The Wirral), and Continental has helped us contain our costs and even to reduce them,”said distribution manager Ernie Dixon, who is responsible for the company’s tyre policy. “It involves having a clear policy that starts with selection of the correct tyres for our application and the type of vehicles we operate and following on from that with a rigorous regime of tyre checks.
“Tyres are particularly important in a business like ours, where we operate a fleet of tankers carrying a petroleum-based product,” Dixon added. “These vehicles are hard-worked too, operating six and a half days a week and travelling throughout the UK from our Ellesmere Port base. They’re also at their maximum weight of 44 tonnes every time they leave the refinery.”
Standard fitment on the steer axle of Nynas’s mid-lift axle tractors is the Continental HSR1. This has an extra wide contour which is said to offer good road-holding and at the same time achieve high mileage along with lower noise levels. The groove design also reduces the risk of retention of stones, which can quickly cause damage.
With the recent introduction of the new HSR2 steer axle tyre, Nynas will progressively move on to this tyre, from which they are expecting even better performance and fuel savings.
Continental’s HDR+ is the choice for drive axles. This has a wide and deep tread pattern and closed shoulder. Improved tread compounds are intended to help reduce wear and allow for easy re-grooving to achieve a second life. The tough casing construction of these tyres also makes them more suitable for re-treading, which can then be followed by a second re-grooving in line with the ContiLifeCycle tyre management process designed to achieve optimum use out of every tyre.
On its tri-axle tanker trailers the company uses the Continental HTR2 tyre. This has a high load carrying capability with good safety reserves. The tread groove pattern of the HTR2 is designed to deliver even wear and, like the HSR1, it too reduces stone trapping and protects the casing.
“It’s not just about the choice of tyres,” added Dixon. “Our drivers are trained to check for any signs of damage or under-inflation as part of their daily checks and they are given instruction in the correct use of lifting axles on both tractors and trailers, which of course results in no tyre wear on those axles when running light.
“Every day a fitter from our tyre supplier, Nation Tyres, is at our depot to carry out checks and take tyres away for repairs or re-grooving. The proactive approach that they take ensures that problems are identified early and that action can be taken before something goes wrong. There’s no doubt that this makes a major contribution to containing our tyre costs and getting the optimum performance from our Continental tyres.”
South Wirral based Nation Tyres looks after over 30 large fleets and boasts a customer base of well over 350 companies. Nation Tyres has been a ContiNetworkPartner since its very beginning and covers an area of approximately 30 miles, employing 14 staff members at their two depots.