Change to new size equals 25% better mileage for Prestons
Size does matter, and this is precisely the reason why Prestons of Potto doesn’t regret a switch from 295/80 R 22.5 drive axle tyres to 315/80 R 22.5 fitments on its new tractor units. The different size tyres – all Michelin XDN2 Grip – were specified on 20 new Scania R480 6×2 tractor units that entered service with the Northallerton-based company in February and March 2010. After more than two years on the road, Prestons reported that the highest-mileage tractor unit had clocked up 325,683 miles (524,137 kilometres) before its tyres needed replacing.
This performance, the equivalent to more than 390 journeys between Land’s End and John O’Groats, had fleet engineer Paul Barker checking if they actually were still the original tyres. “I saw the truck in our workshop shortly after it had passed the half a million kilometres barrier,” he commented. “The tyre performance was so remarkable I double checked our records, and the manufacturing date on the sidewalls, to make sure these were the same tyres.
“We’ve been fitting Michelins for years, so we’re used to our tyres lasting the distance, but this was particularly notable,” he added. “We typically get around 380,000 to 400,000 kilometres from our 295/80 XDN2 Grips – this larger size tyre has delivered a 25 per cent increase in tyre life. The 315/80 size tyres aren’t as popular in the UK, but we’ve been fitting them on our heavy haulage vehicles for years as we feel they are more robust and have a bit more engineered into them. This was the first time we’ve trialled the tyres within our regular distribution fleet; to say we’ve been impressed to-date would be an understatement.”
The remaining 19 Scanias in the Prestons trial have clocked-up around 300,000 kilometres each and are said to have plenty of tread remaining. According to Michelin, early indications suggest they are also on target to reach half a million kilometres. The half-million kilometre tyres removed from the tractor unit have been replaced by a set of XDN2 Grip Remix tyres; Michelin says these offer virtually the same performance as that of a new Michelin tyre. Remix tyres are manufactured at Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent factory in a process that sees the old rubber stripped from the casing and a new tread band fitted, together with new sidewall rubber veneer from bead to bead.
Prestons of Potto runs fleet of approximately 185 trucks and 500 trailers, with the majority operating at 44 tonnes. The company specifies Michelin tyres – XDN2 Grip and XDN2 Grip Remix for drive axle fitments – as original equipment across its fleet and service provider ATS Euromaster regrooves tyres to extend life, in line with Michelin’s Four Lives policy.