The importance of retreading as part of the circular economy is well-known in 2021. But when Devon-based Bandvulc started reusing rubber to make retread tyres back in 1971, sustainability was neither part of our everyday vocabulary, nor a standard manufacturing practice. 50 years on from its humble beginnings retreading just 30 tyres a week purely for local use, Bandvulc has grown to become the UK’s foremost tyre retreader, producing one premium quality retread tyre every three minutes to serve commercial vehicle customers across the country. To mark its half-century in operation, and five years on from Bandvulc’s acquisition by Continental Tyres in 2016, Tyres & Accessories looks back on the company’s history of pioneering retread technology, prolonging the lifespan of tyres, reducing waste ending up in landfill, and contributing to lower carbon emissions in tyre production, driving sustainability as it moves into its 51st year.
The latest tyre in the Bandvulc Wastemaster range is ready for launch following extensive testing and field trials. Bandvulc developed, tested and produced this fifth-generation product at its Ivybridge factory. The Wastemaster 5 will replace the Wastemaster III, a proven product in the waste sector that has been around for more than 20 years.
Bandvulc has unveiled a new website, which has been created as a mobile-first tyre information portal, providing technicians with easy to view detailed, technical information about each Bandvulc retread tyre whilst giving customers an overview of tyres by application type, to aid tyre choice.
Bandvulc has launched a new 295/80R22.5 High Load version of its Wastemaster II tyre in order to the needs of its waste management sector customers. Sporting the same features and bespoke compound advantages as the existing Wastemaster II product, the new tyre comes to the market in a 154/149 J load/speed rating.
Fowler Welch has extended its long-running tyre fitment and management contract with Continental Tyres subsidiary and retread specialist Bandvulc. Continental and Bandvulc tyres will be specified across the entire Fowler Welch fleet of 450 Euro 6 trucks and 750 temperature-controlled trailer units for a further three years, continuing the relationship between the companies, who have worked together since 2011.
Bandvulc, a Continental Tyres subsidiary is the preferred choice for leading contract hire and fleet management company, Specialist Fleet Services (SFS). Indeed, SFS, a leading contract hire and fleet management supplier to local authorities across the UK, is seeing its relationship with Teignbridge District Council move into an 18th year, something the companies credit in part to the tyre supply and management contract with Bandvulc.
Waste management group, CSG, has committed to a further two years with Bandvulc, the retread subsidiary of Continental. The decision takes the tyre management contract between the two companies into its seventh year, at a time when fleet numbers across CSG and sister company J&G have risen to close to 150 vehicles.
Following the purchase of Bandvulc in the summer of 2016, then managing director David Smith was promoted into the wider international role of Head of Channel Management Distribution and Region, North Europe for Continental. His 2018 promotion followed a 12-year tenure as UK MD that saw turnover at the UK business more than double. The latest news is that he has returned to the UK, so with all this in mind, Tyres & Accessories recently caught up with David Smith in order to talk about his return as well as both Continental and Bandvulc in the UK.
After years of fitting Bandvulc and Continental tyres to its fleet, leading supply chain logistics provider, Fowler Welch, has now put the two manufacturers’ low rolling resistance (LRR) offerings to the test. In a joint-trial at Millbrook Proving Ground, Fowler Welch and Bandvulc arranged an evaluation of the performance and efficiency benefits of low rolling resistance tyres, with support from Continental and its ContiPressureCheck TPMS system.
Continental Tyre Group has acquired Scottish commercial fleet servicing company R&J Strang Tyre Services Ltd. The company stated that the latest acquisition represents a further step to strengthen its overall commercial fleet service offering across the UK and Ireland.
Conti360° Fleet Services has opened its newly rebranded suite of offices, at Bandvulc’s Lee Mill site, in Ivybridge. The extended office facilities have been launched after a two and-a-half year integration project following Continental’s acquisition of Bandvulc in 2016. The launch follows the merger of both company’s fleet support networks under the unified Conti360° Fleet Services banner in September 2018, and the relocation of all Conti360° Fleet Services support and 24-hour Breakdown Service teams to Ivybridge.
In the more than two years since Continental Tyre Group acquired Bandvulc, both the Conti360° Fleet Services network and the Bandvulc Plus+ fleet services continued to run in parallel, with customers receiving services from both brands. This will now change – Continental Tyre has announced the merger of Conti360° and Bandvulc Plus+. The two operations will unite as Conti360° Fleet Services, with Bandvulc’s key partners joining Continental’s current Conti360° Fleet Services.
Retreading has always been a key part of Continental’s truck offer to achieve what it refers to as Lowest Overall Driving Costs (LODC), but this was further enhanced when the company announced the purchase of Bandvulc, (located in Lee Mill, Ivybridge) in the UK in July 2016. Bandvulc had been producing Continental’s hot retread ContiRe for over 20 years to support fleet business in the UK, so it was a natural progression to bring Bandvulc into the Conti family – but how has the Devon-based retailer been integrated?