Goodyear Dunlop has won the contract to supply tyres to Eddie Stobart, the UK’s largest haulage fleet. The five-year contract, which took effect at the start of August, sees Goodyear Dunlop supply new tyres largely based around the company’s latest generation Kmax product offering to Stobarts and will be service by the Truck Force network.
Michelin Tyre has announced the appointment of Chris Smith, 31, to the position of head of truck and bus marketing, with responsibility for the UK and Ireland. Smith began his career at Michelin in 2007 as a truck sales account manager and subsequently became regional fleet account manager in 2009. He has taken up his new leadership position following three years as truck regional sales manager in the South East. Prior to joining Michelin, Smith was a sales executive with OyezStraker Office Supplies.
The campaign for tighter laws on aged tyres has taken another step forward with the presentation of a Bill in the House of Commons calling for a maximum age limit for tyres fitted to public service vehicles. The Ten Minute Rule Bill was introduced by Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotherham yesterday, and although approval is by no means certain it achieves the important aim of increasing awareness of the dangers aged tyres can pose. Per the Bill, operating a public service vehicle with tyres that are ten or more years old would become an offence; this age limit would be enforced by Traffic Commissioners, and tyre age checked and recorded during the annual vehicle test. Rotherham also stated that the Bill would accommodate tyre manufacturers’ ongoing research, and the proposed maximum age limit could thus “easily be increased” should evidence verify that a newly-developed bus or coach tyre was “demonstrably safe” beyond ten years of age.
Germany’s contribution to this year’s World Cup hasn’t just been some spectacular football and a memorable 7-1 victory over the host nation in the semi-final; sponsor Continental has produced three World Cup-themed tyres to mark the event. Each of these limited edition products feature stylised footballs and the FIFA World Cup logo on the sidewall – but unfortunately, none are available for sale here.
Pirelli launched its latest commercial vehicle tyre evolution of the Series:01 and a new range of Novatread tyres at Reifen, emphasising durability and safety. Compared to previous generation products, the new range of Pirelli truck tyres offer a longer tyre life, greater ease of rebuilding, and improved roadholding on both wet and dry surfaces, the manufacturer states.
At a meeting on 6 May, members of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority unanimously voted to support the tyre aging motion that has arisen from the campaign begun by Liverpool woman Frances Molloy following the 2012 death of her son in a coach crash. The motion, titled Coach Safety & Prevention of Road Traffic Accidents, calls for an age limit of six years to be placed on tyres fitted to coaches.
Coach and bus operator New Adventure Travel has taken up a predominantly Michelin tyre policy following trials that suggested it could double the lifespan of its existing tyres. The Cardiff-based firm has moved to fitting predominantly 245/70 R 19.5 and 265/70 R19.5 Michelin XZE2+ tyres on its service buses and 315/80 R 22.5 X MultiWay 3D XZEs on its coaches.
The bus and coach market remains stable; down just 0.2 per cent in March to 1,032 units. The purpose-built sector dropped -28.7 per cent in the month and -23.5 per cent for the year-to-date, while the converted bus market continued to rise, up 22.3 per cent in March to 707 units.
In terms of the sheer number of vehicles on UK roads, the coach and bus segment accounts for just 0.3 per cent (90,355) of the total number of vehicles on UK roads. But there are good reasons to be interested in the coach and bus tyre market, especially as premium brand players like Continental, Goodyear and Bridgestone launch ever more specialised products, moving away from fitting the same 22.5” or 17.5” products as those found on trucks.
In addition to its specialist national and regional X Coach range, Michelin has also recently added the X Multi D to its portfolio of passenger transportation tyres. The manufacturer says the tyre will be at the forefront of changes in the 17.5” drive axle commercial vehicle tyre segment. The tyre, aimed at medium weight trucks and midi-coaches is designed to provide improved safety, fuel-efficiency, noise and longevity characteristics when compared with the XDE2 tyres they replace.
Exclusive importer and distributor of several budget brand truck and bus radial tyre product lines to the UK, Speke-based wholesaler Kirkby Tyres says it has sold over one million Double Coin truck tyres into the replacement market to date, and this partnership now includes a regional and all-position tyre built for urban and regional bus applications.
Having made its debut at Coach & Bus Live 2013 in support of its all-position urban city-bus tyre, the GAU861, and with recent success in the closely linked truck market, GT Radial has ambitions to increase its share in the passenger transportation side of the commercial vehicle tyre segment. Tony McHugh, sales and marketing director at Giti Tire UK, and marketing director – Europe, Peter Foulkes told Tyrepress that the company’s “broad coach and bus portfolio”, including 22.5” and 17.5” fitments, is now well placed to pursue increasing numbers of potential fleet customers, while the brand has existing deals within the sector in Germany.
While premium tyre manufacturers are notably providing more application-specific products to the coach and bus sector, the move to specialisation does not end in the higher-priced market segment. Kings Road Tyres (KRT), one of the UK’s leading wholesale suppliers of specialist tyres to the bus and coach sector, explains that its exclusive brands Matador and Aeolus both offer coach and bus tyres for use in urban environs with mid-range and budget price tags.
Figures from the SMMT show that the UK bus and coach market fell 12.1 per cent in February to 356 units. The purpose-built sector dropped 44.4per cent in the month, down 18.6 per cent for the year-to-date. However, the converted bus market picked up, rising 31.2 per cent in February.