Continental relaunched the Bandvulc retreading plant it acquired in 2016 as the ContiLifeCycle plant in March. Based on what Conti EMEA’s head of commercial consumer solutions Ralf Benack described as the existing “deep knowledge” of Bandvulc, the facility in Ivybridge, Devon has become a technical innovation hub for the company’s tyre retreading programme in the region. When Tyres & Accessories visited the plant later in the year, the manufacturer revealed the results of strong annual investments and its innovative implementation of automated processes for increased efficiency, and the key role that reatreading plays in Conti’s overall sustainability strategy.
Research by Bridgestone and Webfleet has found that 85 per cent of UK fleet operators are seeking ways to spend less in 2023. Sentiment in the sector is not optimistic about their business prospects too, with more than a third of HGV operators (36%) predicting that they will contract. The tyre manufacturer and its fleet services arm commissioned research consultancy Perspectus Global to conduct online research with more than 200 UK fleet decision makers in an attempt to appreciate the economic landscape from their unique perspective and how they plan to navigate their way through it. Following this research, the companies said that they have compiled four money-saving solutions to ease fleets’ financial pressures.
The Michelin Fleet Panel recently met for the first time in four years: the panel includes representatives from some of the UK’s biggest leasing, fleet management and rental companies, as well as several major end-user fleets and, at the meeting, it addressed a series of industry challenges. The meeting was held at the Wakefield site of Aston Barclay, the independent remarketing group and vehicle auction house. The panel has been meeting for more than 20 years; membership is voluntary and participants are not required to be Michelin customers. Members called for the industry to accelerate progress towards more sustainable tyres and improve support for fleet managers transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs).
Hazardous good transport specialist Clarke Transport is fitting Michelin’s X Multi new and Remix tyres to its fleet of 475 trucks and trailers. Clarke Transport switched to an exclusive Michelin tyre policy following its three-year partnership with Michelin Connected Fleet, which resulted in improved fleet tracking and driver behaviour. Service provider Tructyre supplies and fits the X Multi tyres, while Tuf Treads in South Wales also conducts some of its local work. The worn tyres will be regrooved and retreaded as Michelin Remix tyres maximising the life of each new Michelin casing. The contract is managed by Michelin’s Services & Solutions division. The Midlands firm said using an exclusive Michelin policy will cut costs and reduce downtime.
Bridgestone is bringing its sustainability and efficiency focused tyre technology to its range of commercial tyres for long-haul transportation with the new Bridgestone Ecopia Enliten. The latest generation Ecopia has been created for fleets seeking to maximise fuel efficiency and boost total value of ownership, Bridgestone states, saying the new tyres boast enhanced wear and reduced rolling resistance in year-round long-haul commercial fleet applications. The new Bridgestone Ecopia Steer Enliten and Ecopia Drive Enliten tyres are available from January 2024 in size 315/70 R22.5, with four additional sizes added throughout 2024 and one further size in 2025. Bridgestone will add the Ecopia Trailer Enliten from late 2024 to complete the range.
Newport haulier Jaga Brothers says it has saved £35,000 in fuel costs across its fleet of 42 trucks and a further £5,600 in tyre replacements on its 130 trailers, following its partnership with Michelin Connected Fleet. The company added that its access to vehicle data analysis has helped its drivers to implement driving behaviour improvements, further affecting positively its cost savings. The company was already using an exclusively Michelin tyre policy before rolling out the Connected Fleet solutions that have yielded additional efficiencies. Jaga Brothers managing director, James Hill, says: “The Michelin Connected Fleet solutions have had a huge financial impact on our business. Our aim was for the service to start paying for itself in the first year and the figures so far have exceeded our expectations.”
Goodyear will launch the new Kmax S (steer) and D (drive) Gen-2 17.5” and 19,5” commercial vehicle tyres at French commercial vehicle trade show Solutrans 2023 (21-25 November, Lyon; Hall 5, Location A031). Goodyear has enhanced the fuel efficiency of its second-generation Kmax range. The manufacturer says the enhancements to its product range respond to evolving market demands like emission reduction and electrification, as well as reducing costs. The Gen-2 steer and drive Kmax tyres will be available from the beginning of 2024.
Apollo Tyres has signed a new tyre distribution deal with leading logistics provider Ceva Logistics in France. Apollo began integrating Ceva Logistics into its supply chain in May, since which it says it has cut average lead times to under four days. Apollo adds that the partnership has improved the overall ordering and delivery experience for customers. Ceva Logistics focuses on fulfilling orders of between six and 40 tyres from Apollo Tyres’ warehousing facilities in Enschede, the Netherlands. Larger Apollo orders will continue to be fulfilled by an existing, well-proven partner that typically collects from Apollo Tyres’ factory in Hungary.
Apollo Tyres will showcase its new EnduRace RA 2 and EnduMile LHT tyres at France’s leading heavy and light commercial vehicle show, Solutrans (Lyon, 21-25 November; Stand 119, Hall 3C). Apollo will also exhibit its popular EnduRace RT 2 truck trailer tyre range, which has recently been expanded with the introduction of a 385/55 size option.
Goodyear will present its comprehensive Goodyear Total Mobility integrated fleet offer at Solutrans 2023 (Hall 5, Stand A031, 21-25 November 2023, Lyon Eurexpo, France). Goodyear will present its latest tyres and fleet mobility solutions, including Goodyear TPMS, Goodyear CheckPoint, and Goodyear DrivePoint. The company has designed an interactive exhibition of physical and virtual features that will showcase the integration of Goodyear Total Mobility components with its web and mobile applications, all powered by advanced data processing capabilities. Overall, Goodyear says it will show how it can maximise fleets’ efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability at the trade fair for haulage and urban transport professionals.
Ascenso Tyres research & development manager Abhishek Kumar has visited the brand’s UK tyre distributor BAB Distribution, wholesale division of the BA Bush & Son Ltd Group, and key Ascenso OE2 partners, looking ahead to the development of future tyre products. The visit enabled the Ascenso team to demonstrate its willingness to listen and adapt tyres based on feedback from dealers and end users. There was also plenty of positive feedback from customers on the existing tyre range’s performance BAB Distribution told Tyrepress.
Tyre retailer BA Bush & Son has expanded into a new county, opening a new commercial branch on the Bridge Trading Estate in Ipswich, Suffolk. As a result, the expanding company now has sites in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire (North, South and East Riding/ Humberside), County Durham, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The company also has sites in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire through its share of GT Wholesale.
SAS Logistics is switching to an exclusive Michelin tyre policy across its commercial vehicle fleet – including eight biomethane-fuelled tractor units – as part of the company’s ongoing sustainability drive. The Avonmouth-based operator is transitioning its Volvo and Scania trucks, as well as its mixed trailer fleet, onto products from the Michelin X Multi and Michelin X Works ranges.
Giti Tire has launched its Mercury fleet management programme. The programme offers online real-time reporting across all core operational areas. Giti plans to offer Mercury as a value-added service to all truck and bus customers contracted to the brand. Giti is also introducing its Retorque App, designed to give fleet managers visibility that their retorque policy is being followed in real time. The software was soft-launched with several UK-based key fleet customers last September, the company adds. The launch is designed to allow Giti, a mid-market player, to offer services that are now common amongst premium fleet tyre suppliers and partners.
TÜV SÜD and Goodyear have integrated the Goodyear CheckPoint solution into the TÜV SÜD Digital Vehicle Scan (DVS) inspection system. The system uses advanced sensor technology to elevate vehicle safety and performance, making the vehicle acceptance and return process more efficient. The testing organisation says the DVS enables accurate diagnosis and timely maintenance recommendations, which can improve overall safety and efficiency. The Goodyear CheckPoint drive-over tyre inspection system reads tyre condition and vehicle parameters, sending actionable insights to fleet managers. It streamlines tyre pressure and tread depth inspection by providing automated inspections completed within seconds.