Ryan Transport of Cardiff, Wales, is a mid-sized general haulage company, whose fleet consists of 10 tractors, 30 trailers and five rigid trucks.
The company is enthusiastic about Bandag retreading and services, having fitted the tyres consistently over the past decade. All its
wheel positions behind the steer axle are fitted with Bandag tyre products:
• BDE (E) on all rigid truck drive axles
• BDE1 (E) on all tractor unit drive axles
• B164(E) and BWBT (E) on all trailer wheel positions
Continental has confirmed its plans to expand the ContiNetwork beyond mainland UK by appointing Modern Tyre Group as the ContiNetwork Partner responsible for the whole of Northern Ireland.
“This move facilitates ContiNetwork’s growth into Ireland and marks the first phase of complete coverage for Ireland,” said the company in response to the news. Modern Tyre Group will be joining a nationwide network of independent truck tyre dealers that provide local, regional and national fleets with tyre management services and rapid-response tyre breakdown assistance.
Cairo-based Internile for Tyres Ltd and HL & H Prod Com SRL have joined Bandag’s retreader network, along with Internile Tyres, Egypt
Bucharest-based HL & H Prod Com SRL recently went into business operating as a joint venture between two experienced specialists from the Israeli tyre sector. Since then, the Bucharest public bus company Filaret has reportedly been full of praise for Bandag retreaded tyres. Filaret actually bought its retreads from Hatzav, the Israeli parent company of Bandag Dealer TGL (Aviation) Rubber Company, in Acre, Israel.
“If Nick says it’s good then it must be,” says Mark Gregory, national franchise manager for Punctureseal, when asked about the company’s tyre sealant. Nick Sanders, the person he refers to is a renowned adventure/endurance biker who is well known in biking circles for his world moto challenge, where he circumnavigates the globe on his Yamaha R1. Nick advocates the brand by both using it on his own tyres and recommending it to all that travel alongside him.
Media Multiplex presented its vehicle parc management software TireCon, at Reifen 2002 for the first time. Three years later its goal is to establish the software as a standard European solution for haulage contractors, passenger car, truck, bus and other vehicle fleets for tyre dealers, service chains and leasing companies.
Bandag Inc has agreed wide-ranging, six-year contract with US Xpress, the fifth largest publicly owned haulage company in the US, Modern Tire Dealer has reported. The agreement will come into effect at the beginning of January 2005 and will see Bandag manage a “total tyre programme” for 5,500 tractors and 14,500 trailers.
“Our tyre management services will help US Xpress better predict and manage tyre costs, and allow them to focus more time and resources on their core strength of meeting shipping customers´ needs,” says Martin Carver, Bandag´s chairman, CEO and president.
“By consolidating all of our of tire management tasks, we will reduce operating expenses,” commented Max Fuller, co-chairman of US Xpress. “We also believe we will increase our fleet´s uptime, which will ultimately lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.”
A long-running civil strike in Northern Ireland, that began earlier this year, has had a “devastating effect on the industry,” say market representatives. The dispute has had adverse affects on the operations of the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency Northern Ireland (DVTA) which handles all MOTs and HGV tests and there is call to privatise all vehicle testing.
With haulage up 45 per cent in the last 20 years, average vehicle journeys up and the pay load being carried by commercial vehicles at a record high, the need for fleet inspections and tyre maintenance is growing in importance, as ‘down-time’ is expensive. An external source can provide a manager with a better view on its fleet’s tyre needs and cost structure and will aim to offer new cost reduction possibilities and more effective means of utilising resources, but more importantly can provide close follow-up on a fleet’s tyre programmes that otherwise might not be maintained. Most fleet management programmes now offer audit and analysis programs that provide a tailor made recommendation according to a fleet’s specific situation, needs and tyre policy.
It is important for tyre management providers to maintain good relationships with fleet managers so that they can make sure they deliver both what the customer wants and needs and that the service isn’t driven by the single desire to sell new tyres. Most tyre management schemes offer a combination of services, regrooving, retreading and tyre replacement as well as follow-up and management systems, management reporting, preventative maintenance and 24 hour roadside assistance.
Tony Stapleton, fleet sales manager CES, believes that fleets need to understand their operating costs more effectively, so that they can exert proper control over them. “Many managers accept fixed cost contracts and the problem is it becomes an unmanned cost, they don’t know if the service provider is making more money by charging a set price per kilometre than they should be.”
Many tyre management providers would like to see the end to a fixed cost approach. “Price per kilometre has often been misused as a way of gaining tyre business by simply quoting a lower rate but this does not lead to sound long-term relationships,” says Continental. The company likes to view its system as an open book, rather than the closed book method of many of its competitors and whilst they offer ppk the company advocates a structure that is appropriate to the fleet’s real costs.
Mr Stapleton admits that there are a varying degree of fleet operators that want to get to know and understand the ins and outs of their tyre costs. The challenge, he explains, is getting to the finer details of the operator’s costs. However, he does believe that most fleet managers would agree that tyre choices are important. Whether they fully understand the ramifications of their choices is another matter.
Fleet operators do not always focus on identifying all of the cost elements concerning their tyres. There is a tendency to concentrate on the price of the tyre alone and to pay insufficient attention to the costs of service and administration. Likewise they don’t analyse the cost of tyre damage, and so find it difficult to rectify any problems.
There is a high expectation that tyre management automatically reduces costs, but this is not guaranteed. Unless an operator is already analysing tyre costs in some detail then the most likely outcome of a tyre management programme is that it will identify the true cost of tyres in the fleet, a sum that is often higher than was previously thought. Tyre management can aid valuable changes within the business through means such as simple casing management and auditing and regular review of a fleet’s performance. But even with the help of an external source it is still often a case of trial and error combined with expertise to get a fleets’ exact requirements right.
Goodyear and Dunlop have exhibited a number of new and forthcoming products at the 60th IAA show in Hanover. While they shared exhibition space, the two brands maintained their independent identities and made every effort to affirm the company’s emphasis on economy.
Prince Charles recently visited Darren Williams Tyre and Auto Care Services in Scotland as part of the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT).
Mr Williams set up his own mobile tyre-fitting firm in 2001 with the help of PSYBT, and has since grown from a one man tyre fitting operation to servicing the domestic, haulage and agricultural sectors. The dealership, which is part of the RH Claydon network, won the regional final of the PSYBT Business Awards in 2003 and later went on to win the runner-up prize in the national finals.
The majority of Tyres & Accessories readers who responded to the current question of the month are opposed to the direct sale of truck tyres to haulage companies. This update follows the news that half of those who responded are against direct sales. The progress of the question of the month suggests that a number of truck tyre dealers are less than satisfied with the current situation. T&A would like to hear from you. To read the current question of the month and to add your own views, click here
Goodyear’s Two Piece assembly is not a tyre. Goodyear is initially offering the Two Piece Assembly in a 45R57 size for large haulage trucks. Insiders at Goodyear are quick to clarify that its newest product is not a tyre. “It’s a multifaceted assembly meant to solve many of mining’s challenges,” said Tom Walker, general manager of off-the-road tyres. “It offers many benefits such as reduced downtime from tyre changeovers, higher payload capabilities, improved traction, handling, stability and ride on haul trucks, not to mention increased productivity and cost per ton savings.”
“I would compare it to buying a stereo,” said Perry Martenny, team leader for off-the-road tyre programs. “You can buy a stereo as an all-in-one unit or buy it a piece at a time. Think of the Two Piece Assembly as a component system.” Like the name suggests, the Two Piece Assembly consists of two separate but vital pieces. The assembly consists of a casing and a treadbelt package. The two pieces have corresponding grooves that interlock during assembly. Once assembled, the two pieces are held together by the air pressure in the inflated assembly.