18 juil 18

Tyres – an increasing range of services

With all the technological equipment in cars which makes the news every day, it is sometimes easy to forget that the only element holding the car (and us) on the ground, is the tyres. So what can fleets expect in terms of this vital piece of equipment?

To start with, and with the accent on commercial vehicles, tyre manufacturer Michelin points out that for many years it has been providing tyre management solutions for the fleets of transport professionals ranging from full delegation of tyre management and maintenance with the Effitires offering to Michelin Tire Care, which provides a series of diagnostic tools to facilitate the in-house management of tyres in the fleets. Route planning, inspection apps and training with feedback are just some of the other services offered by Michelin, all of which improve fleet performance and at the same time assist in decreasing tyre wear. Michelin also offers ranges of all weather tyres (CrossClimate) for both cars and LCVs.

Tyre services supplier Euromaster offers all services from mounting to repairs, nitrogen inflation, balancing, storage with reporting on the condition of stored tyres. Euromaster France complements its network of depots with a fleet of 800 mobile workshops which can provide services to clients’ vehicles (tyres and other services) at the clients’ own premises, or even in underground car parks. 


Euromaster also provides connected fleet solutions: Master Control and its connected service book, available via a website. For the winter period, the company aids fleet managers with awareness campaigns for drivers, e-mail campaigns encouraging drivers to make early bookings for check-ups or tyre changes, with on-line reservations. Euromaster also pre-arms itself prior to the winter season by ordering some 300,000 winter tyres from its own suppliers, in order to be ready for when its clients need them.   

Moving across the channel to the UK (although the company operates in many countries), Kwik Fit’s solution to the ever-increasing proliferation of tyre makes, sizes and types is Fleet Web Booking. This proliferation, the company’s GB fleet sales director Andy Fern says, is making it impossible for centres to stock the thousands of tyre options available and thus makes a ‘fit first time’ visit harder to accommodate. Drivers enter their vehicle registration number and postcode online. The Kwik Fit database verifies it is a vehicle under tyre management and validates tyre size and customer brand preferences against known policy. The database will check tyre stock availability, centre fitment slots available that are convenient to a driver’s location and offer the option of Mobile fitment. If tyres are in stock, a list of the centres with fitment times available or mobile times will be provided to the customer for next day replacement. If tyres have to be ordered, they will be delivered to the customer’s chosen centre location, ideally for next but one day fitment.

Kwik Fit also uses mobile workshops and adapts the number of personnel in its own depots to meet increasing demand, depending on the season. 

Back to the future

Michelin is looking at wood chips to replace the oil-based elastomers – a polymer with the elastic properties of rubber – in the tyre. At the moment, 80 percent of the materials in tyres come from oil. The company hopes to show the first wooden tyre sometime in 2020. 

Moving on from environmental-friendliness to safety, tyre manufacturer Continental has put some figures on the effect that wet surfaces have on braking. At a speed of 100km/h (62 mph) an average car needs a further 12 meters to come to a stop, than it does on a dry surface. 

Image: all weather tyres, such as these Michelin CrossClimate, provide another option to fleet managers.

Authored by: Tim Harrup