Bibby Distribution has placed its tyre management and supply contract with Bandvulc for a third consecutive time. Bandvulc, the tyre retread specialist that is now part of Continental Tyres, had successfully completed two three-year contracts and has now secured the third. The arrangement covers around 500 trucks and 1,500 trailers currently on the Bibby fleet, around half of which are supplied on varying lease and hire arrangements direct with manufacturers or rental companies.
Adam Purshall, Head of Fleet & Procurement at Bibby, said: “We have three simple priorities when it comes to tyre management: safety, performance – both of tyres and management processes – and whole-life costs. We are content that in the past six years, covering their first two contracts with us, Bandvulc has ticked all these boxes and more. We operate out of 45 sites across the UK, so a key part of continuing Bandvulc’s provision of services was that their customer support network profile very closely matches our own. With the large number of vehicles involved and the intensity of their operations, it is vital to have a service and support we can genuinely rely on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The tyres fitted to the Bibby fleet are Bandvulc’s premium products, designed specifically for maximum safety, low wear and all-weather performance on regional distribution work. Their BD08 tyre is fitted to all drive axles, with their BT08 super-singles fitted to trailers. Steer axles on the fleet are catered for by Continental’s Uniroyal brand, all supplied and managed through the Bandvulc operation. The Bibby contract is monitored by Bandvulc against parameters set in the Conti360° Fleet Services programme. This covers such things as: tyre choice and correct tyre fitment; regular inspections to ensure best tyre safety and performance; a tyre breakdown service to get vehicles back on the road with minimum downtime; a complete used casing service of collection, inspection, purchasing, retreading and/or proper disposal; and a regular analysis of tyre-related data to show potential for tyre-related cost savings.
Purshall added: “When you have as many tyres on the road as we do, you spend a lot of time reviewing performance and strategically planning continual improvement. Once we have absolute assurance about the inherent safety of any tyre we might be considering, we then look in fine detail at just what the impacts of these alternatives might be on our overall whole-life costs. The environment is another big consideration, and with that added into the equation we came back to the conclusion that Bandvulc products and fleet management services continue to be the right answer for us. The blend of new Uniroyals and Bandvulc premium retreads give us the right levels of safety, economy and environmental protection – in the latter instance for example, they take care of all our old carcasses, either re-processing them as new retreads or dealing with them in an environmentally acceptable manner.
“The number of different vehicles, the wide spread of sites and the fact that not all assets are owned directly by us make for a challenging profile to manage, but we have learned to trust the Bandvulc team to meet all our fleet tyre management demands.”
The entire Bibby fleet is monitored and reported on using the Conti360° Fleet programme, with a secure web portal allowing the distribution giant to see regular updates on every vehicle in its fleet. Under the contract, Bandvulc inspects every vehicle monthly, issuing reports and taking responsibility for fitting replacement tyres as required – though with some pieces of equipment on hire or lease agreement, this may mean the supplying company is required to make any required tyre changes. All checks are undertaken and reported electronically by Bandvulc’s teams around the country, feeding into the central single database and immediately ready for interrogation by Bibby as and when required.
In addition to the mainstream management work being undertaken, Bibby Distribution is expecting to work with Bandvulc during the coming 12 months to help trial its special-compound Low Rolling Resistance tyres.
“We are always looking for safe new ways to improve fleet performance and control costs, and this certainly looks as though it could be one. We will also be looking at the ContiPressureCheck system for monitoring tyre pressures out on the road, and possibly as vehicles go in and out of our depots.
“We plan to trial monitors in cabs to give drivers real-time updates on tyre pressures and temperatures, which can offer safety and economic benefits, as well as having parallel information feeds to our own offices. We are certainly interested in looking closely at it. Bandvulc has always been a very progressive and well-managed operation, and now, as part of the Continental Tyres organisation, it seems they can provide even more value-added activities,” Purshall concluded.