Four years after trialling its first Montracon trailer with Michelin’s new X One MaxiTrailer tyres, Nestlé Customer Logistics reports that 25 per cent of its 200-strong tri-axle ‘Cooliner’ fleet is operating on the uniquely sized 445/45 R 22.5 tyres.
Nestlé Customer Logistics’ fleet operates on trunking routes between its production facility in York – which makes 6,000,000 Kit-Kats a day – and distribution hubs throughout the UK. Its experience of X One MaxiTrailer tyres has proven so successful that Vehicle Engineering Manager Ralph Defty specifies the tyre on all new standard length trailers joining the fleet.
Defty explains: “Previously we were getting an average of 130,000 km from new trailer tyres, but with the X One MaxiTrailer we’re projecting more than 200,000 km; the equivalent of four years in service. The worn casings can then be returned to Michelin for remoulding, with the Remix tyres expected to deliver the same performance again.
“An X One MaxiTrailer tyre costs us £100 more than a regular trailer tyre, but it delivers nearly double the life. It’s been an absolute game-changer for our fleet,” he says.
In addition to the long tyre life, Defty has seen impressive reliability from his X One MaxiTrailer tyres. This is particularly important to Nestlé Customer Logistics, given they are targeted with achieving 96 per cent of deliveries to supermarkets within an allotted one-hour time window, and with the correct products.
The distinctive size of the X One MaxiTrailer makes it visually quite different from standard trailer fitments – and nearly five years after launch, Michelin is still the only manufacturer in the world to offer a 445/45 R 22.5 trailer tyre. Its low profile construction ensures a lower centre of gravity for the trailer and a three inch reduction in ride height, which Defty says improves overall stability when cornering and improves fuel economy.
Key to the performance of the X One MaxiTrailer is its Infinicoil architecture, one of the key innovations of Michelin Durable Technologies, consisting of a 400-metre steel cord wrapped continuously around the crown to deliver unrivalled robustness, greater longevity and even wear. Compared to a regular 385/65 R 22.5 XTE2 trailer tyre, the tread band is also 120mm wider and has 35 per cent more usable tread rubber, which contributes to the significantly increased tyre life.
Nestlé Customer Logistics operates a fleet of around 200 trailers, including 13 chocolate tankers, plus 17 tractor units – with the remainder of its work undertaken by third party contractors. It has a 100 per cent Michelin policy across its fleet, managed in-house by Defty and his team, and with tyres supplied by ATS Euromaster.
Nestlé Customer Logistics lays claim to operating one of the best independently managed tyre policies of any commercial vehicle fleet in the country. This is achieved by having the right people, such as Graham Skelton, Nestlé Customer Logistics’ very own in-house tyre expert. Skelton boasts 30 years’ experience and a passion for tyre maintenance, and personally ensures all Nestlé’s vehicle technicians are briefed to follow the complete Michelin Four Lives policy with every tyre. Additionally, many worn Remix tyres go on to be remanufactured into Encore tyres to deliver a fifth life in service.
Key to maximising tyre efficiency is a commitment to delivering a 100 per cent regrooving rate for all Michelin new and Remix tyres; measured against an industry average of just 50 per cent.
Defty says: “Every Michelin truck tyre incorporates a layer of rubber sufficiently deep to allow a high quality regroove to take place. We are very hands-on with our tyre management – our workshop team ensures that every single tyre has been regrooved and sent back into service before being returned to Michelin for remoulding.”