Keeping tyres rolling in tough times

By Categories: Commercial NewsPublished On: Thursday 21 April 2022

Steve McQuillan, head of central operations at ATS Euromaster, explains how the company is helping LCV operators rise to the current challenges facing the sector


The latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) reported a decline in LCV registrations in February compared with the same month last year when pent-up demand saw the market grow by 22 per cent.

Despite the global shortage of semiconductors and rising economic pressures such as inflation, the Ukraine conflict and price hikes, the market remains above pre-pandemic levels but fleets remain under pressure to keep vans running. A lack of new vehicles has led to longer replacement cycles, requiring a planned approach to tyre and SMR serving.

These are unprecedented times for fleets operators, and it calls for greater partnerships between suppliers and fleet operators to deliver an effective, post-pandemic business recovery plan, one that focuses on changing driver needs and journey requirements without compromising duty of care commitments.

Through listening to our customers, we’ve almost become a one-stop shop to provide a thorough mechanical service at a more cost-effective option. For example, if a vehicle comes in for an MOT but after inspection has an advisory for new brakes to remain roadworthy, we can seek to get approval to carry out the remedial work there and then. This is particularly important for LCV fleets that need to keep downtime to a minimum and reduce the number of unplanned or return maintenance visits, helping with the general fleet efficiency.

We cover all tyre tiers allowing fleet operators to benefit and remain buying the tier of tyres they prefer, ensuring driver safety, vehicle compliance – and peace of mind for fleet managers. And, while many LCV fleet operators see us as main a tyre service provider, we actually do cover other areas like SMR, MOTs and brakes.

Increasingly, we are also finding more fleets using our Mastercare fleet inspection service to help keep vehicles moving. Mastercare is essentially a pre-planned service carried out at a time that suits LCV fleets. The inspection provides fleet managers with a regular snapshot of their fleet’s tyre health on a set basis whether that be monthly or bi-monthly. Any work that needs to be performed is pointed out immediately, and thus keeping vehicles on the road for longer

The service involves preventative tyre work and management focussing on worn or damaged tyres including punctures, and where applicable, indicates misalignment that can be rectified in their centres.

These checks help minimise the risk of vehicle tyre-related breakdowns, associated downtime and allow fleet managers to manage expenditure and budget whilst ensuring tyre policy is being followed.

Mastercare takes a proactive approach to keep LCV fleet managers moving safely and efficiently, maximising uptime and minimising costly unexpected expenditure – not to mention they can meet their duty of care responsibilities.
This service ensures LCV fleet managers benefit from complete real-time assessments of their fleet’s tyre conditions, access planned or recommended remedial work as well as historical data by fleet, vehicle or wheel and, view a list of vehicles yet to be inspected. These preventative inspection services help to reduce risk and breakdown.

The accessible, detailed, electronic fleet inspection reports generated via the Mastercare service is available to the fleet manager to view or audit and plan remedial rectification work to limit downtime, provides peace of mind and ensures all tyres comply with C&U regulations.

LCV fleet operators can also look for other ways to reduce costs and improve driver safety by adopting all-season tyres instead of changing to summer wheels in warmer weather, and as tyre specialists, we source the most superior tyres for efficiency and safety.

Fitting all-season tyres to fleet vehicles add another layer of employer duty of care with a year-round product. Drivers continue getting greater levels of safety whatever the weather conditions.

There is also a positive impact upon the environment from using just one set of tyres, not two.

Fleets could save over £500 per vehicle by simply choosing the Michelin CrossClimate tyre rather than using a summer and then a winter tyre.

With this ethos, reduced refit charges, elimination of tyre storage requirements, reduced vehicle downtime, greater driver uptime and improved driver convenience all support cost savings for fleet managers. An added bonus includes increased driver safety, especially at times of the year when the weather here in the UK changes unexpectedly and drivers are still driving on summer wheels.

Yes, times are challenging right now, but if LCV fleet operators make informed decisions when it comes to tyres and maintenance, they can dramatically reduce costs associated with repairs, refits and reduced vehicle downtimes.