Tea and coffee retailer Ringtons is to reinstate an exclusive Michelin tyre policy after it began fitting mid-range tyres to its 200-strong fleet of light commercial vans two years ago in an attempt to reduce costs.
However, fleet manager Stephen Killinger says using a cheaper product has proved more costly because of an increase in the number of tyres that have needed to be replaced due to a reduction in tyre life.
He said: “We had previously used Michelin but a couple of years ago we made the decision to purchase mid-range tyres which promised to give us a significant cost saving. That turned out to be a false economy as we failed to get the same life from the cheaper tyres that we got from the Michelins.
“Our drivers are stopping and starting all day as they deliver tea and coffee across the UK. It’s pretty tough but if we can fit fewer replacement tyres that means our vans can spend less time in the garage.”
In addition to longevity, Killinger says he is looking forward to the fuel economy benefits of fitting Michelin 195/65 R 15 Energy Saver tyres to Ringtons’ fleet, which last year clocked up a combined 875,000 miles.
“We buy tea and coffee from the most remote corners of the world and our business has very strong ethics. Fuel economy is important to us both in terms of environmental impact and cost savings,” he said.
“As a business we spend £450,000 each year on fuel so any saving we can make is beneficial, especially in the current economic climate. We can expect up to a five per cent increase in miles per gallon because the rolling resistance of the Michelin tyres are that much lower.”
He added: “Michelin is a leading brand. We have always found them to be very professional and they have worked closely with us to ensure we are getting what we need. We expect to make significant savings on tyres, fuel and time. We are quite excited about the switch.”