The world’s number one tyre and rubber company is continually testing its range against its competitors to provide projected wear rate and estimated life, which can then offer tangible evidence of its worth to each customer.

Bridgestone’s regional sales manager Richard Kelter and the company’s technical team are constantly looking at the pounds and pence associated with its tyres, as seen in regular evaluations between its R-STEER and R-DRIVE products and competitor tyre offerings.

The formula is a straightforward one:

Measuring the tread depth level of a new tyre versus the mileage recorded (over a certain period of time) gives a wear rate (km/mm) and projected tyre life (km to 3mm) thereafter.

Underpinning all of this is a tried and trusted working relationship with each fleet, to allow access to their commercial vehicles to carry out the research in the first place.

In this regard, Shirley’s Transport in Stoke allowed Bridgestone to switch the original equipment of some of its new Iveco Stralis trucks to carry out some analysis.

A total of 179,000km was run on Bridgestone’s R-STEER001 and R-DRIVE001 tyres, with the wear rate at 25,956 and 13,857 respectively and a projected tyre life of 371,485 and 249,453km respectively.

When comparing this to some of Bridgestone’s competitors – who were tested at the same time – these statistics proved compelling.

Arthur Shirley, whose entire fleet of 60 trucks and 110 trailers are fitted with Bridgestone, said that the various tyre evaluations offer real value to his business.

Arthur’s close relationship with Bridgestone - and its nearby Lodge Tyres garage which is part of the Bridgestone Partner network – then add a further sense of significance to the data.

Bridgestone Partner’s mission statement is to provide joined-up, strategic partnerships to maximise the life of each and every tyre fitted.

Arthur said: “The back-up that Bridgestone offers goes a long way. It is massively important.

“The relationship we have with Richard at Bridgestone and Lodge Tyres means they can be at my business almost immediately to check a single tyre on a specific vehicle if necessary. That goes a long way.

“We did purchase a new truck which wasn’t fitted with Bridgestone tyres recently. It did 20,000km less than we would expect and while other factors can come into play such as driving style and weather conditions, you can’t ignore the statistic. If this was carried over our entire fleet, then that is a lot of money.

“Bridgestone’s research on our new trucks also back this up.

“Overall, we have fewer breakdowns and less time lost on the roads by opting for Bridgestone’s products.

“But just as importantly is having good relationships that you can rely on. Bridgestone almost knows my company as well as I do. Lodge Tyres are similarly well placed and because of this, I can enjoy a strengthened service based on trust.”

Richard Kelter added: “Lodge Tyres are part of the Bridgestone Partner network and they don’t hesitate in contacting me, even first thing on a Saturday morning, if they need a second opinion on a tyre.

“By visiting the fleet, giving our analysis and providing bespoke reports thereafter, we’d like to think we strengthen our relationship.”

Frank Field, branch manager at Lodge Tyres in Stoke-on-Trent, said that Bridgestone’s premium tyre offering was invaluable to his business.

“Bridgestone’s overriding strength lies in its product. There is no getting away from that. It really is excellent.

“Every time there is a query with Shirley’s Transport, I can call Richard or a colleague and they will be straight out to assist.

“Availability is a big issue for us as well. With Bridgestone, the availability is there nine times out of 10. Again, this is really important to us as a business.”

Richard concluded: “Bridgestone has spent a great deal of time in developing a more consultative, partnership-based relationship with its fleet customers and this is where we can see the biggest change in commercial tyre support over the past 10 years.

“We expect this new way of working to underpin our offering in the future.”

For more information about Bridgestone, visit http://www.bridgestone.co.uk/truck-and-bus/


Arthur Shirley and Richard Kelter