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10/11/2017
Beyond Tires

Transport Fleet Services

 

Industrial fleet managers look for efficiency, and wish to purchase it along with the tires, through services that enhance proper maintenance, a simplification of management operations and minimum down-time.

Massimo Condolo

Buying tires, for a fleet of trucks or buses, is no longer a simple agreement between an industrial fleet and a local supplier. It includes a wide range of tire-related services where vehicle efficiency is just as important as the sales agreement per se: monitoring, control, total tire life expectancy including all intermediate steps (re-grooving and retreading) and assistance with fixed terms and costs are some of the most important aspects of the service, with the goal of reducing, through greater efficiency, the total cost of vehicle ownership and harmful emissions. Lately, an increasing number of offers are being integrated with telematic services, such as geo-location and data processing. Virtually all manufacturers offer fleet service packages, which include premium products as well as second and third-line brands, with proposals that, more often than not, involve more than one brand. Among them we find Bridgestone, Goodyear and Marangoni.

 

Bridgestone’s “war” against TCO

Bridgestone grouped its industrial fleet tire management offer, available through the company’s Bridgestone Partner Truck network, under the name Total Tire Care. The system, which aims to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), improve tire management with greater efficiency and transparency, is based on three pillars: new or retreaded tires, monitoring performances and scheduled and predictive maintenance through its Bridgestone Partner members. These are equipped with digital management tools and can access financial services such as “Senza Pensieri” (No Worries), in which the tire dealer receives immediate payment and the customer fleet is able to pay through monthly instalment. Services are divided into three groups called Total Tire Life, Services and Systems. Total Tire Life is based on the supply of new tires with casings specifically designed to be retreaded by Bandag, which guarantee a longer life span even after the retreading process. Total Tire Services provides preventive maintenance and monitoring services through the same Network, which also cares for assistance, technical advice and the management of casings to be retreaded. Reducing the risk of breakdowns can result in cost reductions and increase vehicle efficiency. Bridgestone’s Service Europe assistance service can take and reply to emergency calls in all the major European languages, ​​and last year, 81% of the vehicles assisted were up and running within three hours. The Total Tire System offers tire monitoring software and tools; tire wear is thus kept under control through electronic tools such as Tire Pressure Monitoring System and the Tool Box. The first, responsible of detecting the tire pressure by alerting the fleet manager in case of anomalies, has already been installed on 57 thousand tires in one hundred large European fleets and, in Italy, on 14 thousand tires in 26 large fleet. The second includes computer tools to manage and monitor the fleet’s tires and a system to compare the performance of different tires. Bridgestone’s three pillars mentioned above can count on the support of three different solutions and approaches that are based on the different corporate needs. The Monitor program revolves around periodic visits and inspections to analyze tire conditions and view their performance. the Maintain program includes a more detailed analysis by a Bridgestone consultant, who agrees with the fleet management on the tire management and maintenance policy to be followed and adjust them to the real needs. The Manage program is an outsourced service created to manage the entire tire chain, with 24/7 assistance anywhere and customized package deals.

 

Conti 360° Fleet Services by Continental

Conti360° Fleet Service is Continental Truck Tires’ complete service program dedicated to transport companies with a set amount of prearranged operating costs; these range from monitoring tire working conditions to managing a fleet’s tires and casings portfolio without neglecting road assistance. Traceability, processes, sustainability and performance are just some of the features that characterize the offer. At the bottom of it all we find ContiLifeCycle’s retreading program, responsible for reducing operating costs and harmful emissions. A tire’s second life starts with the retreading process which guarantees, for example, a reduction of 38 kg of CO2 and 26% of raw materials per tire; thanks to the Hurricane Machine, the retreading process is performed with the least possible amount of waste. The ContiBreakdown Road Service program is active 24/7 all year round in 37 different European countries and is able to provide the needed assistance within three hours in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Holland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, UK , Luxembourg and Germany and four hours in a further 25 countries covering the whole of Eastern Europe including Russia. The road side assistance program goes into action following  a call in the customer's language and is performed on site with a mobile workshop, with standard quality and prices throughout the continent and a centralized billing service along with the possibility to obtain timely reports. ContiFitment Service, on the other hand, is a technical consulting  program that helps companies to identify the most suitable tires; Heavy duty vehicles can also benefit from mounting/demounting operations managed directly at the client’s premises through mobile workshops, and what is more, Continental will also manage seasonal tire replacements. The ContiCasingManagement program, as the name highlights, deals with handling and managing a company’s stock of casings and allows the customer to manage regrooving and hot curing processes as well as monitoring the stock itself, besides deciding whether to dispose of the casings or sell them to Continental, as long as they are retreadable, even with worn out treads.  ContiFleetCheck provides regular tire inspections to keep track of performance and conditions. ContiPressureCheck, a modular TPMS system, records, monitors and analyzes tire temperatures and pressures, detecting possible technical failures and subsequent corrective actions. Finally, ContiFleetReporting is the name of a program that allows a complete analysis of the tires in stock and point to possible cost reductions that can be obtainable through Continental products and services.

 

Goodyear, up and running in just two hours

Goodyear’s FleetFirst package includes FleetOnlineSolutions a centralized billing system and a single point of contact for managing tires, reducing administrative costs and obtaining a full overview of the actions taken and still outstanding. FleetOnlineSolutions has already been adopted by more than 350,000 vehicles. In 2016, over 58,000 road-side services were performed, in 31 countries, with an average downtime of just two hours per vehicle. Goodyear ServiceLine24h provides roadside assistance throughout Europe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to minimize vehicle downtime. The vehicle downtime in these cases was only 2 hours on average. Most of the accidents were handled by  TruckForce service providers located throughout Europe, an additional network and a further part of the FleetFirst offer, consisting of over 2,000 dealers in 28 European countries (120 in Italy). The network caters not only for sales and services, but supports the entire life cycle of the tire thanks to information provided by FleetOnlineSolutions. Max Assistance and MaxLease services are also managed by Truck Force. The first is a twelve-month warranty on punctures or accidental damage on several Goodyear tires fitted on 22.5" rims. MaxLease, on the other hand, is a financial service aimed at facilitating the purchase of Goodyear tires within 24 hours of sending the documentation. FleetFirst service would hardly be complete without an adequate retreading service performed within Goodyear’s factories, guaranteeing a longer tire life span maximizing, at the same time, the fleet’s investment, ensuring performance levels comparable to standard new tires. Through Goodyear’s CustomerOwnCasing (COC) program, which involves the use of casings owned by the transporter, Goodyear supports fleet operators in reducing their total cost of ownership. In addition, Goodyear Multiple Life Concept, combines re-grooving and retreading containing costs by up to 10% and increasing mileage by up to 25% compared to using new tires. And last by but no means least, Goodyear Proactive Solutions, which includes two service packages: ProactiveTire and ProactiveFleet. The first follows the tires, monitoring pressures and temperatures via radio frequency sensors in each wheel detecting the depth of the tread thanks to sensors embedded in the tread. The other provides the fleet with vehicle traceability via GPS and an analysis of the behaviour of the driver.

 

Marangoni, flexible approach

Fleet Advantage is the service offered by the Marangoni group through a subsidiary specialized in mileage costs management. Divided into three different lines, the aim is to identify the product that best suits the needs of the transporter, the best maintenance procedures, tire performances, correct replacement time, and tire costs management. The offer provides timely analysis and consulting (to identify the best product for the job, analyze fuel costs and searching for areas where to improve), dedicated reporting (tread wear, fuel optimization and maintenance work), scheduled maintenance (to reduce down-time, prevent breakdowns, increase reliability and comfort and reduce fuel consumption) and assistance (24 hours a day through mobile workshops, with fast response time and costs in line with the service offered). The three offers are called “Strada Facile”, “Flotta Moderna” and “Ruota Libera”. The first is based on three possible approaches. One is mileage-based, with fixed and variable costs, analysis and consulting, tire delivery services, 24-hour assistance, scheduled maintenance and reporting. The second, based on a fixed cost, is calculated on the quantity and type of tires used. Finally, the consumption-based approach does not include reporting (which can be added as optional) and its rates are managed by customer agreements. Flotta Moderna is priced according to the size of the fleet and includes analysis and advice besides tire supply services. Road side assistance and reporting is available as optional. Ruota Libera, instead, is an assistance, consulting and scheduled maintenance service dedicated to those who have their own tires. It is charged according to the size of the fleet, with a fixed monthly payment.

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