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Tyre pressures key to saving fuel and money – Michelin

Haulage operator B.P. McKeefry is hoping to save money on fuel and tyres after taking specialist tyre pressure advice from Michelin. Michelin’s technical specialists conducted an axle-weighing exercise on key vehicles in the fleet and recommended fine tuning tyre inflation pressures.

Front steer pressures have risen from 120 psi to 130 psi, and drive pressures from 90 psi to 95 psi. Trailer pressures were also raised slightly, from 125 psi to 130 psi. The new inflation pressure settings have been tailored specifically to the vehicle configurations, payloads and type of work being undertaken by the customer.

B.P. McKeefry Director Andy Hare says fuel economy and tyres are key to potential cost savings for the company across its fleet of 100 trucks and 200 trailers.

“I’m convinced the pressure adjustments recommended by Michelin will contribute to longer tyre life and improved fuel economy. We’re trialing the new pressuresinitially on our southern fleet; if beneficial, we’ll roll them out nationwide,” says Hare.

Because B.P. McKeefry operates its fleet in a variety of demanding environments, Hare says it was important to get reassurance from Michelin that the pressure changes would not impact tyre traction.

“Much of our work includes moving sludge amongst sewage recycling plants and then to agricultural land,” says Hare. “Beyond saving money, it is critical for us to get the tyre pressures right because we are operating on mixed terrain and need to be sure of the best grip and overall tyre performance.”

As part of its commitment to the best performance, B.P. McKeefry has had a contractual relationship with Michelin to supply all its tyres for the last eight years. Its main vehicle type is a 6×2 tractor unit running Michelin’s

295/80 R 22.5 XZE2+ tyres on the steer axles and a 295/80 R 22.5 XDE2 Remix fitment on the drive axles. The tractors are most often coupled with tri-axle tanker-bodied trailers fitted with 385/65 R 22.5 XTE3 tyres for predominantly road work, or 385/65 R 22.5 XZY3 tyres, which offer enhanced grip and damage resistance when accessing country tracks and farms.

Previous studies by Michelin have shown that incorrect tyre pressures can have a significant impact on both fuel economy and tyre life. A 10 per cent reduction in a tyre’s suggested inflation pressure means around 13 per cent loss of tyre life, and around 1.5 per cent reduction in fuel efficiency, not to mention increased carbon dioxide emissions.

B.P.McKeefry has benefited from long tyre life through its relationship with Michelin, Hare says, thanks to the tyre manufacturer’s Four Lives policy, under which a set of new tyres can subsequently be re-grooved, remixed, and then re -grooved again. The company services its Michelin tyres through tyre supplier ATS Euromaster.

“Our work often means short-notice emergencies arise in different parts of the country, where we’ll suddenly be sending a fleet of vehicles which might be based there for several weeks or months,” says Hare. “One call to ATS Euromaster and they are ready to support us, ensuring the right Michelin tyres are available locally, to minimise any downtime.”

Michelin is one of a number of major suppliers to B.P. McKeefry, which has supported a new initiative to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The manufacturer has sponsored the customer’s latest Crossland Tankers trailer, helping to raise more than £7,567 for the charity

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