Optimise your tyres’ lifespan
Good tyres can have an impact on a company’s bottom line, and Michelin’s 4 life package aims to do so positively, reducing cost per kilometre (cpk) due to the possibility of rejuvenating its tyres.
Michelin has the confidence in the quality of its tyres to view its products as having three ‘lives’ or service stages.
First life – smart investment
The life of a Michelin tyre begins with the initial, clever design of the product – done in such a way that they can later be regrooved and retreaded. The composition of the compounds used – the quality of black carbon and a high percentage of natural rubber – ultimately affect the tyres’ resistance to abrasion and damage, reducing heating and improving skid resistance, handling, noise, road-holding and safety.
Second life – regrooving
Certain tyres may legally be regrooved, and Michelins are among them. According to the company, the regrooved tyres offer the same safety, life span and robustness of tyres in their first life.
Regrooving consists of regenerating the tread-pattern from the existing under-tread of the tyre. To facilitate this, the tyres have an under-tread that is thick enough to allow for high quality regrooving without affecting the crown block or casing.
The under-tread is made of the same compound as that of the original tyre. The service life is thus prolonged by around 25%. This has several advantages, which include fuel savings of up to 6%, continued safety and protection of the environment.
A worn, regrooved tyre can actually have a positive impact on consumption, as a worn tyre has less compound deformation in the tread pattern; it doesn’t become as hot and therefore offers less rolling resistance, which results in less fuel usage..
The big question, of course, is whether it is safe. The regrooving process is not only SABS approved, but the process gives new sharp edges and a tread depth of up to 8 mm – about the same as that of a half-worn tyre. This means that the second life of the tyre sets the tread quality back to what it was halfway through the first life.
Third life – retreads from Recamic
With tyres being on the list of most expensive items for truck and bus fleet operators, quality retreads are essential. Recamic is the company’s retreading arm, and provides the market with an alternative to new tyres. The Recamic factories and equipment are sourced from Northswan Engineering. According to Alexandre Hennion, marketing manager of Michelin Tyre Company South Africa, “Recamic is set apart from its competitors owing to the quality of the tyres’ retreadability.”
Attesting to the positive impact of using Michelin’s retreaded tyres is Balan Moodley, tyre manager of Baker’s Transport, based in KwaZulu-Natal: “We needed to bring down our running costs and become more cost-efficient. Of all the retreading technologies available to truck and bus fleet operators in South Africa, Michelins result in a greatly reduced cpk compared to competitors’ products.”
Just as with regrooving, retreading has positive environment and financial implications: “Every retread produced means one less new tyre and reduces the impact on precious resources such as oil. All things being equal, a retreaded Michelin casing can be recycled up to four or five times, depending on the operation,” says Hennion.
Making the right choices
Michelin has a team of technical service representatives (TSRs) as well as a mobile technical service team that assists the customer with pressure advice, correct application of the tread patterns and surveys. When surveying a customer’s truck or bus fleet, TSRs identify areas where cpk can be improved. These include pressure maintenance, mechanical wear, wearing of suspension components and misalignment that result in irregular wear.