Leading car transporter company ECM’s 30-year relationship with Goodyear and its FleetFirst services has not only resulted in ensuring minimum downtime for vehicles, reduced administration and lower cost of ownership but also in the development of special unique tyres tailored for its operations. The latest of these tyres went into service recently.
Recognized as Europe’s Leading Vehicle Logistics Provider and established over 35 years ago, ECM (Vehicle Delivery Service) Ltd has a car transporter fleet that comprises 520 specialist vehicles. These enable ECM to make around 1.3 million vehicle deliveries each year for many of the world’s leading manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land-Rover, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot Citroen, Toyota and Volkswagen. With such high-value cargo and strict collection and delivery deadlines, total reliability is essential making tyres and their maintenance critical elements. But unlike most other transport companies that operate standard trailers, ECM’s custom-built car transporters require special tyres. These allow extra internal platform width and low chassis height to maximise the capacity of the trailers which can carry up to 11 cars.
To keep within external width regulations and still have space for the vehicles being carried to pass inside the wheel arches, the trailer tyres must be narrow. Not only that but a 7100kg axle load is essential, and to add to the special requirements, the proximity of wheel arches to the tyres leaves little space for heat dissipation. Goodyear’s engineers in Luxembourg had previously produced a specific car transporter tyre for ECM about five years ago. This was a Goodyear LHT II tyre in size 275/70R22.5 152J for a new trailer.
The tyre Goodyear has introduced this year to meet ECM’s latest need, is in size 295/60R22.5 152J and is a development of the Goodyear RHS II as a specific trailer tyre. The tyre features an increased load/speed rating, and a specific tread compound that provides cool running capability. After intense field evaluation, the new trailer tyre was proven to work well under car transporter trailer conditions and is FRT (Free Rolling Tyre) marked as a result. Both this and the tyre that was developed earlier now form part of the Goodyear Dunlop truck tyre portfolio.
“ECM and Goodyear have a long and very successful partnership; in fact, the relationship is more like a team. Thanks to the services we offer within our FleetFirst programme, we are able not only to provide ECM with all the tyre-related support they require but also where and when they need it,” said Nigel Sowerby, Director Retail & Service Development Goodyear Dunlop EMEA. “When they acquired new trailers that required specific specialist tyres our technical team developed suitable products that meet all their requirements in terms of dimensions, load capacity, heat dissipation and traction.”
UK-based ECM has worked with Goodyear as its tyre partner for 30 years with TruckForce providing the necessary on-site services at ECM’s 40 locations. One of the key elements of the partnership is FleetOnlineSolutions (FOS). The unique Goodyear online tyre management programme allows ECM to focus on its delivery schedules, while ensuring minimum downtime and reduced administration. It further ensures that wherever tyre-related assistance is needed, the local TruckForce centre has access to all details of the fleet’s tyre policy as well as taking care of invoicing at agreed rates. This ensures correct and fast service along with simplified invoicing.
“Our partnership with Goodyear and its TruckForce service network goes back 30 years, helping us to keep ahead in a very competitive industry. It has helped us maximise performance as well as bringing down our Total Cost of Ownership,” said Paul Rymer, Workshop Manager ECM. “As a result, It gives me confidence that I can go into work on a Monday morning knowing that everything is fine.”
ECM also utilises Goodyear’s ServiceLine24h service, which provides round-the-clock roadside assistance for tyre related issues.