Tillicoultry Quarries go Continental
Continental construction tyres deliver significant savings for Scottish quarry operator
SCOTTISH quarrying and construction materials supply company Tillicoultry Quarries have implemented a ‘Continental construction tyres only’ policy following several months of practical on-the-job testing.
The company’s site and transport manager, Craig Wilson, said: ‘For a long time we had run a combination of remoulds and ‘budget’ tyres. However, we were experiencing significant downtime as well as the added costs of driver waiting, mechanic call-outs and delayed deliveries, so we implemented a thorough review of our tyre policy.
‘At about that time, our latest batch of Scanias came in with Continental construction tyres fitted, which allowed us to monitor those particularly closely.’
Tillicoultry Quarries’ fleet numbers more than 40 vehicles, the majority of which are six- and eight-wheel tippers and mixers, although the company also runs six tractor units and 10 trailers.
The fleet works in and out of the company’s 11 quarry and processing sites spread across the Central Belt of Scotland, from Clydebridge in the west, up towards Northfield in Denny, along to its Newtongrange site in the east, and further down to Edston, Peebles, in the south.
The work is demanding, involving running into and out of the company’s mix of hard rock and sand and gravel quarries, as well as its asphalt, concrete and recycling sites, and then on and off road for customer deliveries right across the country. The fleet is estimated to spend a considerable amount of its time operating in harsh off-road conditions.
Continental construction tyres (steer HSC1, drive HDC1 and trailer HTC1) have specific on-off road compounds, a four-ply belt with reinforced second and third belts, reinforced side walls and greater tread depth, precisely to cope with this type of work.
Mr Wilson commented: ‘From the moment our latest new batch of Scanias arrived with Continental HSC1 tyres on the steer and HDC1 tyres on the drive axle in spring 2015, a mix of 315/80 22.5 and 295/80 22.5 that we use today, there was an immediate and noticeable improvement.
‘The amount of punctures reduced and tyre wear was instantly improved. We are no longer regularly sending out mechanics to change tyres, and have reduced downtime for drivers and late deliveries.’
He continued: ‘The cost of saved downtime alone is significant over the past year. It’s a considerable cost improvement in its own right, but it goes far deeper than just that. As a company we pride ourselves on meeting delivery promises – we aim to be the best. That means we are very dependent on transport, so the added reliability these Continental tyres have given us is worth far more than any straightforward cost savings.’
Tillicoultry Quarries also use the Continental Casing Management programme, whereby their worn tyres are returned to the maufacturer to be inspected and graded, and either reused in the production of Continental’s ‘ContiRe’ retread range or scrapped and disposed of responsibly.
Such is the quarrying firm’s focus on tyres, it has also invested in training courses from local specialist companies to take its drivers through enhanced awareness on tyre and wheel checks, as well as changing where necessary.
Craig Wilson also gets monthly updates from his local Continental Tyres manager, Barry Crockett, which, he says, are ‘very useful’ for keeping abreast of technology advances with tyres and their running, as well as monitoring current performance and planning for the future.