Passenger transport operator Abellio has appointed Michelin solutions to supply, fit and manage the tyres across its 800-strong bus fleet on a cost-per-mile EFFITIRES contract for the next five years. It sees Abellio return to fitting Michelin after moving to a rival manufacturer in 2012. The new agreement has been structured to deliver maximum compliance and safety for Abellio’s fleet of single and double-deck buses.
As part of the agreement, Abellio will become involved in new product testing for Michelin to support the development of the company’s next generation of urban tyres – expected to bring further improvements in fuel efficiency, durability, safety and noise.
Jon Eardley, Engineering Director at Abellio UK Bus, says: “At the start of the tender process we set out our requirements which centred around road safety, product quality, price and fuel economy – and Michelin solutions demonstrated it could meet the full spectrum of what we wanted early in the process, even answering our questions before we’d asked them. They clearly understood the product and support requirements of operating in a heavy urban bus environment as well as the cost pressures of being a fixed revenue business, and provided us with transparent pricing at every stage.”
Mark Wallace, Group Procurement Manager at Abellio Group, explains: “It quickly became apparent from our meetings that Michelin solutions wanted to put in place the foundations for a close working partnership between our teams, which was extremely important to Abellio. This new tyre provision contract will provide a real boost for our UK bus operations.”
As well as seeking board approval for the move back to Michelin, Eardley spoke to his workshop teams who gave the change in policy a unanimous ‘thumbs-up’.
Commenting on the new deal, Paul Davey, Commercial Director of Michelin solutions North Europe, says: “We were ready to hit the ground running from day one of the contract commencing, and we’re already demonstrating the positive impact we can have on Abellio’s fleet. They don’t rest on their laurels and they don’t expect suppliers to do that, either. It’s a fantastic customer to win back.”
To support the new agreement, Michelin solutions has placed a team of tyre fitters into Abellio bus garages to carry out all tyre management. This same team will ensure a 100 per cent Michelin policy is adhered to across the fleet, replacing the current mixture of Bridgestone and associated group brands, as wear dictates.
From October 2017, all new vehicles joining the fleet – currently comprised of ADL buses – will be proactively specified with Michelin tyres as original equipment. At the commencement of the new contract, senior engineering managers from Abellio attended a dedicated Michelin training course at the manufacturer’s training centre in Stoke-on-Trent, which included key modules on tyre construction from Michelin’s newly launched Driver CPC course. The training proved so valuable, Abellio has committed to sending a minimum of 120 of its team and key stakeholders on Michelin’s Driver CPC training course during the second half of the year.