Damian James' Blog: 4 January 2011 - Winter rubber
04 January 2011
Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion
The one thing I like about the fleet industry is that there is always a new buzz word or phrase.
The one I'm hearing a lot about at the moment is winter tyres. Whatever publication you read there seems to be some information on winter tyres and what the pros and cons are. If various articles are to be believed the purchase of winter tyres has gone through the roof and fleets are snapping them up.
As a result of a query by one of my drivers I spoke to a couple of leasing companies and neither of them have an option for including winter tyres in a maintenance package as part of a contract hire deal. This means that I would need to set up something separately with a fast-fit supplier directly. Whilst that's not a difficult thing to do, the reason for leasing vehicles with maintenance is so that you don't have to undertake this type of activity.
I'm led to believe that there are also supply issues with some sizes of tyres and as a result some of the wheels have to be downsized to accommodate the new tyres. This means having to buy a set of four wheels as well, which on most alloys is not a cheap option. As a consequence, allegedly some insurance companies are not keen to continue cover without additional premiums due to this being a modification of a vehicle.
It all sounds like a bit of a mess, which is a shame because what with the poor weather we've already experienced this winter, it may be that winter tyres are coming into their own.