Leading Scottish quarrying and supply company, Tillicoultry Quarries, has implemented a Continental construction tyres only policy following several months of practical on-the-job testing. Speaking from its company’s Kincardine site in Fife, Craig Wilson, Site & Transport Manager, said, “For a long time we had run a combination of remoulds and ‘budget’ tyres. We were experiencing significant downtime however, 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.”
The Tillicoultry Quarries’ fleet numbers over 40 vehicles. The majority are six and eight wheel tippers and mixers, though it also runs half a dozen tractor units and ten trailers. The fleet works in and out of the company’s eleven 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, as Craig Wilson noted, is demanding, involving running into and out of the company’s mix of hard rock, 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.
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. The company estimates its fleet spends a considerable amount of its time operating in harsh off-road conditions.
Craig Wilson commented further, “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 down time for drivers and late deliveries. 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 theses Continental tyres have given us is worth far more than any straight-forward cost savings.”
Family member and director of the firm, Wallace Menzies, adds, “We’ve been an independent family-owned business for 85 years, started in Tillicoultry to service the local market. Today we’re one of the largest suppliers of quarried and manufactured products in Central Scotland, delivering just as happily to large civil construction projects looking for thousands of tons, as we do to the private individual. We’re at the forefront when it comes to quality and service, and we focus closely on reliable efficient transport practices to keep us there.”
Tillicoultry Quarries also use the Continental Casing Management programme, whereby their worn tyres are returned to Continental to be inspected and graded, and then either re-used in the production of Continental’s retreaded range ‘ContiRe’ or scrapped and disposed of responsibly.
Such is the firm’s focus on tyres nowadays, the company has also invested in training courses from local specialist companies to take drivers through enhanced awareness on tyre and wheel checks, as well as changing where necessary.
Craig also gets monthly updates from his local Continental Tyres manager, Barry Crockett, which he describes as, “Very useful in terms of keeping abreast of technology advances with tyres and their running, as well as monitoring current performance and planning for the future.”