When the going gets tough, the tough get going. CVW visits Collins Earthworks whose 100+ strong fleet are putting Continental rubber through its paces.
After almost a decade of partnership, transport and earthworks firm, Collins Earthworks, continues to be impressed by the service standards afforded to it by leading fleet service provider, Tyre Maintenance (TM). The long-standing contract now sees Continental’s CrossTrac steer, drive and trailer tyres fitted exclusively to its 100+ strong haulage fleet.
Established in 2000, midlands-based Collins has built a strong reputation for its work on major public and private sector infrastructure projects. The business has been involved with high-profile motorway upgrades, as well as in the construction of new business parks, distribution gateways and rail freight terminals. In addition to transportation and earthworks, the company offers demolition, ground stabilisation, training services and, more recently, construction and building services.
“Though I’ve only been with Collins Earthworks for three years, the relationship I inherited was a good one,” explains workshop manager, Richard Williams. “Due to the size of the business, it makes sense for us to look after our own maintenance – TM is our tyre retailer. We do, on occasion, also utilise their fitting service at our other depot when we’re particularly busy. It’s always brilliantly managed and carried out perfectly – a lifeline, especially considering the shortage of tyre fitters.
“One of the biggest compliments I can give to TM is that they give us no reason to change suppliers,” Richard adds. “They’re reliable, consistent and always keen to make sure that we’re happy. Our TM sales manager, Darren, often comes to meet us in person and is always glad to share his knowledge. He’ll advise if there’s anything else we could be doing to the running on our trucks to maximise tyre longevity and performance. We trust him to make the right decision on tyre supply based on our needs.”
Collins Earthworks made the switch to Continental rubber around five years ago. Although they occasionally trial tyres from other manufacturers, the company has stayed loyal to the marque.
“Again, for us, Continental hasn’t given us a reason to move tyre suppliers,” Richard says. “We like that we’re using the same product range across every truck and on every wheel. Continental is a premium brand, which fits into our ethos of using only premium equipment.
“Our transport division is primarily focused on the facilitation of earthworks. That means the movement of heavy plant equipment, the haulage of construction supplies and the removal of waste. We can be managing loads of anything between one and 170 tonnes in gross weight. The tyres are also facing an assault from the rough and sharp surfaces on which they travel. Overall, they stand up to the task exceptionally well. We have a very strict service policy, which keeps them within their optimal window of performance.”
All new vehicles ordered by Collins Earthworks are supplied from the factory on Continental CrossTrac tyres. Richard reports that his most recent truck and trailer arrivals are still on their original tyres – some 14 months after delivery.
“Wear is consistent and evenly spread across the tyre,” claims Richard, “and the overall tread design really does help to prevent damage. Both the cost and reputational implications of a breakdown are huge. Given the immense weights we can carry, we often require road closures and police escorts. A failure in these circumstances can cause unimaginable difficulties for our business, our customers and those services on which we depend.
“We struggle to fault TM’s service and the performance of the Continental tyres,” Richard concludes. “Time is the ultimate premium, and both allow my team and I to focus as much as possible on other demands. We know what we’re getting and there’s huge value in that.”