A meeting was held in Dublin in the last few weeks to discuss a report that has been commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG) that will directly affect your business. Ulster Tyres wants to make you aware of what is happening.
The report carried out by RPS was a review of the current arrangements for TRACS and TWRA and also the recycling models used in the Ireland. In short how we in the business record our flows of waste (tyres in & out) and how we physically remove the waste from our business. This report recommends “that the scope of the current PRI should be changed to improve the environmentally sound management of waste tyres. It is recommended that the DECLG changes the 2007 Tyres and Waste Tyre Regulations to make producers and importers responsible for the financing the collection of waste tyres from tyre suppliers” (Page56)
Ulster Tyres are an importer as are every other wholesaler operating in ROI. The “manufacturers” Goodyear Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone etc… will also be treated in the same way as importers. We ALL will be liable for the cost of recording and recycling at the point of entry. If the PRI is levied at say €4.00 per tyre. It more than likely will be passed on to the retailers. The report also say suggests “If similar developments in Northern Ireland are too slow, the DECLG should progress with the establishment of PRI responsible for the collection and treatment of waste tyres in any case.” (Page54)
You would think that’s great! You can buy all your tyres cheaper in the north but that’s not the case. You the retailer then becomes the importer and your still liable for the levy. There are no winners in this scheme. RPS have indicated in discussions with relevant parties representing the bulk of the tyre industry that they intend on foot of the report to introduce a full Produce Responsibility Obligation (PRO). They have invited interested parties from the industry to form a working group. The closing date for submissions was 31st Jan. 2014. ITIA & ITWRA are putting candidates forward. Its impossible to predict which way this will go. Perhaps we stand a better chance if we all sound the same? We all looked the same? These negotiations will affect us all whether we wish them to or not. Ignoring it wont help. Can you be sure that those who are in the know will represent your interests best?
2014 should be the time when collectively as an industry we took change of what direction we want to go in. Profit is hard to come by. We believe at Ulster Tyres that we if all took responsibility for being the best we can be, tyres that are legal and without fault, clean & tidy workshops & signed up to a scheme, we might stand a chance of looking half respectable. If nothing else, we will be taken seriously.
The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) Annual General Meeting takes place at the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on Saturday, March 8th at 4.00pm
The Independent Tyre Wholesalers & Retailers Association (ITWRA) will hold its AGM on Friday, April 25th at 4.00pm. at the Horse and Jockey Hotel., Thurles, Co. Tipperary. All members are welcome to attend.
After the worst winter storms to hit Ireland and the UK for two decades, drivers are being reminded about the need for more regular tyre checks. With its potential to cause aquaplaning, standing water remains a major hazard in many parts of the Ireland and the UK, while damaged road surfaces also presents a different tyre related challenge. However, by taking just a few minutes to inspect your tyres regularly, TyreSafe advises that the impact of these issues can be reduced.
“Although floods in many areas are starting to subside, motorists are still faced with a couple of serious tyre related challenges which can be minimised if they spend a few moments regularly checking their tyres,” advises Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
“The checks are incredibly easy to make, but they could make the world of difference to your safety on the road.” While driving through deep flood water has a wide range of associated risks and should be tackled with extreme caution, smaller areas of standing water may be less easy to avoid but equally dangerous.
On vehicles equipped with tyres that have insufficient or low levels of tread depth, water between the tyres and the road surface may not be removed quickly enough. This layer of water builds up in front of the tyres until the tyre loses contact with the road surface. This loss of traction, or aquaplaning, causes the wheels to slip and prevents the vehicle from responding to steering, braking or acceleration. As a result, the vehicle can lose control, starting to skid or spin dangerously.
To reduce the risk of aquaplaning, drivers are advised to check the tread depth of their tyres. New tyres often have a tread depth of around 8mm, far greater than the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm, which makes them much more efficient at removing water and able to cope with standing water.
Any drivers unfortunate enough to suffer from aquaplaning should heed the advice of organisations such as the AA who recommend holding the steering wheel lightly and lifting off the throttle until the tyres regain grip.
Meanwhile, damaged road surfaces and potholes caused by the recent wet weather also present another significant tyre safety hazard. When tyres hit large potholes, they have the potential to be suffer internal damage which could cause the tyre to fail catastrophically, leaving the driver unable to control the vehicle.
Consequently, drivers are being advised to inspect the condition of their tyres at least once a month, and even more frequently if they know they’ve hit a pothole. In particular, drivers should look for cuts, lumps or bulges in the tyre and also check the tyre pressures regularly in case the wheel rim itself has been damaged.
“Checking your tyres may see like an unnecessary or daunting task, but in the current conditions it’s even more important than normal,” adds Jackson. “Of course, if you’re not sure what to do then simply pop into your local tyre professional who will be able to inspect things properly and advise you of any issues.”
WINTER & ALL SEASON
This time of year is normally a busy time for most tyre outlets. The steady stream of enquiries about snow/cold weather tyres and all season/weather tyres never seems to dampen. We thought it would be a good time to refresh everyone’s knowledge on what’s the key differences between these different tyres.
ALL WEATHER/ALL SEASON TYRE
These offer the driver the happy medium, they combine the best attributes of both a summer and winter tyre to produce and ALL SEASON. This tyre can be fitted 365 days a year and avoids the need for change in Spring and Autumn. These can often be a great buy those who spend a lot time in their cars… taxi drivers, man with a van etc… They have a tread pattern that is more heavily siped than a summer pattern but not as heavily siped as an out and out winter tyre.
COLD WEATHER/WINTER TYRES
As vehicle design and technology has advanced over the years – tyres have done the same to cope with heavier faster cars with more advanced braking systems. Because other parts of the world have extreme winter versus summer conditions, winter tyres have been specially developed over many years and work best in temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius. They look like normal tyres but perform differently.
Cold weather/winter tyres gives significant safety advantages in wet and icy conditions – up to a bus length and a half shorter stopping distance! Their superior grip helps maintain control.
If you see a winter tyre up close, you’ll spot that the tread is different to a more conventional summer tyre. The contact patch of a winter tyre is more rugged: they’re covered in thousands of sipes. On snow, it’s these little crevices that bite into the soft stuff, giving the driver grip. A regular tyre’s channels quickly become clogged with compacted snow and effectively become a racing slick, hence the Bambi-on-frozen-lake handling.
They cost about €1,500 a set (or €375 a tyre) but unlike a road-car tyre, which can last in the region of 15,000 miles, they are built for performance.
Pirelli has four different types of tyre to use over the entire 19-race Formula 1 season. At each race, the company supplies two types of tyre, both of which must be used by each driver at some point in the race.
The two types are called ‘prime’ and ‘option’, but each can be any one of the four different tyres – ‘super
soft’, ‘soft’, ‘medium’ and ‘hard’. In the pit stop, three people working each wheel – one to operate the wheel gun, one to take the old tyre off and one to put the new one on. They lock onto the single central wheel nut, spinning up the gun and getting the nut undone within around 0.6s. During this time, the jack men lift the car up a couple of inches to give clearance for the wheels to be removed.
When the gun is clear, the wheel men whip off the old wheel and put on the new one, a process that typically takes less than a second, before the gunman locks back onto the nut and tightens it at the required torque level, taking approximately another 0.6s.
Wheel nuts are now encased inside the rims to prevent them spinning off and their threads are shorter to allow the wheels to fully lock on in three turns rather than six.
How fast could your tyre fitters do it?
There has been a spate of tyre related press articles recently, none of which have put tyres/our industry in a positive light.
The one story most people are familiar with is the British Grand Prix. In total, six drivers suffered tyre failures during the race at Silverstone. Tyres all exploded at high speed after suffering punctures. Pirelli has blamed the way the Formula 1 teams run their cars for the series of tyre failures during the British Grand Prix.
Pirelli attributed blame to the teams mounting the rear tyres the wrong way around, running low tyre pressures, using extreme cambers and what it described as “high kerbs” at Silverstone. If any of these F1 cars pulled into your forecourt for a tyre change, wouldn’t you be pointing out some of these basics as well?
A few weeks ago, BBC Breakfast fetured the story of the bus crash in Surrey. The coach was travelling from Bestival on the Isle of Wight when the tyre, said to be nearly 20 years old, burst. Just last week, Continental reported 16.7 percent or one in six cars in Ireland were found to have a tyre at or below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm. The survey showed that nearly half of the cars tested (48 %) had at least one tyre that was at or below 3mm of tread depth…a cynic might say that tells us, there’s plenty of work out there!
These are just some of the major tyre related stories that have made the news in the 6-8 weeks. Do you ever wonder how these stories impact your business? How do you maximise repeat business?