Food manufacturer achieves ‘staggering’ fuel efficiency savings through new tyres

Ginsters Cornish Pasty brand owner, Samworth Brothers, has significantly enhanced the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet through the use of energy-saving Michelin tyres, according to the findings of a year-long trial.

After pitting its tyres against another premium brand, the Leicestershire-based baked goods firm found Michelin’s ‘regional’ tread pattern tyres to be 1.19 more fuel efficient. The trial revealed that around 252 tonnes of CO2 emissions has been reduced annually across Samworth Brothers’ national fleet of 124 tractor units and 200 refrigerated trailers.

“It was staggering to see how much fuel can be saved by fitting Michelin tyres,” said Ian Cooper, vehicle maintenance unit manager at Samworth Brothers’ Leicester depot. “The test confirmed that when it comes to tyres, you get what you pay for.”

The trial compared the performance of a set of 315/70 R 22.5 Michelin X MultiWay 3D XZE all-position and XDE drive tyres against a peer competitor, both fitted to identical MAN TGX 6×2 tractor units.

The Michelin fitments’ projected run-out mileage was more than 60,000km greater than the competitor tyres. According to Michelin, the durability of its tyre model means Samworth Brothers will buy 55 fewer steel axle tyres and 69 fewer drive axle tyres per year than under the competitor policy.

Samworth Brothers currently operates Michelin tyres on around 80% of its tractor and 70% of its trailer fleet, which run 24/7 on a double-shift basis. Each vehicle clocks up to 250,000km/year while transporting chilled products to regional distribution centres in Bristol, Callington, Leicester and Penrith.

Rubber soul

With 32 million tonnes of material used each year by the tire industry, and three-quarters of this material of fossil origin, Michelin has itself recognised the need to position sustainability at the heart of its business model. The firm plans to halve the environmental footprint of its industrial activities by 2020 and reduce the CO2 emissions caused by tire use by 10%, while reducing its raw material consumption. 

The tyre giant has launched a series of innovative projects with a view to developing a bio-butadiene production sector using ethanol from biomass, named BioButterfly. Meanwhile, in 2015, the firm signed a major agreement with WWF hinged around plans to ensure a natural rubber supply, combat deforestation and contribute to CO2 sequestration by using rubber trees which can absorb large mounts of carbon dioxide.

Michelin is also now working alongside tyre experts to help to structure sectors for collecting and recycling tyres at the end of their life cycle. In total, 80% of the tyre marketed by Michelin have been collected and processed in each country by approved or certified sectors.

George Ogleby

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