Michelin maintains healthy relationship with Huntapac produce
(Stoke-on-Trent – May 3, 2012) – A Lancashire company responsible for growing, packing and distributing vegetables across the UK has signed a three year tyre contract with Michelin Fleet Solutions, covering its fleet of 48 tractor units, 56 temperature-controlled trailers and 42 tipper trailers.
Under the agreement, Preston-based Huntapac Produce’s in-house transport division, W&J Hunter Transport, will operate its Scania and DAF tractor units on a pence-per-kilometre (PPK) deal, while its trailers will be charged on a standard tyre purchase basis.
The policy sees tractor units fitted with Michelin XZE2+ tyres on the steer and mid-lift axles and XDE2 Remix tyres on the drive axles. The trailers will operate on a mixture of Michelin new and Remix XTE3 tyres – all specific fitments for regional and national operations.
Huntapac Produce’s Transport Manager John Bell explains that the company previously bought Michelin tyres on a transactional basis, but the option of a PPK agreement was attractive as it spread tyre spend across the whole year, vital as the summer months are particularly busy.
He says: “Our tractor units go all over the country – from Cornwall to the Black Isles – with each vehicle racking up more than 200,000km every year. This means we need a tyre that’s reliable, fuel efficient and cost-effective.
“The seasonal nature of our business means tyre wear varies throughout the year, but the Michelin rubber always performs brilliantly. Also, knowing what our tyres are going to cost us in advance makes billing clients far simpler, and means there are no nasty surprises in the busier months.”
ATS Euromaster will act as the service provider on the account, undertaking monthly tyre inspections as well as fitting replacements, regrooving, turning tyres on the rim and twinning. Huntapac Produce will also take advantage of ATS Euromaster’s nationwide fleet of mobile service vans.
W&J Hunter Transport’s main business is transporting carrots and parsnips (as well as lettuce in the summer) from farms to regional distribution centres for some of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains, including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
Bell says there is a narrow timeslot for when goods can be delivered and if missed, can cause huge delays in the supply chain. This is why the company has always fitted Michelins wherever possible.
He adds: “A puncture is a real nightmare scenario from our perspective as it could lead to us missing deliveries. This is another reason why fitting a premium tyre makes sense for our business – Michelin’s track-record for reliability is a major plus point.”
Established in 1942, Huntapac Produce is a third generation family-owned business which originally started by supplying local fruit and vegetable markets in Lancashire and Yorkshire. In recent years it has grown considerably and now operates 24/7, 364 days a year – employing more than 300 staff. Every season, approximately 1,950 acres of carrots are grown, harvested, washed and packed by Huntapac Produce.