Ringtons develops thirst for Michelin winter tyres


Tea company Ringtons, a proud family business steeped in history, is adapting its tyre policy to ensure it can continue to deliver to customers across the UK on time, every time.

The Newcastle-based firm will progressively roll out a Michelin winter tyre policy for its fleet of 220 VW Caddy commercials, following a trial during winter 2014/15 which demonstrated a clear improvement in mobility throughout the colder weather.

Operations Manager of Ringtons, Stephen Killinger, says: “We serve up to 250,000 customers a year and we can’t let winter weather hold up our deliveries, so we were keen to see what difference winter rubber would make to our operation.

“The trial proved a resounding success; our drivers reported improved traction when accelerating, better grip in the corners and reduced stopping distances during winter conditions. Given the importance of our fleet and the crucial role our drivers play in our operation, introducing winter tyres for all vans has made perfect sense.”

More than 100 years ago Ringtons founder Samuel Smith saw the potential of delivering high quality, fresh tea and other products direct to customers’ doors and although the business now uses Caddy vans rather than a horse and cart, it still believes in delivering its goods personally.

Killinger continues: “Our drivers can make up to 150 drops a day, and our customers know we will deliver no matter what the conditions are outside. Winter tyres have given me further confidence in our ability to deliver and keep our drivers safe.”

Ringtons enjoys an extensive customer base, delivering tea, coffee, biscuits, gifts and homeware from 35 sites to homes throughout the UK, as well as supplying wholesalers, hotels, businesses and restaurants – each of which depend on its reliability.

The company switched to Michelin tyres six years ago, across its fleet, and

Killinger praises the support he receives: “We knew that we were getting an excellent tyre when we chose Michelin, but the support we have received since the move is why we have had such a long and positive relationship with them. Their team has supported us as we run trials and we can always take advantage of their technical expertise.”

Ringtons also maintains a fleet of 30 company cars, each specified with fuel-efficient Michelin Energy Saver+ tyres. Killinger says his own car travelled more than 46,000 miles before replacing his front two Michelin tyres, and he doesn’t expect the rear tyres will need replacing for a further 12 months. Key to this efficiency and durability is Michelin's Total Performance ethos – a commitment to constantly push the boundaries of tyre performance across a wide range of criteria.


Michelin, the leading tyre company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tyres for every type of vehicle, including aircraft, automobiles, bicycles/motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. It also offers electronic mobility support services on and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in more than 170 countries, has 111,200 employees and operates 67 production plants in 17 different countries. The Group has a Technology Centre in charge of research and development with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (