Downton rates Bridgestone service as ‘best in the business’22 August 2016

Logistics firm CM Downton has described Bridgestone’s breakdown service as “the best in the business” and says its decision to move to a pence-per-kilometre deal is already paying off.

CM Downton’s chief fleet engineer Geoff Wright, who oversees 1,400 trailers and 550 tractors, says: “All I care about is the uptime of my fleet. A breakdown is every fleet manager’s worst nightmare. Knowing that Bridgestone react so quickly is a big thing for us.”

Downton has extended its agreement with Bridgestone until 2020 and, says Wright, the decision to work with a premium tyre manufacturer – and a PPK agreement in particular – was a no brainer.

“It felt like a risk opting for a PPK deal because there was a worry that the levels of service might not continue as they used to on a pay-as-you-go arrangement.

“But PPK is totally about service. A driver could sneeze and Bridgestone would know about it,” he says.

“My biggest fear was that Bridgestone didn’t own the agent who carried out the maintenance... But I have to say that the service I get is outstanding. Because each Bridgestone Partner dealer is a commercial operation in their own right, they have got to give the best possible service or run the risk of Bridgestone swapping them.”

Choosing a premium tyre product, he adds, is a case of “simple maths”.

“Operators see that a premium brand tyre costs around 20% more than a budget, but the key point is that the premium tyre can be turned on the rim, it can be recut and it can be retreaded due to the casing being cured properly.

“Then there are the pressures being checked regularly and reported on in depth. It is a simple issue but if you get it wrong then the implications are huge.”

Wright adds: “I don’t see tyres as being generic black and round products. They are a commodity that we place a high value on.”

Last year, the Bridgestone Partner network assisted more than 35,000 stranded commercial vehicle operators, taking an average 62 minutes from the first call to the arrival of roadside assistance.

It then took an average of 51 minutes to complete each job, meaning that each vehicle was up and running in less than two hours from the time of the first call.

Pictured are Bridgestone’s commercial sales director Greg Ward (right) with CM Downton’s finance director Richard Downton.

Laura Cork

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Bridgestone UK Ltd

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