Marc Preedy, managing director, replacement sales and retread at Goodyear, says many fleet managers are faced with difficult decisions about how to replace vehicles nearing the end of their lives.
He said: “There are several factors making this process difficult, not least of all being the cost of replacement.
“With the cost of fuel crisis intensifying, difficulties in the availability of qualified and experienced drivers and plenty of fleets only just bouncing back from the pandemic, purchasing new vehicles might not be on the cards for some operators.”
Another major challenge is the availability of the vehicles themselves.
Due to a number of supply chain delays a fleet manager who orders a new van or commercial vehicle may be experiencing delivery delays.
As a result, Preedy said many operators are opting – whether by choice or out of necessity – to refurbish their vehicles, as opposed to replacing them.
He said: “A knock-on effect of this that we’ve seen is that customers are eager for ways of extending the lifespan of their existing vehicles.
“The aim of the game has become to get as much mileage out of an asset as feasibly possible.”
Goodyear’s own Sustainable Reality Survey has found that many fleets are actively working towards a greener future.
While switching to alternative fuels for vans is one way to do this, Preedy said some operators are not in a position to do so, either for financial reasons and a lack of infrastructure.
Preedy said: “We’re seeing a huge amount of interest in re-treading, which is a perfect example.
“More and more fleets are considering these sorts of solutions, partly to get the most out of their existing assets but also to operate in a more sustainable way.
“Sustainable from an environmental perspective, by not simply discarding a used tyre, but also from a financial perspective, by eliminating the need to regularly buy brand new products.”