South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is upgrading its fleet of more than 350 ambulances to a Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tyre policy, in a move to ensure it operates on tyres delivering the best possible performance throughout the year.
Michelin Agilis CrossClimate fitments stand out for being the only premium summer van tyres which offer full winter capability; replacing a policy of fitting Michelin Agilis Alpin winter tyres year-round.
James Nutbrown, West Workshops Area Manager, says: “Every aspect of an ambulance’s specification is critical for us; but particularly the tyres. Our crews are required to make swift progress under blue-light conditions and ensuring their safe mobility in all weathers is paramount.
“Winter tyres have previously served us well, but you pay the price in the summer months with increased tyre wear. Michelin recommended Agilis CrossClimate as a way of benefiting from all the performance advantages of a summer tyre on dry and wet roads, but with guaranteed winter performance built-in when the temperatures drop and in the event of ice or snow.”
The Service is already reporting improved wear rates, with the first sets of Agilis CrossClimate tyres wearing evenly across the surface of the tyre – and tread depth readings pointing to extended replacement intervals.
South East Coast Ambulance Service projects it will have transitioned 100 per cent of its ambulance fleet to Agilis CrossClimate tyres within a matter of weeks.
The new tyres are being supplied by Tructyre ATS, which fits all new rubber for the Service onto spare rims. This enables the customer’s own workshop teams to mount the completed tyre and wheel assemblies onto its vehicles as wear dictates.
Nutbrown explains: “You can’t mix summer and winter tyres, so when an ambulance comes in needing a pair of new tyres we’ve been removing all four or six winter fitments and replacing them with a full set of Agilis CrossClimates. And then we’ve been using up any life left in those tyres on the next vehicle which comes in. It’s proven an effective way of ensuring we extract the full performance from the tyres we already have, whilst introducing the latest generation technology at the same time.”
The Agilis CrossClimate tyres were inspired by Michelin’s CrossClimate+ car tyre range, which is already fitted across the Service’s rapid-response paramedic vehicles. Its all-year round mobility has been achieved by a rugged tread pattern, manufactured with innovative new rubber compounds to promote flexibility in cold temperatures and sidewall and shoulder protection features for improved robustness in service.
Every UK public sector ambulance fleet fits Michelin tyres on a first-choice policy, with the premium tyres delivering long lasting performance and maximum safety for the lifesaving fleets, whilst helping to deliver better value for the taxpayer.
South East Coast Ambulance Service operates a fleet of Fiat Ducato and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulances, with more than 100 new frontline emergency vehicles having joined the fleet within the last 12 months. It has also introduced a specialist new unit of 30 Non-Emergency Transport (NET) ambulances which respond to lower priority calls.
The fleet operates from 33 primary ambulance stations providing cover for 4.75 million people living across an area of 3,600 square miles spanning East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and North East Hampshire