Today’s consumers are keeping their vehicles longer and are more aware of the importance of preventive maintenance and scheduled servicing to maximise the lifetime value of their vehicles. With a record 38.2 millionvehicles on UK roads, companies that offer mobile repairs are in high demand. Andy Jones, managing director at Winton, explains how a tyre and service business in Wales turned to on-vehicle power to boost its revenues.

The march of the brand new car once seemed unstoppable. Cheap finance fuelled a boom in new cars, accounting for more than 80 per cent of all new registrations over the last few years. However, uncertainty, new testing rules and the decline of diesel have combined to hit the market hard. In September there was a 20 per centfall in sales, compared with the same month last year.

The fact that consumers are keeping hold of their cars for longer is good news for the car repair and servicing sector. But for small businesses, having the best tools for the job is critical for them to take advantage of any upturn in demand.

When Carmarthenshire Tyre Services, a full-service tyre fitting and repair business located in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Ebbw Vales in South Wales, decided to grow its business by adding mobile breakdown services, having the right kit was key to its success.

The company has grown since its inception in 2004 and it now operates seven breakdown vans, employing 15 staff. With a 24-hour tyre breakdown service, the business relies on compressed air to deliver a fast and efficient service to customers round the clock.

Vehicle mechanics depend on this in order to detect problems with existing tyres and to replace them. Reliability was also a critical consideration – the team depends on the system operating for often long periods of time while the breakdown service is out on the road.

“In the past, I have used conventional diesel compressors, but they were always very noisy and heavy,” Delme Owens, managing director at Carmarthenshire Tyre Services, said. “When I opened my own business, I decided to try a number of different on-board systems. However, as I was familiar with Winton from a previous job, its solutions quickly became the natural choice for us.”

As is the case for any small, growing business, costs needed to be kept in check in the initial phase of the company’s development. “When we considered the set-up costs of Winton on-board systems, compared to competitors, it was clear that there was only one winner” Delme Owens continued.

Carmarthenshire Tyre Services opted for Winton’s on-vehicle power system which included a compressor and generator. The benefit of this solution is that it provides the flexibility to work with a variety of vehicle sizes, from standard cars and vans to heavy goods vehicles.

Ideal for mobile tyre-fitting operators, these systems provide sufficient compressed air to remove, refit and inflate HGV tyres with pressures up to 175psi (12bar). A constant air supply is provided, without the need for additional air tanks that would require statutory testing.

“We supply and fit tyres for everything from a wheelbarrow to a crane, so we need a system that is flexible enough to cope with a variety of jobs,” Delme Owens said. “Winton on-board systems are the market leader in my eyes and reliability is key. Winton gives me that, with a back-up service we can rely on. Air delivery is clean and instant all the time, with the added benefits of weight and space saving within the vans.”