This was unexpected; almost unbelievable. In fact, I phoned to double check if the story was true. It wasn’t April 1st so it couldn’t have been an April Fools’ joke. As it turns out, the story was – and is – true. Here’s what it’s all about.
As is well known, tyres are a big operational expense item in many fleets and with the high mileage requirements of heavy vehicles, there is enormous pressure to maximise the overall cost per kilometre (CPK) of a rig. High quality, durable and technologically advanced truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres play a big part in achieving this.
The problem, however, is that no matter how precise operators are in terms of managing their tyres, South Africa road conditions are proving to be the downfall of the best laid plans. Potholes are just one of the killers of tyres and they are all over the place. The damage caused by potholes is costing truck operators a fortune not only through immediate, visible damage requiring tyre replacement (and downtime) but also through the weakening of the structure of a tyre thereby shortening the life of a tyre through tyre impact fractures caused by these awful blinking potholes.
Dunlop’s offering in helping operators achieve a low CPK is its locally manufactured SP835A TBR tyre which, according to the company, ticks all the boxes for long haul, highway travel, delivering premium performance with up to 18% more mileage and low CPK to help reduce fleet costs.
Lubin Ozoux, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), which manufactures the Dunlop, Sumitomo and Falken Tyre brands, says this premium drive tyre in the TBR range has been extensively tested for South African and African road conditions and the positive results derived have led to the announcement of what I thought may have been an April Fool’s joke. Here we go…in the words of Lubin Ozoux.
“We’re so confident in the SP835A tyre that we’ve extended our Dunlop Sure value-added tyre insurance – previously only available on certain passenger tyres, all SUV tyres and Light Truck Radial (LTR) tyres – to the SP835A size 315/80R/22.5 at no additional cost to the customer. This makes us the first tyre manufacturer in South Africa to launch a truck tyre insurance.”
Click here to check out what Dunlop Sure is all about. And it’s now been extended to include the SP835A size 315/80R/22.5. The insurance is valid for 18 months from date of purchase – which is longer than the standard 12 months offered on Dunlop’s non-TBR insurance offerings and is available exclusively at Dunlop stores.
And here’s the real punch. Full tyre replacement is offered in the first six months for irreparable truck tyre damage sustained in all road hazards, without any costs for tread already used and only fitment costs for the customer’s account. Yip, you read that right: for all road hazards and that includes pothole damage.
On approval of the claim, the Insurer will order a replacement tyre on the customer’s behalf and have it delivered to their Dunlop store. If the tyre claim falls under the next 12 months, then the remaining tread will be calculated and a credit paid directly by the Insurer to the dealer.
To activate the Dunlop Sure Truck Tyre Insurance on purchase of the SP835A size 315/80R/22.5, the dealer (Dunlop Zone, Express, Commercial or Container store) has to register the policy on the customer’s behalf via the Dunlop Dealer Portal within seven days of purchase. A policy number received directly or through the dealer confirms the registration was completed successfully.
Claims can be lodged through any Dunlop dealer in South Africa, eSwatini, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho, provided the insurance was registered, complete with a valid policy number as confirmation.
Apart from the insurance aspect now introduced, operators start off with a great tyre with the company stating that the SP835A’s construction and technical qualities reduce the need for maintenance and rotation, provide greater mileage output, more even wear in all environments, reduce energy loss and improve fuel efficiency. It also stands up to many of the hazards of road transport with its ability to minimise stone retention and ward off cuts, chips and trapped stones, keeping trucks safer on the road.
Dunlop reckons that this tyre, along with its inherent benefits and now the added tyre insurance, is a game changer. It certainly sounds that way. And it’s all true. Nice one Dunlop.