Kwik Fit | Wednesday 2nd July 2014 2:00pm
If you ever find yourself in need of new tyres or a tyre repair but can’t make it into one of our centres, our mobile tyre fitting service is a great alternative. Whether you are at home or at work, our mobile tyre fitting vans have everything needed to repair and replace tyres by the roadside.
Kwik Fit has 200 mobile tyre fitting vans carrying out mobile repairs across the country. We recently spent the morning with Dean Gibson, one of our mobile tyre fitters in the South of England to find out what a typical day looks like for the Kwik Fit mobile tyre fitting fleet.
Dean’s day starts the moment he leaves his house and gets into his Kwik Fit mobile fitting van. Dean covers an area of roughly 30 miles in north and east Hertfordshire which includes Hitchin, Stevenage, Hoddesdon and Enfield. Each Kwik Fit mobile fitter has their own designated patch which creates a sense of familiarity and allows our fitters to build relationships with their regular customers. Of course, fitters regularly help each other out to cover holidays and busy spells, but a customer who uses our mobile tyre fitting service in this area can usually expect a knock at the door from Dean.
The first activity of the day is to see what appointments have been booked in for the morning. Dean’s mobile fitting van is equipped with a PDA which allows him to see the appointments and the tyres required to fulfil them. Having printed out the address details for each, Dean uses his extensive local knowledge to plan out the most efficient route and we are off to our first customer. First though, we need to pick up new tyres to be fitted. Dean can call into any depot or Kwik Fit centre to pick up tyres so he does not need to be travelling back and forward across the county wasting petrol. The mobile fitting van, a Renault Master, has a storage area at the back with space for 23-25 tyres. Dean’s vehicle is only three weeks old and complete with Kwik Fit’s striking new blue and yellow livery plus increased storage space for tyres. Dean tells us that this is one of the many examples of Kwik Fit’s fleet management team listening to the feedback of its 200 drivers. One of the recent remarks was that the previous ‘racking’ system reduces the number of tyres that could be held in the van due to the varying sizes of each tyre. As a result, the new van has done away with this to increase storage space.
The first customer we visit manages a fleet of 14 vans for a supplier of industrial gases and is a regular user of our mobile fitting service. He seems genuinely pleased to see Dean who is a familiar face in the yard and has fitted tyres for several of the vehicles in the last few months alone. Dean has built up a number of regular customers like this who wouldn’t use anyone else.
Today the issue is a flat tyre caused by a bolt and Dean immediately sets to work removing the tyre from the vehicle and giving it a thorough inspection. It turns out that the tyre can be repaired rather than replaced on this occasion as the puncture is not close to the sidewall or shoulder of the tyre and no further damage has been caused by the tyre losing pressure. Dean has worked in our mobile fitting team for the past seven years which was evident in the speed and efficiency in which he carries out his repairs and within 30 minutes we are on our way.
Dean then calls the next customer to let them know we will be with them shortly. It’s the little things like this that make a big difference – Dean always lets his customers know his estimated time of arrival and keeps them informed if he is running late.
We arrive in Stevenage where the second customer of the day has two worn front tyres. Dean checks all four tyres to make sure there is no irregular wear and that the rear tyres have suitable tread remaining. The mobile fitting van itself is a bit of a TARDIS and is packed with all the equipment Dean needs to get the job done. A compact tyre fitting machine and a wheel balancer make up the core components, though there are a number of other clever tools hidden away to make Dean’s life easier including a large air compressor and two powerful 2500 kilo air jacks. The van itself is always very tidy though with everything having its place.
Dean completes two more swift tyre changes and has the car back on the road in no time. With 17 years’ experience, you get the impression he could do it with his eyes closed and yet he still loves his work and gets a sense of pride in every job. Like many, Dean started his career at Kwik Fit as an apprentice. From their he has worked his way up to supervisor and then centre manager before deciding to try a new role in our mobile tyre fitting team.
Our third customer of the day has a flat tyre on the front driver side of his high-top Mercedes Sprinter. The vehicle is used as a delivery van for a furniture company so it’s important that he gets back on the road quickly. Kwik Fit’s mobile tyre fitting service has proven popular with customers who drive commercial vehicles as they do not need to take the vehicle into a fitting centre where there may not be the capability (or the space!) to deal with such large vehicles. In many cases, mobile fitting can be booked in for the following day, getting you back on the road quickly.
Another speedy tyre change and we are on our way heading towards our fourth and final customer during our short time with Dean. On average, he can complete anything up to 16 jobs per day and will travel a total of 250 miles in doing so. It's a busy job but Dean confesses that he likes to keep active and would rather have 20 jobs in the pipeline rather than just 2 or 3. But even on quieter days he’ll either be helping out the other mobile fitters or mucking in at the depot.
We arrive at our final destination where a motability customer is concerned that her tyre has been damaged following a scuff to the sidewall of her tyre. Dean checks the vehicle over as usual and finds that the tyre has started to split along the sidewall as a result of the impact. Dean also recommends that two other tyres are replaced soon as they are very close to reaching the minimum legal tread depth. It’s a busy road and we are not able to get close to the vehicle. However, the mobile fitting van’s air jacks are attached to the compressor via a 15 metre retractable hose allowing Dean to work on a vehicle even at distance on busy streets and car parks.
With the tyre change complete and having said goodbye to the customer, it’s time for us to also say goodbye to Dean as he continues with his day’s appointments. Our customers tell us that they love the fast, friendly and reliable service that our mobile tyre fitters provide so why not try mobile fitting for yourself? We’ll come to you, so book your mobile tyre fitting appointment now.
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
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