GREENVILLE, S.C., March 2, 2021 — Working with the Michelin Tweel product team, the rental division of Home Depot found a permanent solution for its rapidly broadening DIY and Pro-customer fleet portfolio of the popular ZTR mowers by outfitting them with the MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® Turf airless radial caster and tires.
With the lawn and garden upkeep category making up a large part of home improvement projects, adding the ZTR mower to the rental lineup was critical for demand. Tire/wheel-related issues made up over 40% of all downtime, service calls, machine recoveries and parts usage for Home Depot rentals. The challenge to Michelin was to outfit the mowers with a solution that reduced downtime. Closely monitoring uptime or what the industry refers to as “rental readiness,” total cost of ownership and customer-feedback channels, led to this improvement opportunity for Home Depot.
As of last fall, the full conversion for both rear-drive tire assemblies and front casters was made at Home Depot across the U.S. The solution has resulted in the elimination of every single service call, downtime and negative customer experience based on tires as the root cause. The technician labor hours, which had been in the hundreds of hours, and the parts cost, which had been in the tens of thousands, have been eliminated.
With an ever-growing ZTR-mower fleet, the operating impacts that could have continued to multiply are now a non-issue.
“By supporting our stores, from a strictly mobile technician strategy, and allowing us to ‘reinvest’ this time across the balance of the fleet maintenance requirements, lent this to be a potential huge win if we could solve it,” said Vincent Ianne, senior manager of Equipment Rental Fleet & Product Support, The Home Depot. “Through all the evaluations, the Michelin team was fully supportive to ensure we had the perfect match for our units and strategic expectations. After exceeding all reliability and financial return toll gates, the project to retrofit Tweels onto our existing fleet of Toro Z-Mowers and include them as part of our new machine spec moved ahead. To simply say that the Tweel itself and the Michelin relationship has exceeded our expectations would be an understatement.”
Justin Brock, marketing manager of Construction/Tweel, Michelin – Beyond Road Business Line, said, “The Michelin team was excited for the opportunity to put the product claims to the test. We designed the X Tweel Turf tire to meet the growing customer demand to reduce downtime in the commercial mower segment.”
John Reynolds, Michelin/Camso rental manager for North America, said, “Due to this project success, our team continues to work with the Home Depot team to investigate additional opportunities to leverage not only Michelin Tweel technology, but also other products across our product offering.”