In his work at Bandvulc, the tyre retreading company at Lee Mill, Tony Mailling wears several hats – one of them is GOD. “Well, it was, I was Group Operations Director,” he explains. “Then the title changed and now I’m just OD!”
Tony has been with Bandvulc since 2004. This year the company marks 50 years since it was established in 1971 and has grown to become Britain’s biggest commercial retread company producing a retread every 3 minutes.
A dedicated workforce, state-of-the-art technology and collaborative working with Continental Tyre Group, which acquired Bandvulc in 2016, means the company is constantly moving forward.
“The relationship with Continental works very well, we are able to learn off each other enabling us to bring the very best products to market. Technology is very important – we have a number of advanced robotics machines within the plant and there is a lot of investment. It’s very high tech – that’s what we do – and there are an awful lot of processes involved in retreading a tyre.
“As a UK manufacturer for the past 50 years, there are very clear advantages to producing a product and offering a service that focuses on the UK truck tyre market.
All our tyres are designed in the UK, for use in the UK, which has its own set of unique challenges. But working directly with our customers to understand the varying challenges they face, such as; different road surfaces, unique terrains (e.g. construction sites), weather conditions and of course the customers own needs – it means that we are best placed in the industry to provide an outstanding product and industry leading fleet services.
However, Tony went on to say that our knowledge, skill and expertise all comes from the people who are an integral part of the Bandvulc family, Much of Bandvulc’s success comes not from machines but the men and women who work for the company, many of them measuring their service in decades rather than years.
“It’s a positive place to work and we like to think we are a very good employer,” says Tony. “We treat our staff well and help them in different ways, so we end up with people with very long service. It’s a full and happy place to work, that’s the way we are. We’re a nice bunch of people.
“The interesting thing is that even though we are no longer a family-run business we still have that family feel.”