Montrose based fuel company Rix Petroleum (Scotland) Ltd., is gearing up to ensure customers won’t be left out in the cold this winter time.
After recent weather warnings of a cold winter ahead, the company has invested thousands of pounds to equip its fleet of tankers with winter tyres designed to offer maximum grip and safety in freezing temperatures.
The tyres are made from a compound which has been specifically engineered to work at temperatures below seven degrees centigrade and have a special tread pattern to perform well in icy conditions.
The company, based in Meridian Street, Montrose, delivers residential heating oil to households across Angus, including some of the most isolated parts of the region.
Ian McGregor, director of the company’s Scottish operations, said although standard tyres have basic winter capabilities, they were not as effective as the new ones.
He added that as well as the tyres, Rix had invested in new steel wheel rims so they could quickly swap over to the bad weather kit as and when it was required.
Mr McGregor said: “The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland run the annual Ready for Winter campaign, with a series of initiatives designed to keep traffic moving in winter. We support the ‘hope for the best but prepare for the worst’ approach and wanted to ensure we are doing our bit.
“Recent years of unpredictable weather has taken everyone by surprise – the weather was unprecedented.
“The reports of snow, hail and high winds have already started to hit the country, particularly in the more rural areas of Scotland.
“Although Rix Petroleum hasn’t missed an order in any of these winter storms, we are determined to be completely prepared for whatever the weather can throw at us this year, and make sure all our customers have a plentiful supply of heating oil.”
Mr McGregor added many European countries, such as Austria and Germany, already enforced the use of winter tyres on HGVs, but no such regulations exist in the UK.
“Nothing has been enforced yet. But we like to make sure we are ahead of the game,” he said.
Mr McGregor continued: “By ordering early and keeping a close eye on how much oil they have left, people can really help themselves to ensure they don’t run low when they need it most,”
“This is particularly important for more vulnerable groups such as the elderly, for whom being without power and heat is a very serious problem.”
He added residents should also allow a couple of extra days for delivery in poor weather conditions as high demand, combined with slow moving traffic, makes getting out to more isolated parts of the country a challenge.