Thursday, October 13, 2005

A bit deflated

I have been working with a large customer this week creating a proof of concept demonstration showing how they can cut loads of cost from their business by using Lotus technologies. Creating a proof of concept can be a time consuming task and every minute can be important so imagine my disbelief when I got downstairs this morning to find my front left tyre was flat. Despite my car being a swanky BMW the spare tyre is actually just a "space saver". That is a tyre which is about the width of a bicycle wheel and about as much uses. They were originally used for sports cars which had limited spare room but why use one on my four door saloon? To save money of course.

Frankly I find the whole concept of driving on three fat tyres and one skinny one inherently dangerous and not to be done unless it is an emergency (for example if you have a puncture on a country lane and need to get to a garage). These folks agree with me. So my only option was to call a mobile tyre replacement service (fortunately covered by my company car policy). I rang them at 8:30am and had visions of them not turning up until 3 in the afternoon - but how wrong was I!

A guy from KwikFit Richmond was at my house by 10am. The van he arrived in was the most amazing bit of kit. It was brimming with every tool you could imagine to speed up the changing of a tyre, most of which was powered by an air compressor. The air jack to effortlessly lift up the car, the power drive to remove the wheel nuts, the machine to peel the tyre from the wheel and then apply the new one, the machine to check the balance and then the power drive to bolt the wheel back on. Elapsed time, 15 minutes including signing the paper work and checking the old tyre to see what the problem was (a predictably stereotypical nail was the culprit).

So, it wasn't exactly a Formula One style 6 second change over, but then they just change the wheel, they don't whip off the old Bridgestone tyre and put a new one on the same wheel. So I'm very happy with my KwikFit fitter. Good job well done and it just shows that a job can be quick if you have the correct tools.

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