The team at Advantage Tyres on Manukau Road know a thing or two about tyres. Owned and operated by Matt Keller, he and his team are trained specialists and have been in the industry for a total of 72 years collectively! They are the go-to team for all your tyre needs and arguably Pukekohe’s leading wheel alignment specialists.
“The reason to invest in good quality tyres lays in their compounds since the best tyres on the market contain almost no natural rubber anymore. Good tyres use synthetic rubber with silica and while it can be an expensive component, there are many different grades which can lead to a dozen different knock offs that use poorer quality materials that can not only compromise its safety but longevity. The use of the latest synthetic technologies allows for whole life performance, thereby ensuring the tyre is safe from new to the end of its service life. Especially in wet braking situations. Silica technology also saves fuel and gives significant mileage performance,” says Matt.
As someone who has previously worked for some of the world’s biggest tyre manufacturers including Michelin, Bridgestone, and New Zealand owned and operated, Kiwi Truck Tyres, Matt has a wealth of knowledge in the tyre industry, having started his journey as a tyre fitter at fifteen years old. When he took over ownership of Advantage Tyres in 2019, the first thing he did was make sure that they were up to the best practise standards as tyre businesses are the most competitive in the automotive industry with low margins.
Matt is proud of the knowledge and skills everyone in the team brings and says Advantage Tyres point of difference is their total service process including wheel alignments whether it is for your family car or an entire commercial fleet of trucks and farm equipment.
Daniel Watson is their wheel alignment wizard. Having been in the tyre industry for twenty one years and at Advantage Tyres for twelve, he is particular in having things done right for every vehicle that comes through the doors. He is trained by the previous business owner Mike Alexander who had a reputation second to none, some say even a tyre whisperer.
“Chances are, if your car is doing funny things and you bring it to Dan, he’s more than likely to fix it. I’ve never worked with anyone like Dan before. He’s the best around for wheel alignments.” beams Matt.
Terry ‘TC’ has over 30 years’ experience in commercial tyres, 17 years at Advantage and is an expert in all areas, whether it be car, truck, agricultural, O.T.R. or industrial. “If it’s got tyres, TC can fit them or fix them” laughs Matt.
Aaron ‘Double A’ could perhaps be called the baby of the team based on his experience, however 5 years’ experience ensures his level of knowledge is sound and as an expert tyre fitter he can’t get enough of tyres and fills his spare time doing pit crew work for the BNT NZ V8’s race series.
Making sure their service is top notch every time is another important factor to Matt and his team and he says while their innovation comes from their suppliers and products that they sell it is making sure that the service, how the job is done and that it’s done correctly is key.
“it is important that we treat every customer and vehicle as if it was one of our own vehicles, and that means whether it is a family car, a student run around, or one of the biggest nationwide commercial fleets around, we do them all!”
Mathew’s vast experience comes from many years from tyre fitter, running mechanical workshops, tyre retail management, Commercial sales and transport fleet auditing to General Manager of an innovative New Zealand company. He says he is fortunate to know a lot about the tyre industry and has even had the chance to get in on some tyre designing during his career.
He says designing a tyre is first and foremost about safety, longevity and then you get to the comfort side of things, like designing the tyre to be quiet and smooth running.
“A lot of tyre companies will design tyres with tread patterns that look cool as it’s a big part of their marketing, but then you go and drive on them and they’re noisy as anything. When you look at a Michelin tyre and its tread, it may not have a flash looking tread pattern, but it is because its function over form and its why I make sure we supply Michelin Tyres, they are simply the best tyre” says Matt.
Matt says buying cheaper isn’t always better especially as many budget and even well-known branded tyres have issues with RFV (road force variation). “Imagine tyres have springs like in a mattress, running all around them to ride evenly. It’s as if one of those springs is broken which causes uncomfortable feedback through the vehicle to the driver and occupants.”
Another common misconception is that irregular tyre wear is due to tyre pressure that can simply be fixed by fitting a good quality tyre with flexible side walls and reinforced shoulders.
“Run with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and your quality tyres will wear perfectly even. The issue is, in cheap tyres, the radial steel cord doesn’t always go all the way to the edge of the tread, with no reinforcing on the shoulder and the sidewalls are made of the cheapest materials possible.”
A recent new father to Ashley and his four other children, Matt knows the importance of keeping his wife, Heavyn and family safe and it is something he wants to make sure he imparts the very best knowledge he has to keep the families of Pukekohe safe too.
He says not everyone can afford the most expensive tyre on the market, but because New Zealand has some of the toughest roads in the world it’s worth looking at options, because where people drive to is another important factor and some of the hardest wear on tyres is in fact driving around town, because stopping and turning will wear them out faster.
“The most expensive tyre I sell will end up being the cheapest tyre in the long term, its why we make sure to ask each customer a lot of questions and get them tyres that is right for them.”
Questions like, “are you keeping the car?”, “where do you usually drive it?” are all questions asked by Matt and his team to make sure you get the best deal on what essentially is one of the most important parts of your car.
“You wouldn’t hesitate to stop at a red light to keep your family safe, so why not make sure you get the best tyres possible on your car to ensure the same thing, I would invite anyone to come in and get us to check their tyres to make sure they are the functioning at the safest level they can be and with the special offer we are running this month, there is no reason not to.”