Changing Truck Tyres on the Move
RTS Engineering has launched a completely autonomous ‘energy module.’ Billed as “the ultimate” in mobile tyre fitting equipment, the new product is made up of an engine, a hydraulic pump and a hydrovane compressor.
As the new product is modular in design, it does not rely on the van for its power and can be switched from one vehicle to another (or none) with the aid of a forklift truck. Further details of exactly how the product works were not made available. However, the company says that the key fact is that the truck tyre fitting machine and commercial air supply can fit into “any van, fit any size and go anywhere.”
RTS Engineering was formed by John Moohan (now managing director) and Raymond Gordon. Bringing together their experience in tyre distribution and engineering they patented a hydraulic system to power a Promont 924 truck tyre changer and a hydrovane compressor fitted together in a Mercedes Sprinter Van in 2001.
The problem with the integrated can system was the cost, which could reach around £42,000. The Energy module is significant more economical with a price tag of around £15,000. But is there the demand for such equipment? Mr Moohan reports that demand for mobile tyre fitting equipment is on the increase.
There are said to be three main reasons for this. Firstly there is the health and safety side of things. Now, regulations are as stringent as they have ever been and one of the best ways to fulfil all the necessary requirements is to lighten the load and let equipment take some of the strain. On top of this, commercial vehicle tyres, like passenger car products are getting increasingly difficult to fit manually. Low profile products and even rumours of commercial vehicle run-flats mean that mobile tyre fitting requires both experienced and physically strong fitters. And this leads us onto Mr Moohan’s third selling point, staff. According to the managing director, there is a shortage of fitters. A significant proportion of today fitters are said to be unwilling or unable to fit commercial tyres without mechanical assistance.
As with the fully integrated system, the new energy module still uses the Promont 924 as the centrepiece of its tyre fitting capabilities, but managing director, John Moohan believes the news design meets the needs of customers with more versatility than before.