Berwickshire based Rocklug Tyres are well aware of the affect a good tyre – and a bad one – can have on the performance of an earthmover. That is why the company, who have been in the tyre business since 1974, decided to make the provision of quality remoulded OTR tyres one of their priorities.
When Rocklug Tyres co-director Graham Redpath spoke to Tyres & Accessories he likened earthmoving machinery to high performance cars. “They are designed around a particular tyre and are optimised for its specifications,” he said. “For example, a Caterpillar 50 tonne dump truck may be homologated for Bridgestone tyres, and it works at its best when fitted with these. But if the operator is unable to replace the OE tyres with another set and instead must fit cross-ply tyres sourced from China, the equipment will not be able to work to its full design capacity. In many cases there have been major shortcomings in the tonne-per-hour capabilities specified for these machines.”
Remoulding offers an alternative to fitting tyres of inferior specification, and the Rocklug range can allow operators to continue using the OE spec tyres they know and trust. Produced in partnership with Italy’s Marangoni Group, Rocklug Tyres have been supplying earthmover tyres to UK industry since the 1970s and today benefit from Marangoni Pneumatici’s considerable experience in the field of retreading – and significant boon at a time when tyre majors such as Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear are taking a more dominant approach to the retreading industry.
According to Mr. Redpath, his company’s customers can in most cases receive their new remoulded tyre within six to eight weeks of their worn tyre or casing being dispatched. Upon collection by Rocklug the casings are thoroughly checked and, if necessary, repairs carried out. Then they are dispatched to Marangoni’s facilities in Rivoreto, Italy, and as each tyre is bar coded upon receipt an individual tyre can be tracked on-line through each stage of the process, allowing customers to be informed on the progress of their tyres if necessary.
With the worldwide OTR tyre shortage showing no sign of abating, particularly for large section tyres of 35-inches and above, Marangoni have created a completely new department at a cost of over 10million euros in order to provide what it intends to be a worldwide centre of retreading excellence. To cope with the increased demand for remoulded tyres – currently Marangoni are producing 12,000 remoulded tyres a year and working their factory on a 6 day 24 hour shift system – new machinery has been built by Marangoni Meccanica to accommodate tyres that are designed to cope with the high loads and immense torque generated by the colossal equipment operating in some of the world’s most hostile mining and quarrying environments. And as a measure of Marangoni’s confidence in their product, a five-year manufacturing warranty is offered on all products.
Another key area for Rocklug is the repair of all sizes of earthmover tyre using the latest autoclave system. According to Graham Redpath, some £200,000 has been invested in machinery, yards and drying rooms, not to mention in the autoclave itself, and the end result is a facility that can save tyres that previously would have been written off as scrap. As part of the process steel cord re-enforcing is used to ensure that the original strength is retained in the casing. “This is very important considering that many large tyres can cost up to £20,000 – if they are available,” Mr. Redpath adds.
In addition to its stocks of remoulded tyres, Rocklug hold over 2,000 used shovel, crane and dump truck tyres of all sizes. All tyres are thoroughly checked and inflation tested prior to dispatch on a next-day delivery system. “With a worldwide sourcing of casings and used tyres,” said Mr. Redpath, “chances are Rocklug Tyres can help you to get your machine going whatever the situation.”
Graham Redpath believes that the current OTR tyre shortage has had the indirect benefit of opening operators’ eyes to the advantages offered by remoulded tyres such as the Rocklug range. “With most of the major brands of earthmover tyres now built with a remoulding capability in the casing structure, many users are now implementing a remoulding policy as part of their tyre/fleet policy.” Mr. Redpath adds that Rocklug Tyres, through their in-depth knowledge and repairing policy, can help customers to utilise the full tyre investment.
And in closing, Tyres & Accessories asked Graham Redpath what he believes the future holds for Rocklug Tyres. “We see for the future, even when the tyre shortages ease up,” he replied, “the high cost of new product will ensure a healthy market in the retreading industry, which also is, ideally, the most environmentally friendly way forward.“