It isn’t news to say that the tyre and autocentre sector is becoming an increasingly technological business. However, two recent trends confirm the need for garages to be properly equipped – increasing electric vehicle take-up and, in the short term, booming MOT demand.
In January 2019, we predicted a 5 per cent increase in MOTs during the course of the year. One calculation suggested this would work out as 2.6 million extra MOT tests during 2019, which equates to something like 50 extra MOTs per site per month. The latest DVSA numbers suggest that MOTs actually went up by an estimated 6.2 per cent last year, rising from 29.560 million in 2018 to 31.405 million last year. So far DVSA have only released data relating to the first nine months of 2019, so the final figure could go down, but in all likelihood it now looks like 5 per cent was a conservative estimate.
GRI is supplying tyres to Joskin, the agricultural Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) based in Belgium. Announcing the news at the end of October, Joskin said it has been in operation since 1968 and is one of the world’s leading producers of agricultural trailers, tankers, and related equipment to meet the changing needs of global farmers.
Thai tyre manufacturer Otani Radial Co. Ltd. has recalled 138 Otani OH-306 425/65R-22.5 truck tyres with DOT code 0320 after its local distributor, Foreign Tire Sales Inc (FTS) noticed a problem on 22 October 2020.
An arable farm in Ireland is reporting “significant improvements” to its soil health since moving its tractor fleet onto Michelin Ultraflex technology tyres. Coolcroo Farm, in Tipperary, used to run a mix of competitor brands but switched to Michelin following technical advice from local account manager Christopher Eakin.
ATEQ TPMS Tools has launched the “Live Sensor” platform, purportedly the first real-time updating portal for every sensor maker that is in ATEQ tools. On 2 November 2020, ATEQ announced that “Live Sensor is a brand-new, patent-pending technology that allows sensor information to be updated in real-time, allowing users to keep their tool updated as new information is added”.
SUV all-season test: Auto Bild Allrad finds 5 excellent tyres
Introducing its 2020 all-season tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that these particular products weren’t always highly regarded. Their reputation was tarnished with allegations of compromise; rather than a true alternative to summer or winter tyres, they were viewed as a choice best suited to drivers who demanded little from their tyres. In the words of the specialist 4x4 and SUV magazine, an all-season tyre “used to be a bad summer tyre and then, in the second half of the year, a bad winter tyre.” But its current test shows that the story is very different today.
When Ineos Automotive brings its Grenadier to market in early 2022, the Land Roveresque 4x4 will wear bespoke Bridgestone Dueler A/T 001 tyres as standard equipment. Bridgestone will supply two sizes of Dueler AT 001 for the Grenadier: 265/70 R17 116S XL and 255/70 R18 116S XL.
Hankook has launched a new all-season tyre for cars and small-to-medium sized SUVs under its Laufenn brand. The Laufenn G FIT 4S features widening grooves and a high grip silica compound for year-round European driving. Hankook is developing its second-line Laufenn brand globally in the consumer and commercial segments, offering an attractive price-performance ratio. The Laufenn G FIT 4S has been developed for price-conscious drivers, allowing them to avoid seasonal tyre changes, while offering solid all-weather performance.
A burning issue: what tyres keep fire departments on the roads
It is often said that this is the busiest week of the year for the nation’s firefighters. While 5 November 2020 looks likely to be an outlier in this regard thanks to the new national restrictions to counter rising Covid-19 infections, there’s no more appropriate time of year to follow up our previous looks at the tyre demands of police forces with a similar analysis of the fire service. T&A made Freedom of Information requests to the largest, by number of full-time firefighters, UK fire services earlier in 2020, asking for such data as: tyres bought and replaced, the fleet size and vehicle parc, minimum tread depth at change, and whether tyres were regrooved and/or retreaded. The latter is probably the easiest question to answer, as eight fire services told T&A that they do not retread their tyres versus zero who do.
The corona crisis may have compelled Michelin to present its latest tyre range via an online launch, but a low-carbon virtual format was also a good fit for the tyre’s environmental ambitions. For the Michelin e.Primacy is not only a successor to the Energy Saver; it also represents a new approach to tyre development at Michelin and is also the first tyre to be released with an Environmental Product Declaration.
GRI expands capacity, continues building distribution networks
During the last 18 years GRI has expanded significantly. Across the material handling, agricultural and construction segments, GRI now produces a total of 100 tonnes of tyres a day. Most recently the company added new mixing capacity in a bid to expand the company’s overall production output. So how does this particular action fit into the wider strategy? Tyres & Accessories interviewed GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe in order to find out.
Pre-launch testing for BKT’s 57” rigid dump truck tyre
Following a corona-related delay, off-highway tyre specialist BKT is gearing up to introduce a new, supersized OTR tyre. It has now produced a prototype of its BKT Earthmax SR 468, a size 40.00 R57 tyre developed for use on rigid dump trucks. Over the coming months, the tyre maker’s engineers will test the prototype ahead of the line’s market debut.
Junior fitments are joining the Mitas extreme enduro tyre range. These new sizes have been developed for use on motorcycles with engine displacements of 50cc to 85cc, and Mitas says they “ensure incredible grip and stability in all conditions the rider can face in extreme enduro.” The Trelleborg Group brand adds that the tyres are suitable for riders of all levels of competence, from novices to competitive riders, due to their “excellent handling characteristics and grip.”
Our virtual Tyre Industry Conference, in association with the National Tyre Distributors Association and supported by CAM, is available now. Click here to go to our conference page. The conference comprises four videos on Tyre Market Data, Tyre Standards, end of Life Tyres, and Tyre Recycling. If you would like to comment on any of the contents, use our social media pages and the hashtag #TIC2020, or email email@example.com.