The ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) has appointed Denis Piccolo chairman of its agriculture sub-committee. In this role the product manager for off-highway tyre specialist BKT is tasked with consolidating the ETRTO’s position and official feedback on requests regarding agricultural tyres. He is also responsible for the data published in the Technical Manual (Standard Manual) and in Engineering Design Information, which contain ETRTO’s official indications for the agricultural sector.
GRI has held the latest in its series of events organised through its GREEN X Circle initiative. GRI’s Monaragala, Sri Lanka event brought together natural rubber and rice farmers to show their connectivity. Both farming communities are key stakeholders in the GRI value chain, the Sri Lankan speciality and agricultural tyre manufacturer states. The initiative’s purpose is to foster connectivity and collaboration between the two farming ecosystems while placing emphasis on sustainability principles.
The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) is launching a new Responsible Repairer Group for companies providing major repairs for commercial vehicle, OTR, agricultural as well as plant and equipment tyres. Tyres & Accessories understands that “several major repairers” have expressed interest in the group.
Tractor manufacturer Fendt has approved the Continental TractorMaster tyre combinations 600/65R38 and 540/65R24 as well as 540/65R34 and 440/65R24 for its 200 Vario and 300 Vario series tractors. Continental says further approvals “could follow.”
Trelleborg Wheel Systems has opened a new showroom that won’t be troubled by lockdowns or other unexpected disruptions. The new Trelleborg virtual showroom enables visitors to “enter the world of Trelleborg tyres to explore its products and smart solutions up close, at any time and in any place.”
Apollo Vredestein is enhancing its European agricultural tyre production activities at its Enschede factory in the Netherlands by bringing a new 104-inch tyre press into service in mid-March. The newly-installed tyre press will mainly produce tractor tyres for the XL segment (up to 2.30 metres in diameter and weighing up to 550 kg), products suitable for tractors between 200 and 500 hp. The tyre maker says the commissioning of the press represents a “significant increase in capacity” for this tyre segment.
Kleber has launched a new generation of its Topker agricultural tyre range, featuring IF technology for the first time. The new line-up consists of five front and six rear tyres; four key sizes – IF 710/70 R42, IF 600/70 R30, IF 650/85 R38 and IF 800/70 R38 – are now available, with the remaining dimensions to be released throughout 2021. Topker IF tyres are produced at Michelin Group plants in Troyes, France and Valladolid, Spain.
A further three sizes are joining the BKT V-Flexa range. In addition to the VF 600/55 R 26.5 agricultural trailer tyre that debuted at the Agritechnica show in November 2019, the V-Flexa is now available in sizes VF 600/65 R 26.5, VF 650/55 R 26.5 and VF 560/60 R 22.5.
A leading tyre specialist in Devon which has more than 40 years’ experience has become a new distributor for Goodyear Farm Tires. North Devon Tyres is a family-run business with 11 service depots across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset; the company previously sold Goodyear Farm Tires products and has wasted no time renewing that relationship after the famous brand returned to the UK and European markets.
In addition to working towards expanding capacity for all-steel truck tyres at its Nizhnekamsk Truck Tyre Factory (NZGSh) by a further 1.2 million units a year, Russia’s Tatneft Group is giving the plant the capability to produce up to 33,000 large-sized industrial and agricultural tyres annually. This project is being financed with a 10 billion ruble (£99 million) loan.
GRI has laid the foundation stone for the second phase of its $100 million manufacturing facility in Badalgama, Sri Lanka. The plant, in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone will expand production of speciality tyres as global demand for its products grows. The company has been expanding rapidly since its $40 million-plus investment in the “world-class” manufacturing facility, inaugurated in 2018. Phase two will include a new mixing facility, expanding the original plant by the end of 2021.
Continental has expanded ContiOnlineContact digital online dealer portal to include OTR and agricultural tyres. Continental reports that the portal now lists the entire Off-The-Road (OTR) and agricultural tyre portfolio.
Copadex is expanding its existing cooperation with Alliance to become an official distributor of the whole Alliance tyre portfolio in France as of 2021. The extension of the Alliance offer will make Copadex a full range distributor of Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT) – as Alliance Tire Group was recently renamed – in France. Copadex is also an official distributor of Galaxy tyres – another YOHT brand specializing in the industrial and construction segments. Copadex will take over its new full range role in the highly important French market with particular focus on agricultural segment and the premium tractor radial portfolio specifically. Copadex will also distribute Alliance tyres in other segments such as forestry and construction.
At the start of 2021 GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe reflected on 2020 and shares his focus for 2021. Beginning with a reflection on the true meaning of resilience – something that is only put to the test only when you go through a year like 2020 – Subasinghe spoke proudly about GRI and the company’s home country Sri Lanka:
“I am humbled and proud of how resilient we were as people, a company, and a country. Our fortitude drove the way we interacted with society and the way we managed our relationships with our stakeholders. GRI showed an incredible amount of resilience in all facets.