With raw material prices hitting an all time high, Watts Tyre Group chief executive, Jean-Paul Mindermann has announced a price increase of up to 10 per cent, warning the Forklift truck industry that “tyre prices will continue to rise” and OEM dealers “must adapt to the new paradigm. “At the end of the third quarter of 2007 we announced that we would be reviewing prices on a quarterly basis due to the soaring price of natural rubber. As a result of that continued rise in raw materials costs we are today announcing a price increase of between 6 and 10 per cent depending on country and currency,” Mindermann said in a statement.
Mindermann blamed the increase on soaring rubber prices, driven by the Indian and Chinese automotive sectors and “limited worldwide rubber production.”
Continental’s CSEasy industrial tyre has received the Fork Lift Truck Association’s (FLTA) prestigious innovation award. FLTA members, journalists and end-users selected the design effort of the Continental team, and the company received its award at the ‘Archies’ dinner and prize giving ceremony that took place in Birmingham on February 9.
The tyre is the first of its kind to be fitted with a torque-limiting wrench and to eliminate the need for a mounting press, and as such has brought what many view as a sea change to materials handlings departments. Lower ownership cost during the tyre’s lifespan have been reported for the CSEasy in comparison to standard forklift tyres, through the delivery of higher mileage and lower rolling resistance. Through this last feature energy consumption and CO2 emissions are also reduced with the Continental tyre.
Shoreham Port Authority, located five miles west of Brighton & Hove, is switching its forklift truck fleet from solid to pneumatic tyres following a competitive trial run in conjunction with tyre solutions provider ATS Euromaster. The trial saw one of the company’s Hyster 5.5 XM trucks fitted with Michelin XZM radial tyres and monitored against the performance of solid tyres across the 20-strong forklift fleet. The Michelin tyres provided over 1,000 hours of safe operation before needing to be replaced by ATS Euromaster – doubling the average life Shoreham Port had become accustomed to from solid tyres.
Trelleborg’s acquisition of the privately owned Australian special tyre distributor Solid Service Group, which employs approximately 40 staff and generates annual sales of around £4.97 million, has been finalised. Solid Service Group, whose head office is located just outside of Melbourne, is one of the largest distributors of solid industrial tyres in Australia. The Group has branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Tasmania. The operation focuses on specialised service for industrial customers, including fixed pressing units and mobile pressing units for onsite fitting of all types of industrial tyres, primarily for various types of forklift.
The Watts Tyres acquisition of Mobile Industrial Tyres Limited, first announced on October 22, will bolster the company’s operations in Southeast England. The Essex based industrial tyre and wheel specialist will be integrated into Watts’ existing regional operation, with Mobile Industrial Tyres’ managing director Edward Woolley becoming the managing director of Watts Industrial Tyre Services.
Jean-Paul Mindermann, chief executive of Watts Tyres Plc, commented: “This enhances our presence and service offering in the Southeast, in line with our aim of continually improving customer satisfaction. Edward Woolley brings a vast amount of experience in the industrial tyre market with him and will focus on further developing our UK service operation. This acquisition reinforces our position as a business that is focused on and dedicated to the materials handling industry.”
St Austell-based Imerys Minerals Ltd has entered into a preferred supplier agreement with Michelin and ATS Euromaster, for the supply and fitment of Michelin XZM radial tyres across its fleet of 50 forklift trucks.
Imerys has been a long term Michelin customer for over 25 years, but the start of a new contract hire agreement in 2006 saw a number of new forklifts delivered with a mixture of solid and pneumatic tyres fitted from a range of manufacturers, providing the customer with an opportunity to undertake its own extensive tyre tests.
“The trial allowed us to benchmark the Michelin XZM tyres against a number of other brands which were fitted as original equipment to trucks supplied by Barloworld Hire,” explains Steve Truscott, Engineering Manager – Mobile Plant, at Imerys Minerals.
“We have always leaned towards the Michelin XZM tyres in the past due to their proven resistance to cuts and damage, combined with strong wear characteristics. We’ve run other trials in the past to ensure the Michelin tyres provided good cost-per-hour benefits, but this recent delivery gave us the chance to conduct a much broader test involving four different makes of tyre,” he adds.
Kirkby Tyres has set up a new storage facility in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as part of the company’s ongoing expansion plans, online news sources have reported. Over the past few months the company has been building up stock at the new facility, with a view to increasing its over-all stock holding and reducing delivery times to the trade. Kirkby Tyres now offers a wide range of Agri, Industrial, MPT, Earthmover ad Forklift tyres from the Tipperary facility. The expansion is believed to have been prompted by the growth of the company’s wheel and tyre business.
(Akron/Tire Review) Michelin North America is testing hydrogen-powered lift trucks at one of its tyre plants in South Carolina. The summer-long test is being run at several South Carolina manufacturers by hydrogen fuel cell maker Hydrogenics, equipment distributor LiftOne and lift truck maker Linde.
“Michelin is committed to excellence in the area of environmental responsibility, especially in conjunction with promising, innovative technologies,” said Raul Fernandez, site manager at MNA’s Lexington, S.C., plant. “While the results of this trial won’t be known until the completion of the evaluation period, we are hopeful that this technology for forklift applications will prove to be both practical and environmentally sound.”
ATS Euromaster is in the process of taking delivery of 25 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters for its mobile car and van tyre fitting fleet – one of the largest of the nationwide fast-fit networks in the UK. According to the company, the move marks the arrival of a new breed of mobile service van, incorporating an array of features designed to help staff maximise both productivity and safety.
Tim Richards, Group Vehicle and Equipment Manager at ATS Euromaster, explains: “We asked everyone who uses the vehicles for their recommendations, with the end result being a specification which marks a major step forward in mobile working. One of the major benefits is a more spacious interior layout with the addition of better storage facilitie…these vehicles also feature the most modern fitting and balancing machines available on the market.”
Solideal’s Mexican wing has opened its third location, a branch in Monterrey, Mexico on 23 April 2007. Adding to the existing branches in Mexico City and Guadalajara, this new 1000 square metre facility is dedicated to serving construction equipment, forklift, and tyre dealers. A month later on 31 May, Solideal opened a distribution centre in Hermosillo.
Richard Le Borgne, General Manager of Solideal de Mexico stated: “Our decision to open these locations [in Monterrey and Hermosillo] was taken in order to allow us to be closer to our market. Our sales people will not only attend the Monterrey market, but all the market in the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. Our goal was to reduce to a minimum the lead time for products delivered to this part of the country and reduce customers’ final costs”.
Hull-based Energas Ltd, together with its sister-company Engineering & Welding Supplies Ltd, has adopted a 100 per cent Michelin tyre policy managed by ATS Euromaster, following a brief from the Managing Director to reduce the cost of transport.
The agreement covers all vehicles operated by the two companies, including nearly 50 trucks, 16 trailers, 16 vans and 55 cars, together with 15 forklift trucks – using ATS Euromaster’s skills as the only nationwide fast-fit network to be able to support such a wide-ranging fleet of vehicles.
The fleet is spread across 11 depots throughout the Midlands and North East of England, supported by a further four satellites, with the commercial vehicles used primarily for delivering compressed, bulk and liquefied industrial gases, together with a range of welding products.
Solideal is pleased to announce that Solideal Rubber Products (Qingdao) Co. Ltd has achieved the ISO 9001: 2000 Quality management certification from Lloyds Shanghai on April 25th 2007. After one year working on the project, the factory was audited by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance and has officially been granted the certification for quality management, aligning itself on all the other Solideal factories worldwide.
Since 1996, Solideal has strived to achieve and maintain ISO certification for its factories and research and development facilities. Through its global network of manufacturing, distribution and service centers, the Solideal group supports the Forklift and Tire dealers throughout the world. The Solideal group employs over 7000 people in 20 countries.
Cooper’s Melksham, Wiltshire factory has been the scene of a small fire in the early hours of Wednesday 23rd May. According to local news reports, overheated electrics on a forklift truck caused the fire. Firefighters at Cooper Tires were alerted after alarms went off at about 3:45am on the first floor of building 151. They reportedly discovered a small fire which was put out using a CO2 extinguisher. Firefighters carried out an inspection of the building to make sure it was safe.
(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America has introduced CSEasy, a solid super-elastic tyre for forklifts. The CSEasy, said CTNA, requires no press, specialist technician or equipment for installation. The solid pneumatic industrial tyre can be fitted at the job site, “ensuring the forklift is back in full operation within mere minutes,” CTNA said. CSEasy features an “innovative reusable adapter between the tyre and rim,” the company said. The conical adaptor, said CTNA place the tyre in the proper position for quick mounting using a torque wrench.
South Wales based manufacturer ACT Wheels started 2007 on a high in January when it clinched the contract to supply wheels to Stagecoach as part of the bus operator’s maintenance of its 7000-strong fleet.
ACT supplies steel wheels for HGV/PSV vehicles through to off-road, site and agricultural applications in a range of sizes from wheels to fit eight-inch mower and forklift trucks through to 35-inch earthmover wheels. The firm has CAD design and production capacity to meet the needs of OEMs and operators, meaning it can handle anything from one-off replacements and conversions to production batches.