During the summer Alliance Tire Group began showing off its Agri Star II Alliance 372 Agriflex+ VF and lines. The first of these debuted at the LAMMA show in January, but both tyres came to market during the first corona lockdown. Tyrepress.com saw these products in action on a farm in Germany a couple of months back, but the UK’s second lockdown put paid to plans for a real-world 372 VF launch over here. So instead of togging up in extra-thick jackets and pulling on our wellies, on 1 December we headed over to the virtual farm and caught up with ATG and Kirkby Tyres, who exclusively distributes the Alliance brand in the UK and Ireland.
While the challenges of the pandemic to the light vehicle markets are familiar due to the day-to-day experiences of people around Europe, commercial, industrial and agricultural markets experienced different levels of lockdown, as many companies in these sectors worked hard to reinforce supply chains. In the tyre wholesale sector, this meant distributors of products and services to these segments needed to stay strong to supply the rubber that kept countries rolling. Michael Rosenthal, marketing director of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive distributor of off-highway tyre and wheel solutions, Kirkby Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories about the latest news from the Speke-based wholesaler.
Alliance Tire Group (ATG) has doubled its warranty on specific agricultural radial steel belted tyres, introducing a new ten-year workmanship and materials warranty as of 1 January 2019. This makes the guarantee one of the longest warranty periods offered in the sector to date. For all other ATG agricultural tyres, the warranty is now extended to seven years.
Alliance Tire Group (ATG) is showcasing the brand’s agricultural expertise at LAMMA, the UK’s largest agricultural and machinery show (8-9 January 2019, Birmingham NEC). It is displaying its row crop Agriflex 363 IF and the Agriflex 372 VF for tractors, the Alliance 389VF, Alliance 885 and Alliance 882 Agri-Transport radial flotation tyres for implements, and the versatile Multiuse 550. The Alliance agricultural tyre range is exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by Kirkby Tyres.
The winners of the 2018 “Tyre Industry Oscars” have been announced at the 89th National Tyre Distributors Association annual dinner, with a Bridgestone double in the tyre manufacturer and staff training and development categories headlining the event. More awards were added this year for excellence in tyre retail, with small, medium, and large business categories, as well as an overall winner. Presenting was television personality Mark Durden-Smith, who injected welcome energy and humour into procedings. Tyrepress also announced the results live via its Twitter feed.
Tarmac’s Hillhead Quarry near Buxton in Derbyshire hosted unprecedented crowds for the 2018 edition of the show (26–28 June), with official figures showing a record-breaking 19,687 unique visitors in attendance, surpassing the show’s previous highest attendance record set in 2005. The show also included more exhibitors (527) than ever before, with the showground, pavilions and demonstration areas showcasing the latest plant and equipment for the quarrying, aggregates, concrete, asphalt, recycling and construction sectors, many of the products on show for the first time in the UK.
This year BKT celebrates 10 years since the Earthmax range was first introduced, products Kirkby Tyres has been involved with since their release. Seeing as Earthmax has reached this milestone in BKT’s history, Kirkby Tyres will be representing the tyres over the three-day Hillhead event from the 26 to 28 June 2018 at Hillhead Quarry Buxton in Derbyshire, UK.
Prometeon Tyre Group’s recent appointment of Kirkby Tyres as its official wholesale partner for Pirelli truck & bus product is “a landmark in Kirkby’s history as with this agreement, this is Kirkby’s first appointment as a national distributor of a major tier-1 tyre brand”, according to Dave Dorrity, managing director of Kirkby Tyres.
After “years of extensive testing across Europe”, Prometeon Tyre Group has announced it is linking agricultural tyre distribution specialists Kirkby Tyres in order to bring Pirelli branded agricultural tyres to market. Voted the NTDA Tyre Wholesaler of the year in 2017, Kirkby has over 60 years of experience serving the market from the firm’s UK base in Liverpool. Kirkby will now be Prometeon’s exclusive wholesale partner serving the UK mainland and Ireland for the Pirelli Agricultural, PHP line.
After being named Truck & Agricultural Tyre Supplier of The Year in both 2015 and 2016, last year Kirkby Tyres went home from the NTDA Tyre Industry Awards ceremony in October with the trophy for Tyre Wholesaler of the Year. The 2017 award was for Kirkby perhaps the crowning moment in a year that saw its original equipment and OE2 business continue to grow as well as work progress on its warehousing expansion programme. This expansion will be completed during the course of 2018 and is expected to enhance Kirkby’s operations. The wholesaler also anticipates an increase in its OE/OE2 activities and is introducing several other important agricultural products.
Kirkby Tyres’ 2017 expansion programme will see its first warehouse completed in December 2017, with the 80,000sqft of new floor space, across nine additional new warehouses, fully operational by March 2018. In total, Kirkby will fit in 2,500 additional tyre racking units, enabling 8.9m high tyre storage facilities. The wholesaler will also add 10 more loading bays to its operation. In order to realise this expansion, Kirkby purchased three acres of land adjacent to its Speke headquarters, allowing it to increase its stock capacity and further improve its logistical operations, and increasing its total footprint to approximately nine acres. Kirkby added that the expansion would require more local personnel to be employed, and enable the company to offer customers a wider range of brands, sizes and applications.
In addition to its tyre business, Kirkby Tyres’ ISO 9002 compliant services also include the supply of commercial wheels. The Speke-based wholesaler supplies the brands Jantsa, Pronar, Mefro, GKN, Protector, Alpro, Maxion, and Accuride, with more than 24,000 wheels currently in stock.
As a tyre wholesaler specialising in commercial tyre segments, Kirkby Tyres has progressively expanded its range of OTR tyres and wheels; the company states that its range of radial and bias tyres for earthmovers and construction vehicles is now “enormous and varied”. The wholesaler has distribution partnerships with several rising manufacturers, such as Alliance, BKT, and Double Coin, which have supported Kirkby’s competitive pricing strategy.