Bridgestone Americas has revealed the details for its third annual Safety Scholars Video Contest. Targeted to young drivers ages 16-21, Safety Scholars asks entrants to create short auto safety-themed videos. This year the topic of automotive environmentalism will be an option for entrants, extending the Bridgestone Group’s “One Team, One Planet” global environmental initiative.
“Car crashes claim the lives of more 16- to 21-year-olds than any other cause, so safety education is a priority for us,” said Christine Karbowiak, vice president of community and corporate relations. “Environmental responsibility is equally important to the company, which led us to include that topic in this year’s contest. Safety Scholars is an innovative and engaging platform that allows us to communicate our commitment to both issues.”
With its manga, animated films, video games and sushi, Japan is, after the US, the world’s second largest exporter of cultural goods and is increasingly present in day-to-day life, especially in youth culture. Since the launch in 2003 of the “Visit Japan Campaign,” which set a target of 10 million visitors to the country in 2010, Japan has seen a rise in tourism. In 2008, Japan hosted 8,351,600 visitors.
Pirelli Tyres has crowned Tyres Northampton as its Pirelli Performance Centre (PPC) of the year for the second year running. The award is the culmination of a four month assessment programme which included the PPC technical audit followed by an onsite video “mystery shop”. The PPC technical audit covers a wide spectrum of areas including working practices, standard and maintenance of equipment, housekeeping and tyre/wheel removal procedures. In contrast, the video “mystery shop” focused on the consumer experience and levels of customer service.
Occasionally the tabloid aficionado within struggles to escape, and with it looms the threat of sensationalism spilling onto the staid and respectable pages of Tyres & Accessories. Fortunately this beast can be mastered and controlled – otherwise readers would now find the headline “Tyre Hater’s Three-Year Rampage Finally Deflated” staring back at them. It’s a good thing this hasn’t occurred.
Whether or not the 60-year old New York State man actually hated tyres is a question that remains unanswered, and it is debatable whether his activities constitute a rampage. What is fact, however, is that the man, named as Michael Delisio, has been harbouring various grievances against a range of neighbours since 2006, and venting his negative emotions by booby-trapping their driveways with tyre bursting nails. According to New York’s Journal News, four people have made more than 40 complaints about the man’s behaviour over the last two years.
ITV has Simon Cowell and the X Factor, but Dunlop has the Dunlop Race Academy, and the motorsport equivalent of the popular talent show has announced a number of changes for 2009. This year the Dunlop Race Academy will focus on developing drivers aged between 16 and 30 who have already made a start in their race careers. The competition has also introduces a new geographical element, dividing the UK into six regions, pitting drivers from each region against each other.
Magnum Plus tyre balancing compound is designed to surpass the effectiveness of fixed weights in two principal applications – balancing medium truck tyres economically throughout their life, and balancing light truck and on/off-road tyres that operate in variable driving conditions.
Most medium truck tyres, says manufacturer M & R Tire Products, are only balanced when new, as fixed wheel weights require re-balancing at regular intervals throughout the life of the tyre. The extra cost of doing this, adds the manufacturer, can end up costing as much as the tyre’s original purchase price, therefore money is saved by neglecting this necessary task. In contrast, Magnum Plus can be installed in a new medium truck tyre and will not only keep the tyre balanced for its first tread life, it can also be re-used in the tyre after retreading.
Hofmann Megaplan, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high performance tyre equipment, has recently introduced two new models into their range; the ‘Spacy’ and ‘The Major’.
The Megamount Spacy represents an evolution of a model that the company says was a commercial hit, the popular 701XL model. According to Hofmann Megaplan, the 701XL has established itself as the best selling tyre changer in its class within the UK tyre and wheel industry, leaving the new edition plenty to live up to. The Spacy offers an identical specification to the 701XL, put together in a smaller package to reduce the area needed to operate the machine. The Spacy has the demount head swing up and away, as opposed to tilting back, as it does on a traditional column, allowing the space in which the machine works to be used more economically.
Motorcycle tyre wholesaler Bike Tyrestore (BTS) is once again asking customers for their opinions about its service. BTS conducts the survey every year, asking buyers to rate all aspects of the service it provides on a scale of 1 (abysmal) to 10 (brilliant). All survey forms returned by freepost to the Birmingham based wholesaler, are entered into a draw with the first picked out of the hat winning form’s a Fortnum and Mason Christmas Hamper worth in excess of £150. BTS MD Peter Smith told Tyres & Accessories that performance score rates are generally 9 or 10 and that every year useful ideas and suggestions are picked up from the survey.
Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) awarded three scholarships to the winners of its first Safety Scholars video contest, in which drivers ages 16-21 create short auto safety-themed videos. Three grand prize winners were selected from 5 finalists through an online voting process that was open to the general public on www.SafetyScholars.ca. More than 1400 online votes were tallied. The top three winners receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a free set of Bridgestone tyres. This year marked the first time the contest was held in Canada after two successful years in the U.S., the company said. (Tire Review/Akron)
Winter suddenly seems a whole lot closer, and for many of us that means a change to cold weather tyres is just around the corner. Belgium based wholesaler Deldo reminds customers that it now stocks a complete range of winter tyres, including the recently added Rockstone range. Winter sizes for this exclusive brand are available for the coming winter, with summer fitments available in 2009. In total, more than 25 brands of winter tyre in car, van and 4×4 fitments are available from Deldo, including studdable tyres for the dedicated Scandinavian markets.
As part of its continuing quest to educate technicians on the proper safety procedures for servicing tyres, the Tire Industry Association has released a new training program for OTR and earthmover markets. Basic Earthmover Tire Service (ETS) outlines the minimum skills and safety guidelines for servicing one-piece, three-piece, five-piece and double gutter OTR assemblies. Designed as an in-house training program, ETS is comprised of a 3.5-hour video and a 350-page color workbook. Students who successfully complete the final exam and skills demonstration will receive a TIA certificate of completion.
Basic ETS is divided into 15 different modules on subjects ranging from tyre nomenclature and service truck operation to site preparation and hydraulic tools. “Basic ETS is another example of TIA responding to the need for safety training in the tire industry,” remarked TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield. “OTR tyres present unique risks to technicians due to their size and volume of air, and Basic ETS will provide them with valuable information that they can use to protect themselves and others.” (Tire Review/Akron)
Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire has announced the winners of its second Safety Scholars video contest.
Three grand-prize winners, plus one Critics’ Choice winner, were selected from 10 finalists through an online voting process that was open to the general public. BFNAT said that more than 10,000 online votes were collected.
BFNAT said that all four winning videos will be used as public service commercials, and the winners receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.
The winners were:
• Danny Belkin of Rockville, Md., who warned about the dangers of behind-the-wheel cell phone use.
• Ryan Massey, 18, from Laguna Niguel, Calif., used a first-person accident account as the basis for his seat-belt use video.
• Sarah Wilson of Tampa featured a group of teenagers recounting a collision they were involved in as a result of text messaging while driving.
• Critics’ Choice award was given to Angela Roscioli, 17, of Bethlehem, Pa., who contemplated the impact a collision near her home would affect the family of a young woman who was killed. (Tire Review/Akron)
Continental Tire North America has redesigned its General Tire Web site – www.generaltire.com. CTNA said the revised site “supports the revitalisation of the General Tire brand, which includes both its product line as well as the overall look and feel of the brand.” The upgraded site is easy to navigate, CTNA said, and has several new features in addition to the existing tyre selector and dealer locator, tyre registration, educational and customer care links.
Cambridge University PhD researcher Salah Elmonselhy, from the University’s Department of Engineering, has proposed a kind of E-shaped suspension design. The new form of suspension promises to “revolutionise the experience of people who drive heavy goods vehicles” enhancing driver control, improve comfort and increase safety. It is also said to reduce fuel consumption and cut the cost of fitting specialist equipment to vehicles so that they can cope with different loads.
At the moment, commercial and heavy good vehicles need to have their suspension fine-tuned in accordance with the load they are carrying, so that drivers can control them. For example, a vehicle with soft suspension is suitable for light loads, but becomes difficult to control if it has to carry extra weight. On the other hand, giving a vehicle hard suspension can make it easy to handle with a heavy load, but the driver and passengers will be in for a bumpy ride once the load is removed.