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One-on-One with founders of Nitralife, Rob and Tom Sowry Michelin and Pirelli go green Continental’s World Cup splendour

Focus on OTR TYRES

New OTR tyre from Michelin

Vol 16 • September 2010

Could the global OTR tyre shortage resurface?

a set of tyres or wheels to the value of R5000,00 courtesy of Autoquip

Be Truck Smart

For more information contact Bandag -

Tel: +27 11 439 6000

Fax: +27 11 506 8717

I n t r o d u c t i o n • 1



One-on-One Founders of Nitralife – Rob and Tom Sowry...........................................


Focus on OTR Tyres Just when we thought the global tyre shortage in the OTR (off the road) sector that brought the mining and construction to its knees was a thing of the past, murmurs to the effect that many countries are rebounding after the global recession.......................................................................


Industry News BOTO appoints Transafrica as Exclusive Distributor .............................. Chemvulc Innovating new products for Retreaders................................

19 20

Manufacturing Michelin launches new tyre for Earthmover market............................... Dunlop does it again!.............................................................................. Apollo SA receives TS 16949 certification............................................. If the tyre is lacking air it reaches for the phone.....................................

24 24 24 25

Events Michelin goes green in Rio..................................................................... Pirelli goes green but blue comes out tops!...........................................

28 33

Conti Corner World Cup splendour – Continental style!.............................................


Dealer Profile Size doesn’t count! Autoquip Alberton defies the odds.........................


Talking Tyres Future technology – Revolution rather than evolution............................


Goodyear News Is this the MTR of all tyres?.....................................................................


World News Pirelli Formula One tests continue in france........................................... Apollo to Invest in Dutch, SA Tyre Plants............................................... Budget tyres could kill, but at least they’re quiet....................................

49 49 50

Competition, Subscription, Website . .......................................


Front Cover: Courtesy Tyrecor/Infinity Editor

Liana Shaw

Technical Consultant

Wray Shaw


Diane van Noort


Tel: (011) 658 0011 T YPO (011) 658 0010 – Colour Printing Specialists Fax: Cell: 082 851 6777 Prestige Bulk Mailers E-mail: Liana Shaw Website:

Distribution Advertising


Sky Publications cc PO Box 702 Douglasdale, 2165

note from the


Having recently acquired an extensive data base of mining houses in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia, we’re excited to announce that we will be paying far more attention to the OTR market in this issue and those to come. We begin with a feature story outlining some of the challenges facing this specialised sector, among them, another impending global tyre shortage, rising raw material prices and the contentious issue of Chinese OTR makes and their role in this segment. The local industry along with end users and representation from the imported tyre contingent, weigh in as they give us their take on the situation. Our coverage of the OTR market continues with a new OTR product from Michelin and the official announcement of yet another exclusivity distribution arrangement drawn up by a Chinese tyre maker and a local distributor. On a more light-hearted note, Bruce Carolin takes us on a trip to Rio de Janeiro to attend Michelin’s historic Bibendum Challenge while I test the new eco-friendly Pirelli Cinturato P7, Amazing-Race-style. As highlighted in my story on page 33, all credit must go to Pirelli Tyre SA for the conception and organisation of such an ingenious event. The planning allegedly took three months, with no detail left unattended in the interests of staging a press event unlike any other. And as we bid a sad farewell to the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, we bring you some highlights courtesy of official sponsor, Continental Tyre SA. They certainly rose to the occasion in honour of this momentous occasion and their official participation, by hosting a world-class promotional package that spanned four weeks. We were privileged to enjoy a part of this with them, starting with the opening game, SA vs Mexico, a day I shall never forget! To Bridgestone SA, another heartfelt thanks for transporting us to the semifinal in Durban (Spain vs Germany) at the awe-inspiring Moses Madiba stadium. Well done South Africa, you did us proud!

O n e - o n - O n e • 3

Tom Sowry

One-on-One with

Founders of Nitralife

Rob Sowry

– Rob and Tom Sowry Rob had been an avid supporter of the merits of nitrogen tyre inflation, after first reading about it in New Age Rubber (US) in 1968. The article

An idea that was born as far back as 1968 was

that piqued his interest back then outlined numerous scientific benefits

only to bear fruit some 40 years later when

prospect of turning his idea into reality seemed bleak.

its founder, tyre man Rob Sowry, eventually

Years later, when an Air Liquide representative happened to mention that

decided to actively pursue it.

of oxygen-free air but with only gas cylinders available in the 60s, the

they possessed a nitrogen machine they did not know what to do with, Rob jumped at it. The year was 1995 and Rob was then co-founder and active shareholder in Maxiprest Tyres when the idea resurfaced after this chance encounter. This time he was determined to take it further.


NITROGEN “New tyre mileage improved 11.6%. Casing lives increased from 3-4. Pressure retention improved by 13%.” – Fast ’n Fresh “Marked decrease in monthly tyre costs, being below tyre costs of previous 3 years.” – Kempston Truck Hire “Nitrogen has definite advantages over air, and we recommend the use of Nitrogen.” – Bridgestone OTP Division

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Fourteen years later, the ‘Ideas Man’ has been handsomely rewarded for his foresight and efforts along the way in bringing his concept to fruition. We met up with Rob and son Tom Sowry, Sales Director of Nitralife who chronicled their progress and the phenomenal success of their enterprise. Q. Rob, how did you go about developing your idea into a sustainable business? I set the wheels in motion by approaching a well respected transport operation which agreed to try out the nitrogen in tyres concept on a trial basis on the proviso that they were not expected to pay for it. The pilot project ran at Unitrans Tulisa Park with the Corobrik fleet (15 trucks) where they were scrapping as many as 30 tyres per month. Suffice to say I worked day and night to convert the fleet and prove to all-and-sundry that the concept had merit. Within 8 months the scrap tyre rate had dipped to below 15 tyres a month, translating into a remarkable saving of around R30 000.00 per month! Based on this successful outcome, the transport company – Unitrans – agreed to rent this first machine. Next came the gruelling task of convincing my then fellow board members at Maxiprest to embrace the nitrogen in tyres concept as a way of differentiating ourselves from our competitors. All but one was in favour of pursuing it but as we couldn’t reach total consensus, the opposing party suggested I pursue it single-handed. So I did. Nitralife began operating in 1996 as a dedicated company whose core business was the marketing, rental and later, sale of nitrogen tyre inflation equipment. Q. On which sector of the market did you first focus your attention?

ROB Mistakenly, we began with the large national trucking fleets, a somewhat frustrating decision in the end due to all the red tape that surrounds these big organisations. In contrast, private transport companies can make swift decisions and are risking their own money, so I guess you could say that the private transport sector laid the foundation for a business which was to grow beyond all expectations. Q. How much of your current turnover is made up of private transport companies?

SaleS repS needed

NITRALIFE SA (PTY) LTD Tel: + 27 11 706 7884/8 Fax: +27 11 706 5713 Email:

TOM I would estimate that 80%-90% of our total turnover is made up of the private transport sector. Q. When did you first start marketing nitrogen inflation to the retail sector?

TOM From the beginning but the turning point came in 2002 when

O n e - o n - O n e • 5

Tiger Wheel & Tyre agreed to take a trial machine for its Sandton outlet.

The accident resulted in a series of meetings with the tyre industry to assess

Nitrogen sales soared in that store precipitating a wider following among

possible prevention strategies, with nitrogen featuring quite heavily in the

Tiger Wheel & Tyre stores. From that point on, not only did TWT begin


advertising nitrogen inflation quite extensively, the group embarked on an education drive aimed at the consumer on the merits of nitrogen inflation.

TOM No one can deny that nitrogen works. There’s enough data out there

Before long, the Autoquip group of companies was hot on its heels,

now actively promoting it to mining operations.

to support that, so much so, that even leading new tyre manufacturers are followed by a succession of more than 400 tyre dealers across the country, some independent and others company-owned or franchised.

ROB In the open cast mining sector, there’s hardly a mine today going out on tender that doesn’t have a nitrogen unit.

Of course, the reason behind

About Parker Hannifin billion, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precisionengineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PH”, Parker is strategically value-driven

For Nitralife, this is very encouraging as we’re now at the point where

the retail trade is not only to mirror

people are calling us for this service.

successful retail chains like TWT, but

With annual sales exceeding US $10


nitrogen’s growing success among


positioned for global growth as the industry consolidator and supplier of choice.

more importantly because dealers are

Q. I believe there are other players in the market selling nitrogen in

becoming increasingly aware of the


GPs generated through nitrogen sales.

ROB Yes, there are a few, but for them, nitrogen is just an add-on. For us,

ROB I’m happy to say that nitrogen

in South Africa but throughout the world, I believe.

it’s our core business. We were the pioneers of nitrogen inflation, not only in tyres has become a pretty standard offering in the industry.

Q. Who manufactures your nitrogen units?

Q. Did the nitrogen offering spill

Corporation, the membranes are produced in Holland with the balance of the

ROB Our machines are manufactured in collaboration with the Parker Hannifin over into other sectors?

parts being sourced through the network of Parker’s manufacturing globally. In

ROB Currently and for the near

Africa, the Nitralife product is marketed solely by Nitralife SA (Pty) Ltd.

foreseeable future, most of our time is spent servicing the mining sector.

Our association with them has been a huge success, boosting our competitive edge with advanced superior technology and enabling us to

TOM We can hardly keep up with

maintain consistent and stable pricing in the last six years.

the demand (chuckles). Q. Which are the most popular – rentals or sales?

ROB The fatal accident that occurred at a major mine in February this

TOM We have an equal mix of both. Rentals are obviously very attractive

year, whereby a tyre exploded, killing the operator, has re-awakened keen

in that they don’t require raising financing and they’re tax deductible, but

interest from the mines (all of which are safety-conscious), with many of

ideally, owning the equipment remains the more popular option.

them asking for nitrogen units to be installed in order to prevent such occurrences in the future.

It is common for companies that are renting units from us to ask for a settlement once they’ve seen the results. Imagine this: less than one car


Enter the TYRE SAVER The new hand-held TyreSaver 3.0 (launched at Tyrexpo Africa in March), is made for tyres with 5-bar pressure and less. Parker Hannifin claims the unit will inflate some 12 000 car tyres before the membrane needs to be replaced. The selling price for this unit (including two oil and water prefilters) is R11 400.00 + VAT.

6 • O n e - o n - O n e


on nitrogen a day will pay for the rental of the machine! It’s a no-lose situation. Last year alone, we converted about 20 rentals into sales.

The School of Mining Engineering University of the Witwatersrand

Prof. fred Cawood, Head, School of Mining Engineering, cordially invites you to attend a ONE DAY conference on: oTr TYreS for MINING aNd earTHMoVING ProJeCTS – aPPLICaTIoN, MaINTeNaNCe aNd MaNaGeMeNT Hear froM THe BeST! LeaderS IN THe oTr TYre fIeLd SHare THeIr MaNaGeMeNT STraTeGIeS! Topics will cover: OTR Tyres in the booming mining industry. Tyre global production capacity and supply. Tyre application and advanced Tyre selection. Tyre strategic management principles. Advanced tyre maintenance systems. Methods for prolonging tyre life span, reducing cost and downtime. Prof. ZVI BorowITSH will lead a panel of International Experts and Academics. Presenters from the following companies will present case studies and papers: Debswana, Michelin, Kumba Iron Ore, Bridgestone SA, Goodyear Tyre Company SA, and OTR/Kal Tyres. Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 Cost: R2 500.00 (excl VAT) per delegate Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg Who should attend: Mining Companies, Civil Engineering Industries, Earth Moving Equipment companies: Company and Project Managers, Mining and Civil Engineers, Logistics managers, Fleet and Maintenance Managers, and heavy earth moving equipment supervisors. To register please contact: Judy Blom 011 717 9371. Email: or visit our website:

ROB Nitralife also offers a finance option for those interested in purchasing units. Q. What does a standard installation cost?

TOM You’re looking at around R66 000 including all pre-filtration for a truck installation and about R32 000 for a passenger tyre installation. Monthly rentals can range from R1 600 to R5 000, or more depending on the operation – car tyres to mining tyres. Q. So what’s next on the horizon for Nitralife?

TOM We’re proud to announce a very exciting development that will see nitrogen inflation entering the mainstream. A national deal has been struck between Nitralife and Petroleum giant, Total South Africa that will soon make a nitrogen top- up service available to the average man on the street when they visit a Total service station. This is a strategic step on the part of Total in recognition of the value of repeat business. We know that once a motorist has seen the benefits of nitrogen inflation – longer tyre mileage, less heat build up, no need for regular inflation (nitrogen gas, by virtue of its composition, does not escape out of the tyre as easily as air) – he or she will undoubtedly choose to fill up at a service station that can provide this service, as opposed to one that won’t. Q. When is the expected roll-out for this? As this is virgin territory for both Nitralife and Total, the process has taken a little longer than expected, however, we hope to see the project implemented from September 2010 at participating Total service stations Q. Rob, it must be gratifying to witness your big idea materialise into such a grand reality.

ROB It is extremely rewarding. I feel vindicated that we’ve been able to prove to the market that nitrogen inflation works! My new goal now is for all tyres to run on nitrogen one day.

TOM My primary goal is to build a successful company, to know that this was not just a good idea that fell by the wayside but rather a well-structured, income-generating solution for us as well as for the consumer.

It would seem Rob’s undeniable belief and passion for his product, coupled with Tom’s strong business acumen are just the right combination to propel this successful family business into the future.

DWF BS/513119

8 • O n e - o n - O n e

We focus on excellence in every single tyre. In everything we do, we focus on providing superior quality and safety, on constant innovations, environmentally friendly concepts and performance under the most demanding conditions. But above all, we always focus on putting all our knowledge and all our effort into every single tyre.

For your nearest Bridgestone Authorised Dealer, visit our website at

Bridgestone South Africa

F o c u s o n O T R T y r e s • 9

global OTR shortage could resurface Although the USA market continues to flounder, to the north, the IMF has

Just when we thought the global tyre shortage in the OTR (off the road) sector

raised Canada’s Economic Growth Outlook for 2010, with several provinces experiencing stronger economic growth than expected. In the western hemisphere, the highest growth rates in 2010 are in South

that brought the mining and construction

America, led by Brazil, the biggest economy in the region, with growth

to its knees was a thing of the past,

anticipating a 6.8% growth and Peru 6.7%.

murmurs to the effect that many countries

The anticipated 4.3% growth for Chile is somewhat camouflaged due to

expected at 7.6%, followed by the rest of the region with Argentina

are rebounding after the global recession,

the massive earthquake earlier this year, but that said, Chile mines copper

partly due to mining activities, means that

metal increasing, mining activity is ramping back up.

large OTR tyres (49 inch and larger) are

Economic activity in China (now ranked the world’s second largest economy

once again in short supply.

(accounting for more than half of total exports) and with the demand for the

after the USA) is also picking up, and following swiftly on its heels is India. With demand for raw materials on the rise, the price of natural rubber is expected to soar further, creating yet another challenge for the global tyre industry in its efforts to keep the price on OTR tyres from shooting through the roof.

1 0 • F o c u s o n O T R T y r e s

Mining production of iron ore, gold and coal were not as severely affected as platinum and chrome.

Explains Quintin Steyn, Group Manager – OTR International Business, Apollo SA: “The biggest component of raw materials in OTR tyres is natural rubber and with prices continuing to climb, this will adversely affect our ability to remain competitive, at the very least until prices from producers in Malaysia and Indonesia stabilise.

“Chinese and Indian tyre companies are definitely starting to buy raw Brian Clarke, General Sales Manager - Commercial Vehicle Tyres for Continental

materials again. Bridgestone Tire Corporation alone is exceeding production

Tyre SA agrees: “Natural rubber is integral to the tyre’s construction as it

orders by as much as 190% on a global scale. This ultimately means that

provides tear resistance and as manufacturers will not be in a position to absorb

demand in the ultra-large OTR sector never eased up all that much. And

the continued increase, this will ultimately reflect in product pricing.”

whatever was coming into South Africa, was immediately being swallowed up by the local market.”

Continues Steyn: “Added to this, the anticipated OTR tyre shortage could well spill over into southern Africa, as the world’s largest manufacturers

Steyn agrees: “Locally, mining production of iron ore, gold and coal were

of earthmover tyres – Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear – focus their

not as severely affected as platinum and chrome (underground operations)

attentions on supplying the BRIC countries, Europe and Australia ahead

but even then, mining giants such as Amplats have not cut back, even

of other markets. In the end, supply and demand will ultimately determine

managing to invest in growth during the recession. As a result, the world’s

availability as well as price.”

largest three tyre makers have upped production in their plants to deal with the situation, but even then, they are not capable of meeting demand in

Concurs Jordon San, Manager National Operation for Bridgestone SA: The Stamford Tyres stand which took the Silver Award.

its entirety.”

F o c u s o n T y r e x p o A f r i c a 2 0 1 0 • 1 1



1 2 • F o c u s o n O T R T y r e s

Echoes Clarke: “The expected expansion of the mining sector will increase

Companies such as OTR Tyres UK and Trucko (Australia) go about this by

demand on certain sizes like 26.5-25 so manufacturing capacity will fall

appointing professional engineers, specialists with a proven track record of

short of market demand. Thankfully, Continental has anticipated this

generating significant cost savings for international mining companies. As a

demand and has a strategy to meet as much as possible, although supply

result, even the local mines (traditionally resistant to spending for service) are

will continue to be tight.”

now forking out for their expertise in order to avoid falling prey to downtime resulting from tyre failures or shortages,” he says.

In response to this impending crisis, Bridgestone SA has taken its own set of measures that include investing in new plant equipment to enable

Claims Dawid Pretorius of Phalaborwa Mining Company: “Pro-active tyre

domestic production of at least five new products for the OTR segment. But

management is essential today if we are to combat the global shortage and

while this is expected to ease some pressure in the small-to-medium size

save on operating costs, particularly for an operation such as ours (very

category, the availability of ultra-large sizes will remain an issue.

abrasive rock). In conjunction with our supply partner Dunlop, we recently

As for Bridgestone’s Port Elizabeth plant, it will continue manufacturing

Anything in excess of this pre-determined wear rate and management is

instituted a stringent tyre policy that allows for a given mm wear per day. cross-ply tyres for the loader/dozer markets for the foreseeable future.

immediately alerted to a potential problem so that this can be rectified. Through this system, we have managed to double the life of our tyres in a

Explains San: “The cross-ply tyre will remain a fixture in the local OTR

very short period of time.”

sector for at least another four to five years by virtue of its construction which is more durable and has stiffer sidewalls (as opposed to the radial),

Kurt Gerber, Global Category Manager for Anglo American further claims

particularly for operations with rough underfoot conditions that are

that Anglo American is also focusing heavily on improving the life of its

conducive to sidewall cuts.”

tyres using continuous improvement initiatives. He adds that accurate long term forecasting continues to be a challenge due to market fluctuations in

Elsewhere in the world however, cross-ply production is almost totally fazed

their resources portfolio.

out. Even Bridgestone Japan is contemplating terminating production on cross-ply tyre construction which allegedly, is less economical than radial.

Chinese tyres secure important market niche The global OTR shortage has had positive spin-offs for the Chinese who

End users implement stringent measures to combat shortage

have grabbed the opportunity with both hands, upping capacity through

Perhaps the only positive to have emerged from this crisis situation is the

their plants so as to be able to meet export demand worldwide.

marked mind shift on the part of the end users who are going to extreme lengths to ensure they don’t fall victim to short supply.

They’ve made significant inroads in the local market as well, with a

Elaborates Steyn: “Major mines are now stocking an excess capacity of

especially for the OTR sector. With their focus intent on improving overall

proliferation of tyre makes and sizes for all market segments, but most tyres in order to avoid downtime of production.

quality and performance, it’s important to mention that not all tyres coming out of China can be painted with one brush. But while a growing number of

‘More important perhaps, the mines are taking greater care of their tyres

makes – some of which are locally represented – have found favour with

than ever before, particularly on open cast operations where the focus is now

our market, if these reports are anything to go by, the majority has failed

heavily on improving underfoot conditions, cleaning up after the loading/

to impress.

dumping process and so on. Some have even dug up old tyres for repair. Others are eliciting the professional services of independent contractors

Counters Charl de Villiers, MD of Tyrecor: “When one considers that even

from countries as far flung as the UK and Australia, to assist them in this task.

the world’s well established tyre makers are investing in production plants

F o c u s o n T y r e x p o A f r i c a 2 0 1 0 • 1 3

OTR Tyre Specialists – Africa

Tel : +27 (0)31 765 2650 • Fax: +27 (0)31 765 2695

F o c u s o n O T R T y r e s • 1 5

in China, basing purchasing decisions on the tyre’s origin would be a short-

Natural Rubber Price Increase 2010/11

sighted mistake to make. What is important is to consider manufacturers – Chinese or otherwide – on their own merits.” Further argues Charles Pitout, MD of CFP Tyres (exclusive distributors for


% 132




Jul-Sep 2010

Oct-Dec 2010

Triangle Tyres in SA for the last 10 years): “Not all Chinese tyres are the same. Triangle Tyre Co, China’s leading tyre manufacturer and the world’s



fourth largest OTR radial manufacturer, has been extremely proactive by way of R&D (research and development) into their product range, so


much so, that the growth in sales is a testimony to the ongoing quality improvements. Comments Kurt Gerber of AA: “Some Chinese produced tyres are making good progress in terms of quality and Anglo will continue to monitor their



Jan-Mar 2010

Apr-Jun 2010

progress with keen interest.” But some local experts are claiming that while a tyre running at a typical

Says Clarke: “For the moment, the technical knowledge and service offering of

open cast mining operation will likely achieve between 7 000 and 8000

the local manufacturers is difficult to replicate. Mining is an extremely safety-

hours on a Bridgestone, Michelin or Goodyear, Chinese makes are

conscious field, so mining houses will be reluctant to fit potentially dangerous

delivering around 1000 hours, with some of the better makes possibly

makes from abroad. Also for this reason, they would be less likely to trust the

attaining 3 000 or 4 000 hours at best.

service offering that is part and parcel of investing in foreign brands.

Says Dawid Pretorius of PMC: “We bought a range of Chinese brands

CFP Tyres’ Pitout disagrees: “Servicing customers remains CFP’s driving

three to four years ago due to a cheaper price but they did not deliver on

force. Together with the Triangle Tyre factory, CFP is committed to ensuring

performance. We’ve now reverted to local suppliers (Dunlop), a brand we

a value add service for its local client base. With this in mind, ongoing tyre

know and trust and suppliers with whom we enjoy a good relationship.”

evaluation, technical support from the factory and a web based tyre warranty system are just a few of the initiatives CFP has in place for this purposed.

Suggests Apollo’s Steyn: “The OTR market is highly specialised. In order

Added to that, we have also streamlined our claim process insofar as

to achieve the best cost per hour/ton now as well as 10 years from now,

providing customers with feedback and refunds (where necessary) in the

it’s important that suppliers concentrate on building long term strategic

least possible time, steps which are aimed at differentiating Triangle Tyre

relationships with their customers. This market also requires excellent

as a leader of imported brands.”

field-to-factory communication, continuous product development, and customer buy-in. This is unfortunately where the Chinese lack the resources

“Why even the local tyre industry struggles to attract the right calibre of

and expertise for this task, with the majority being profit hunters with little

person for the job. Technical experts are expected to descend into dark

regard for the long-term interests of the mine.

dirty mines at the crack of dawn, crawl around under machinery and work

“I believe that the regular discussion and interaction that takes place

position,” argues Clarke.

with heavy equipment in hot confined spaces – not exactly a Club Med between us and our customers has been the fundamental reason for Dunlop’s success in this market.”

Continues Steyn: “One of the biggest opencast mines in SA is a prime

1 6 • F o c u s o n O T R T y r e s

Local industry claims Chinese imports do not deliver and are prone to tyre failures.

example. The Servicing Department recently invested in 100 ultra large sizes from China which are standing around gathering dust as the mine refuses to utilise them by virtue of their poor performance and downtime (allegedly each tyre blow is equal to up to six hours of downtime). Apparently, tyre failures connected with Chinese brands include tyre construction failures and compounding issues to name a few. Interestingly, while the bigger, more sophisticated mining house appear to be steering clear off unknown Chinese makes, foreign brands are managing to secure an important presence in loader/hard rock applications. Bridgestone’s Jordon San explains: “The thinking in this particular segment

“That being said, let’s not forget that Chinese tyre makers are soliciting the

of the market is ‘why pay more for a reputable tyre when you can buy a

services and expertise of people from Bridgestone and Michelin, bringing

Chinese alternative for half the price’? The tyre isn’t meant to last so a

them into their operations in a bid to improve quality and performance.

sizeable investment hardly seems worth it.

Ignoring the growing impact of Chinese tyre production would be a fatal mistake for us to make,” cautions San.

Says Continental’s Clarke: “It would be myopic to expect Asian imports to limit themselves to the truck sector. Already BKT dominates the agricultural

And as the threat of yet another global OTR tyre shortage looms on the

tyre market, thereby eroding the ability of local manufacturers to maintain

horizon, Chinese tyre makers will undoubtedly seize on the opportunity to

profitability. Inevitably, emerging markets will find a market for their low

push higher volumes into the market, while also making every endeavour

cost products.”

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O n e - o n - O n e • 1 7

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Distributor for RSA, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana

I n d u s t r y N e w s • 1 9

BOTO appoints Transafrica as Exclusive Distributor Shandong Wanda BOTO Tyre Co, has appointed Transafrica Tyre & Wheel (Pty) Ltd as their Exclusive Distributor for BOTO Radial OTR tyres. Confirming the appointment, Ken Martin, Director of Transafrica, indicated that this was the culmination of a strong relationship which had developed since 2008. BOTO Tyre Co, is a leading manufacturer of OTR Radials, which are sold globally into more than 90 countries. Its products conform to International quality standards, with all the necessary accreditations, including ISO9001. BOTO has a full range of products covering the 25” TO 35” category, with a strong focus on radial tyres for ADT type machines in particular. Martin added that the BOTO radials had been evaluated at leading ADT machine operators over the last two years, and had delivered trouble free performance with a very competitive cost per hour. The range is also being increased with some Loader sizes available. Transafrica is headed by Ken Martin, a veteran of over 30 years in the industry. He served in executive positions at Arctic Rubber, Tredcor (Trentyre), Goodyear and Dunlop, and his energy and experience, coupled to the BOTO brand, will provide a competitive package for the target customer base. Transafrica has offices in Durban and Johannesburg, with a central warehouse located in Johannesburg(see picture). Inventory is also held regionally with Dealers/Service providers, close to the end user customers. Martin indicated that another important feature of this agreement is that in future only BOTO brand OTR Radials sold by Transafrica Tyre, as the Exclusive Distributor, will be covered by the BOTO manufacturing warranty (See letter of appointment). This will be monitored by serial number, and is part of a campaign to stop parallel marketing and grey market trading. In this regard Martin said that customers need to be cautious when offered BOTO tyres from someone other than Transafrica Tyre, the exclusive distributor. Mr Frank Zhang, Vice President of Global Sales for BOTO, indicated that they were pleased to be working with Transafrica, and that South Africa is an important market for BOTO (see letter of appointment). For more information contact Ken Martin on 0833878403 or

Ken Martin, Director of Transafrica

2 0 • I n d u s t r y N e w s

Chemvulc Innovating new products for Retreaders Chemvulc has three factories in Roodepoort.

Preparing the tyre for pressure tests.

Chemvulc is proud to announce they have

The tyre was then placed in an inflation cage

just completed their ISO9000 Quality

and filled with water. The hand test pump was

management program which was no small

used to take the pressure to 16.6bar, (double

project and took a year to put all the systems

the rating of the tyre). At this pressure the

and checks in place. Already Chemvulc’s

repairs held and the tyre was still in good

ISO program has brought great benefits

shape. The pressure was then increased to

insofar as accountability and the streamlining

20bar. At this enormous pressure the tyre

of the manufacturing process is concerned,

failed but the repairs held. An impressive

opening further export opportunities for the

result as well as a testament to the capability

company. Chemvulc is committed to offering

of the patches and the extreme performance

its customers a world class product produced

of the tyre. (Results of the test are available

locally, with quality and consistency that

on request).

customers can rely on and with this in mind, coupled with the ISO system, innovation and

What is more, a new product is now available

improvements are its main objectives. This

from Chemvulc specifically for retreading

year has seen improvements in the design

industry – the envelope repair kit to prolong

and finish of the Chemvulc Double Bond and

the life of curing envelopes and tubes.

Chemical patch lines.

Formulated from heat resistant butyl, the

Chemvulc specifically included in the ISO

envelopes with butyl solution and placed in

system aspects of the SANS20108/9

the chamber for curing. The repair patch



will extend the working life of the envelope

new repair patch can be applied to curing

The envelope repair kit.




standard of its products to meet the needs

until it can no longer be repaired. For further

of retreaders who are retreading to SABS

information on the envelope repair kit,

and ECE standards. Part of the SANS


requirement was to test patches to double the inflation pressure rating of the tyre.

Chemvulc has also been involved in the manufacture of patches for the RFID tyre

R4 Buffing Hub.

The tests were done using water pressure

management system. This will go a long way

for safety. A truck tyre with a max pressure

to reducing the cost in implementing the

rating of 8.3 bar was used and four major

system, and provide local availability of the

repairs were done in each quadrant, on both

RFID patch. The patch contains the RFID

sidewalls of the tyre, using the maximum

chip that gives each tyre its unique ID, and

injury for the size patch used. Patches

along with software and scanners, the full

tested were the chemical patch, using

history of a tyre can be stored from its first

the company’s own chemical vulcanising

fitting right through its lifetime, including

solution, double bond and the sectional

every retread. The RFID tyre management

patches, all of which were done with the

system offers a significant solution to the

truck repair system and a spotter.

huge problem of theft of tyres that plagues

“the solution and the cure�


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2 2 • I n d u s t r y N e w s

tyre dealers and users alike. For further information on how this tyre management system can help you or a free demo, contact Chemvulc. About Chemvulc Chemical Vulcanising Systems Pty Ltd, “Chemvulc” began in 1977 and has steadily grown into an organisation with

RFID Patches, now available locally.

branches in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Durban and Bloemfontein. It now has a fleet of vehicles and a sales team that covers every city and town in South Africa with quality tyre products for retreading, tyre shops and EM tyre repair contractors. With three factories in Roodepoort, Chemvulc is currently exporting to Australia, Romania, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Ghana, UK, and Southern Africa, the company carries the most comprehensive range of tyre repair products and tyre equipment for passenger, truck and earthmover tyres. To complement the automotive range Chemvulc also manufactures an industrial rubber range for conveyor belt splicing and repair, rubber to metal bonding and other mining applications. Chemvulc can be contacted at 011 472 1016, or email: Chemvulc offers the full consumable range for retreaders

These quality brands are available from Chemvulc:

2 4 • M a n u f a c t u r i n g

Michelin launches new tyre for Earthmover market Designed for small and mid-size loaders, the Michelin XHA2 is the latest generation of the Michelin XHA tyre. Launched in the late 1980s, the XHA has since established itself as the industry benchmark with 1.5 million units sold worldwide. Last May, distributors from Europe and around the world began offering their client companies the new tyre, which allegedly meets three fundamental business goals: it reduces hourly costs, ensures that work continues smoothly and safely, and; improves operator working conditions. To attain these results, Michelin designed the XHA2 to be especially robust. They claim the tyre stands out from the competition in three ways: • Additional rubber has been incorporated in the tread, making the tyre even more damage-resistant. • The sidewalls have been strengthened with a special protective rib and anti-scrape shields. • Michelin developed crack rotation rubber compounds that help to prevent flats. The Michelin XHA2 lasts up to 10% longer than its predecessor. The tread improves traction and makes the tyre self-cleaning (expelling earth caught between tread blocks) while reducing temporary losses of grip. This optimized traction reduces rolling resistance and therefore fuel consumption. The Michelin XHA2’s patented tread design drastically reduces vibrations that can be felt by operators and cause damage to mechanical components. What’s more, the tyre reduces the oscillations caused by heavy loads and frequent changes of direction thanks to its bigger contact patch.

Dunlop does it again! O’Donoghue & Associates, a Durban based advertising agency, have harnessed the power and message of the two concepts precision and Parkour, and created an impressive new corporate television advertisement for Dunlop’s retail stores, Dunlop Zone. This advertisement builds on their hugely successful ‘Driven By Precision’ Dunlop ad that was flighted in 2009. Parkour and precision are two concepts that go hand in hand. Parkour, which has attained an international following for the breath taking tasks undertaken, is a discipline in which participants run along a route using only the human body to get from one place to another. Along the route Parkour artists overcome the obstacles through running and jumping, or specific Parkour moves. Precision is required to successfully undertake Parkour, demanding the discipline, dedication, detail and control needed to attain perfection. O’Donoghue & Associates have artfully used Parkour to communicate their concept ‘Precision’, in this Dunlop Zone advertisement. Managing Director of O’Donoghue & Associates, John O’Donoghue explains, “We conceptualised a commercial that built on the precision concept from the first Dunlop ad, which is synonymous with a fleet of yellow cars taking over the streets of Cape Town. This ad used the idea of driver precision for the brand. We developed this idea further to use Parkour to demonstrate human precision for the retail side - Dunlop Zone. With the pay off line ‘precision tyre fitment’, it focuses more on the service aspect. We wanted it be innovative and stimulating, projecting the Dunlop brand as a high performance, premium option that is both dedicated to excellence and full of vitality. We are extremely proud of the outcome, and believe it will achieve the same success as its predecessor”. The commercial, which is currently being flighted on South African television, is bold and stimulating, featuring 3 Parkour artists, which on their way to work and upon their arrival at a Dunlop Zone, illustrate human precision and attention to detail. The high energy, 45 second advert stars British Parkour artist Chase Armitage, who is internationally

APOLLO SA RECEIVES TS 16949 CERTIFICATION Apollo Tyres SA has received the Quality Management System

into account customer specific requirements in addition to the normal

certification TS 16949 for its heavy bus, truck radial and light truck

standard’s requirements, something which is particularly important in

radial manufacturing facility based in Durban. The second production

today’s OE market where even more stringent quality demands are

plant in Ladysmith has had the certification for the last six years for the

placed by the OEM on their first tier suppliers.

design and manufacture of passenger car tyres. Apollo’s Dunlop branded truck radial tyres are currently supplied to TS 16949 is based on the ISO 9001 series of quality systems and takes

MAN Truck and Bus, Nissan Diesel, Toyota and General Motors.

M a n u f a c t u r i n g • 2 5

through this concept it illustrates their passion for providing precision service to their clients. The commercial puts Dunlop Zone and its employees forward as energised, dynamic, precise and modern, moving onward and upward. After the huge success of Dunlop’s 2009 advertisement ‘Driven By Precision’, O’Donoghue & Associates look forward to the same achievement for this lively sequel, ‘Human Precision’. Jenny Soons, Marketing Communications Manager for Dunlop, comments, “The Dunlop Zones are really the retail face of the Dunlop brand ­ modern, recognised as one of the best in the world, with two South African artists

premium with a high performance image. We wanted consumers to

Dane Grant and Vernon Willemse, alongside him. The advertisement

recognise that the Dunlop Zone retail store is THE place for precision

took two months from concept to production, and about 50 people were

fitment, when fitting high performance tyres. We wanted something

involved in the shoot. It took two days to film, and was filmed at the Sci ­

young, something edgy that really differentiates the Dunlop Zones for the

Bono Science Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The featured Dunlop

consumers as the place to go for advanced technology premium products,

Zone is on Lynwood Road, Pretoria, and Collective Films once again did an

attention to detail and outstanding service, and we are delighted with the

outstanding job in their role as the production company.


During the advertisement the three athlete artists make their way through

“This commercial is bursting with energy, which is beautifully balanced

an urban landscape to work, showing their talents off, with the excitement

by the control needed for Parkour. We are proud of the fact that it has

and precision of Parkour highlighted in their every movement ­ bouncing

been conceptualised by a Durban based agency, proving our capability to

off buildings and flying through the air. When they arrive at work at a

compete with the best in the business. We look forward to a great response

Dunlop Zone, they prepare for the day setting up their tools and preparing

and continually achieving in the future”, ends O’Donoghue.

for service excellence and precision tyre fitment ­ lining up the spanners, loading the water, straightening the nametag.

‘Human Precision’ is currently being flighted on channels across South African television, and this sequel is a proud testament to South

This speaks of Dunlop Zone’s focus and dedication to attention to detail.

African talent and service. O’Donoghue & Associates have once again

The advertisement is based on the concept of ‘Human Precision’, and

demonstrated their capability with this projection of Dunlop’s passion for

encompasses what Dunlop Zones are all about. It seeks to highlight that

precision in an original and exhilarating manner, staying true to the brand’s

Dunlop Zone is not only about tyres, but also about people and, and

image, while keeping it fresh.

If the Tyre is lacking Air it reaches for the Phone Continental’s tyre pressure monitoring system will soon be able to

station do not measure the pressure accurately. In addition, a brief honk

report to smart phones. The system also provides information about the

and blink signal can be given to confirm when the tyre has been inflated

correct pressure when tyres are inflated. Enhanced driving safety and

to the correct pressure level. Technical requirements for the system

fuel efficiency are expected.

are a tyre pressure monitoring system with the corresponding sensors

Allegedly, Continental is making driving safer and more economical for

interface. First series production of the Filling Assistant in new vehicles

the future with a new application that reports the tyre pressure directly

is expected from 2013 onwards.

in the tyres and factory-integrated vehicle electronics with a wireless

to a smart phone. The vehicle electronic is connected wirelessly with the driver’s smart phone, therefore making speedy data exchange possible.

From 2013, Continental expects to start mass producing the first tyres

The Continental Interior Division’s “Filling Assistant” specifies the exact

that will have sensors collecting tyre data directly in the tyre underneath

inflation pressure of each tyre. So when adding air, the optimum tyre

the tread, instead of sensors that are connected to the valve. This will

pressure can be achieved, even when inflation pumps at the filling

mark the beginning of the intelligent tyre era.

2 8 • E v e n t s

Michelin goes green in Rio At the recent Bibendum Challenge in breathtakingly beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Michelin proved that it does more than just produce tyres; the company is making a real contribution in the quest to reduce CO2 emissions. BRUCE CAROLIN was there.

The Michelin Bibendum Challenge started in 1998 as a platform to explore alternative sources of energy that, in turn, could reduce the greenhouse gas effect that transportation has on the environment.

seeking solutions to reduce the greenhouse

In a nutshell, it involves a total of 80 vehicles, which compete in a rally. The difference between the Bibendum Challenge and conventional rallies is the powertrain of the vehicles; they are powered by biodiesel, batteries, hydrogen, ethanol as well as conventional fuels.

gases that are being emitted by the world’s 900 million vehicle population. When one considers than our planet’s fleet is expected to comprise between two and three billion vehicles within the next 40 years, it becomes very evident that we have to find alternatives to our current dependence on fossil fuels.

The results of the rally proved beyond doubt that huge strides are being made in the fight to reduce CO2 emissions. More importantly though, the rally demonstrated the enthusiasm and effort being undertaken by Michelin and its co-sponsors in order to make a positive contribution to modern mobility requirements.

Of course, one may query why Michelin is involved in this undertaking. After all, the company is a tyre producer; it doesn’t produce batteries or sell fuel, for instance. The answer is simple: tyres account for up 20% of the energy consumed to propel an internal combustion vehicle. By designing more fuel efficient tyres, therefore, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced.

While many companies are paying lip service to matters affecting our environment, Michelin has been working quietly behind the scenes day wered vehicles.

gies for electric-po

new technolo chelin is developing


and night (it has 72 plants in 19 countries),

Take, for instance, the current Michelin Energy saver tyre. It saves up to 0.2 litres per 100 kilometres travelled and cuts CO2 emissions by 4 grams per kilometre. As at the end of December 2009 Michelin had sold 37 million of these tyres worldwide, which theoretically saved 184 million litres of fuel. However Michelin has now gone beyond tyre development and is seeking to influence the future of our mobility needs. The company has been investigating all aspects that influence the job of the tyre, from the drive train to the wheel. It has also designed and developed new technologies specifically for electric vehicles. Clearly Michelin believes that our future lies

E v e n t s • 2 9

in electric powered vehicles as they are friendlier towards the environment and thus the company has targeted this area for future research and design. Alongside the Bibendum Challenge in Rio, an exhibition took place, where Michelin unveiled new products that are currently being used on prototype vehicles. The tyre producer has a strategic alliance with Peugeot and Heuliez (current world leader in electric car manufacture). Each of these vehicles has been fitted with the new Michelin Active wheel drive trains. This technology eliminates the need for an engine at either the front or rear of the vehicle. There is also no need for a gearbox, clutch, driveshaft, transfer box, differential or shock absorbers. The weight saving thus makes the vehicle more fuel efficient. The Michelin Active wheel hub carries the electric drive motor, a 145 mm travel active suspension device, the braking system and the tyre. Having an unsprung mass of 32 kilograms, the design of this wheel allows for the tyre to remain in full contact with the road surface as the turning arc is symmetrical and the travel vertical. Choice of drive can be via front, rear or four wheels as each wheel is independent. The active suspension has a response time of 3 milliseconds and maximum power output is 60 kW with a continuous rating of 30 kW. This wheel will contribute significantly to future vehicle design as it is basically a “bolt on” device. The entire unit is a Michelin innovation. The 6 000 researchers employed at Michelin’s Technology Centre have also designed some prototype EV (Electric Vehicle) tyres that they believe are needed specifically to meet the requirements of electric and hybrid vehicles. These tyres have a larger diameter, but are narrower than a conventional tyre in order to minimise rolling resistance. A low profile reduces flex which, in turn, creates less deformation and heat build-up. This results in additional energy savings and longer life. As an alternative power supply, Michelin has designed a highly reliable hydrogen fuel cell that generates a power density of 0.7 kW/kg and has a lifespan of “several thousand hours”. It is currently undergoing demanding testing under aeronautical conditions and its release in imminent. The message is clear: this tyre company is living up to its motto of delivering “cleaner, more efficient, safer – truly modern technologies to meet new world needs”. Take a bow, Michelin! Tyres to meet the requirements of ele ctric and hybrid ve have specially be hicles en designed.

3 0 • C o n t i C o r n e r

d guests d buses transporte Continental brande mes in style. to and from the ga

Michelle and Alex Taplin of TWT .

s get creative.

Mexico supporter

Soccer City prepares for the inaugural event.

Dieter Horni, MD of Continental Tyre SA (left) entertains guests in the Conti Hospitality Suite.

A global official sponsor to the FIFA Soccer World Cup, Continental Tyre SA is in a unique position to leverage off its association with the world’s most watched sport. In response, the months of June and July were particularly active for the tyre maker who capitalised on this glorious occasion in elaborate style. Pic 1 and 2: Guests were treated to 3 nights at the Mount Grace Hotel. Pic 3 and 4: Kapama River Lodge provided the ultimate game viewing experience.


C o n t i C o r n e r • 3 1

World Cup splendour – Continental style!

Continental’s Johan Liebenberg puts the Vuvuzela to good use.

Customers, suppliers and staff alike were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime

Country Hotel and Spa, before jetting off to Kapama River Lodge in the

experience, which not only involved getting their hands on some highly-

Lowveld for an unforgettable game viewing experience.

sought after match tickets, with full access to Continental’s Hospitality Suite at Soccer City before and after the games, but also being treated to a complete hospitality experience spanning a total of five days.

The trip also included tours of the Sammy Marks Museum in Pretoria, as well as the Apartheid Museum in Soweto, activities which held special appeal for the multitude of foreign visitors which were hosted by

I was privileged to be included in one of the first hospitality groups (there

Continental over the four-week period.

were 200 guests in total) which comprised 58 top SA retailers in one single trip, was privy to the Opening Ceremony and the legendary match between

The fact that Germany came as far as it did in the World Cup before finally

South African and Mexico in which Bafana Bafana drew 1-1.

falling in defeat to Spain at the semi-finals, undoubtedly heightened the overall experience for this German-based tyre company which in my

We were carted in and out of Soccer City courtesy of a fleet of dedicated

opinion, did our nation and our industry proud in the faultless execution

Continental buses, after which we enjoyed a relaxing day at the Mount Grace

of a promotional campaign that would rival the world’s best.


3 2 • D e a l e r P r o f i l e

The new Cinturato P7TM tyre, compared to the previous model, offers the following advantages:

E v e n t s • 3 3

Pirelli goes green but blue comes out tops! Who says tyre companies don’t know how to throw a good bash? No disrespect intended to my highly respected friends in the new tyre sector, but I recently attended the most creative and wellexecuted product launch that frankly, knocked the socks off any new tyre launch I’ve attended in the last 20 years. The host company was Pirelli Tyre SA while the product in question was the new Cinturato P7 - Pirelli’s very first high-performance eco tyre for medium and high-powered cars. Traditionally, members of the press congregate at venues such as Gerotek, Kyalami or Killarney when called upon to test the capabilities of new tyres on the market, but this event was markedly different. We were asked to meet at the Pirelli space located on 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, to attend a two-day event at an undisclosed location. Over early morning coffees, we listened to a brief presentation explaining the features and benefits of the new tyre, which allegedly, is not only eco-friendly, but also offers economy, safety on all road surfaces plus good road handling. Added to that, the Cinturato P7 uses state-of-the-art materials and engineering techniques, so is therefore on the cutting edge in every way: compounds, materials, structure and tread design. The result - a tyre that guarantees stead performance through the tyre’s useful life in terms of cutting noxious emissions, reducing noise, running economy, shorter braking distances and handling. The P7’s eco profile reveals a tyre made only with aromatic oil-free materials, assuring an overall consumption reduction of up to 4% and 30% less noise. As far as safety is concerned, the P7 apparently offers enhanced performance in wet and dry braking, respectively of two metres and one. For those who paid particular attention to the presentation it later emerged to be a huge advantage, not only in solving some of the cryptic clues along the way, but also when it came to solving a crossword puzzle which the press was obliged to complete.

Top: Members of the press met at the Pirelli space for a short briefing. Bottom: A fleet of stunning BMW XIs were made available for the event.

E v e n t s • 3 5

And so it was that we were then divided into four teams – Yellow, Red, White and Blue – and told to prepare ourselves for our very own ‘Amazing Race’ contest that would not only test our wits but also the capabilities of the newly-launched BMW X1 (shod with the new Cinturato P7 of course!) Our quest was to follow the clues along the way, and reach our elected destination, armed with a number of paraphernalia which we were expected to collect along the way (such as flags and photographs). The first team to arrive would be awarded the coveted trophy plus fashion vouchers to the value of R2 000 courtesy of Pirelli PZero fashion! The first clue indicated that we were to head for South Africa’s famous coal mining town which us led us to deduce that our first pit stop was the town of Witbank. The Blue team (of which I was a member), was the last to depart which put us at an immediate disadvantage of seven minutes.

In true Amazing Race Style the event consisted of finding and solving clues as well as participating in a series of challenges along the way.

Undettered, we put foot (yes, we exceeded the speed limit, but this was an Amazing Race after all!) put our minds to the task at hand and threw ourselves totally into the game. Of course in true Amazing Racing tradition, we were also obliged to participate in a series of challenges en route. The first of these was Clay Pigeon shooting (I must confess I failed miserably on this one) which took place just outside Dullstroom. Next, we had to decipher an encrypted word (the word meant cave) locate the correct caves somewhere past the Lydenburg area, explore them and produce evidence of our presence there by way of photographs of the respective formations within their depths. The event concluded with the teams racing for God’s Window in Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga, where we were met by the organisers with champagne and orange juice while stopping to take in the breathtaking views. I’m proud to say that against all odds, the Blue team came out tops, winning the challenge along with the trophy and fashion vouchers. What a proud day for us! And what a wonderful event! The cars were a joy to drive while the new tyre truly did excel in terms of road holding, braking and noise reduction. Well done Pirelli Tyre SA – hats off to you for staging such a remarkable and highly enjoyable event!

Pirelli Tyre is achieving higher levels of Green Performance in the tyre sector through its adoption of technologies and solutions for the automotive industry that in addition to ensuring product innovation, quality and a high level of performance and safety for customers, are increasingly more ecological. In the coming months, Pirelli’s Green Performance strategy will see the introduction of pioneering developments for the industry which will include increasingly green tyres in all segments, as well as the use of new, non-petroleum based materials.

Reuben van Niekerk, Bruce Faser and Liana Shaw (The Blue Team) show off their trophies.

D e a l e r P r o f i l e • 3 7

Size doesn’t count!


defies the odds Jaco Bredenkamp

Autoquip Alberton is one of the

On arrival I am met by a flurry of activity with every lift occupied. The

smallest outlets within the Group,

me at my car, enquiring how they can be of service.

and yet, despite its size and an

Store Manager Jaco Bredenkamp swiftly follows on their heels ushering

overtraded arena, the store is generating impressive figures. We paid the outlet a visit to see if we could get to bottom of its success.

staff clearly have their hands full but still they make a point of greeting

me into a quieter space so that we can talk minus the sounds of jack hammers and tyre wrenches. From the outset I’m impressed that in contrast to recent laments from the tyre trade as to how the economic downturn is affecting their businesses, Jaco appears perplexed when I raise the issue with him.

3 8 • D e a l e r P r o f i l e

The only limitation to the future growth of this business is the size of the premises.

He says: “We haven’t felt any adverse effects to our business, likely due

A keen 4x4 enthusiast, Jaco also passionately supports a variety of 4x4

to our extensive offering which includes wheels and suspension systems.”

forums which serve as the ideal platform for him to develop the 4x4 tyre and wheel business. In fact, this side of his business has almost doubled in

Autoquip enjoys an affiliation with Aline Wheels as well as a close

the last few years due largely to his relentless efforts in this regard.

association with Bridgestone which constitutes its primary brand alongside other premium makes such as Michelin Pirelli and Falken, synergies which

“In this business, you need to be proactive as well as hands-on if you are to

have likely contributed to the success of this tyre and fitment centre. A

attain growth. It would be counter-productive for a branch manager to be

further diversification drive into suspensions has also opened up a new

sitting behind his desk all the time. Get involved, lend a hand at the counter

market with pleasing results.

so that you can identify any problem areas that could be jeopardising your

But there are other winning factors too. Jaco claims that some of his staff

ability to sell up, something that can only be driven from the top.”

turnover and GPs. Success for a business such as this depends on one’s have been with the store for the last 10 years since it first opened. “There’s very little staff turnover except for obvious staff promotions which of

The location of the store is clearly another important factor. Autoquip

course, we welcome. It’s gratifying to see people working their way up the

Alberton is located on a prime site on Voortrekker Street, enjoying both


visibility and accessibility. Its only drawback is its size which Jaco says often limits their ability to service as many customers as they would like, particularly during the month of December. When I ask him to name the challenges to his business, he immediately alludes to the infiltration of ‘cheapies’ coming in from the East which he says is contributing to the outrageous price-cutting in the market. “That being said, I don’t believe in focusing on the negative,” says Jaco, who has enjoyed many years in the retail trade, with a greater percentage of them spent with the Tiger Wheel & Tyre Group before joining Autoquip 5 years ago. “Instead, I abide by the philosophy of regular staff training and sticking to the basics. If you do that, the rest will follow naturally.” Clearly, it’s a strategy that appears to be working.

3 6 • T a l k i n g T y r e s

T a l k i n g T y r e s • 4 1

Future technology

Revolution rather than evolution

Loosely continuing the theme of waste tyre management discussed in the previous issue of SA Treads, surely the tyre industry needs to adopt a revolutionary approach rather than run-of-the-mill evolution 

By Colin Mileman

T a l k i n g T y r e s • 4 3

The price of natural rubber continues to escalate. As such the issue of reducing the demand on natural resources in the production of tyres continues.

We know all too well that the tyre industry faces numerous challenges as far

the early 1990s, and has become a lot more prevalent since.

as going green is concerned, specifically related to dealing with the mounting problem of waste tyres.

However, maybe it’s time we start thinking out the box (or the circle in this case), and redeveloping the entire lifecycle of the tyre, from start to end.

Plus there’s the issue of reducing the demand on natural resources in the

From cradle to grave – and we seriously need to find ways of delaying the

production of tyres. And the ever-more stringent requirements for assisting


the motor industry in the battle against vehicle fuel consumption and harmful emissions.

Undoubtedly one of the most relevant and problematic issues relating to tyres, as discussed in my previous column, is the disposal of millions of tyres

But that begs the question: shouldn’t the tyre industry be coming up with a

once they’ve reached the end of their useable life.

new generation of ground-breaking solutions to these problems? Match that to natural resources that are being pillaged as if there’s no There’s no doubt that billions is invested in research and development, and

tomorrow, and it’s easy to see why a revolutionary new strategy is needed,

I’m not suggesting that any of the tyre companies are dragging their feet in

and soon.

this regard. Surely we should be working feverishly to regenerate used tyres into new? It Certainly I’m of the firm opinion, and always have been, that some of the

has proven to be highly effective with plastic and glass. Old bottles, containers

most notable improvements in vehicle performance, handling, safety and

and packets are melted down and given a new lease on life over and over

rolling resistance in recent years have largely been attributed to fantastic new

again – although South Africa still has a long way to go to fully embrace and

tyre technology.

adopt the basic concept of recycling.

Indeed, the shift from pure carbon black to silica compounds achieved one

I admit that I performed dismally at chemistry while at school, so I’m the last

of the greatest advances in tyre tech to date. It all comes down to the concept

person to try and analyse the composition and bonding properties between

of the “magic triangle of tyre technology”. This defines the contrasting

atoms and molecules. Yet I’ll acknowledge that modern tyres and their

relationship between rolling resistance, durability and grip – you improve

chemical components are extremely complex, and the synthetic polymers

one and the others tend to suffer.

used to achieve the optimal tyre performance in all areas pose a major challenge in being reworked back into the system.

The introduction of silica redefined that scenario, allowing for much higher levels of grip (particularly in the wet), matched to reduced rolling resistance

Undoubtedly, there are many knowledgeable men and women in white lab

(by as much as 20 percent), as well as enhanced tyre life. It was first used in

coats that have pondered over this issue, and continue to do so. But I think

4 4 • T a l k i n g T y r e s

Revolution rather than evolution it’s time we reappraise the concept in its entirety, investigating the potential for totally reinventing tyre technology. We should be working towards an industry that employs used tyres as a primary material for new tyre production, rather than merely a problematic by-product. In some cases a small percentage of crumbed rubber generated from scrap tyres is used as supplemental filler in new and retreaded tyre production. However, the focus should really shift towards redesigning tyre compounds from the ground up with a multiple lifespan, capable of being broken down and remoulded many times over into new tyres. That would avail the tyre industry of massive readily available resources at the very heart of their business: in the replacement industry. Rubber obtained from scrapped tyres would be put back into the system, dramatically reducing the demand on natural resources, and the cost of obtaining and refining them in the first place. The steel reinforcing elements of the tyre could be regenerated in the same way. As this new type of compound would already be fit-for-purpose, albeit with the need to effectively recycle it into a useable form, the cost of tyre production could feasibly be drastically reduced. Tyres would become less of a grudge purchase, and end users would hopefully use them within the safe parameters they’re designed for, rather than pushing the boundaries of durability due to the high cost of replacement. Hopefully, then, this would enable other secondary and complimentary features to become more affordable and prevalent within the car industry, such as tyre pressure monitoring systems that empower drivers to make the most of their tyres, and to maintain them at the ideal pressures for an even greater practical lifespan. It’s a relatively simplistic view, I confess, but in the long term it makes sense to me, the journalist. And I’m sure the environmentalists would give it the thumbs up too. As for the scientists and number-crunchers: well, use it/don’t use it …

Colin Mileman is a freelance motoring journalist,

cars and bikes as they come, and has extensive knowledge

photographer and advanced driving specialist with over

of all motoring-related matters, including the topic of tyres,

13 years of experience in this field. As a former editor of

having run the annual and highly regarded Topcar tyre tests

Topcar and Topbike magazines, he’s as enthusiastic about

for several years.

B a n d a g • 4 5

Could the

5 Mileage Thieves be

Impacting on your operating budget? Ever heard of the 5 Mileage Thieves? Even if you have, it might be worth

are matched using the following criteria; size, make, model, design and

your while to read the following tips in ensuring that you get the most out of

tread depth (3mm tolerance). Every tyre has its own characteristics and by

your tyre investment. Too often tyres are judged by the wrong criteria and

fitting tyres in dual positions that are not correctly matched, will cause tyres

all because the basics of tyre management are not followed.

to ‘resist’ each other so that in turn, they do not perform to their optimum

Bandag endeavours to get these basics right to make a difference to the


levels. TIP: Ensure you match tyres across the axle, to ensure superior bottom line of fleets, thereby delivering not only value added services, but a noticeable difference in the ‘true’ costs associated with tyres in fleets of

Irregular wear due to mechanical problem – tyres tend to be the ‘fall guy’ in many instances. While they cannot

all sizes.

be completely exempted from poor performance, there are times when other factors determine the performance

So, what are these 5 Mileage Thieves and how can they be overcome?

of tyres. We commonly refer to these as mechanical

The 5 Mileage Thieves are: tching • Incorrect pressures • Misma al problems nic • Irregular wear due to mecha Overloading • Incorrect tread selection •

These seem like obvious

issues (includes vehicle alignment). TIP: Regular wheel alignment can

issues but all too often,

improve tyre performance and eliminate uneven wear.

these basic fundamentals in



Incorrect Tread Selection – tyres are generally

are overlooked and the

designed for a specific application. Drive axles are

end result is poor tyre

more aggressive for increased traction and trailer


tread designs are generally rib patterns designed

resultant transference in blame. The Bandag way is to tackle these issues

to be free rolling. Bandag has invested heavily in

upfront, ensuring you get the most out of your tyre operating budget.

R&D to design and develop its Application Specific® range of tread



designs. These treads are developed to provide superior performance How this is done:

in the chosen application that a generic design won’t be able to do.

Pressure maintenance – this critical tyre management

TIP: Enquire more about the Bandag Application Specific® range of

discipline is fundamental to managing any fleet effectively.

products today!

Incorrect pressures can affect tyre performance by up to 25%. Managing pressures effectively, is the first step in

Overloading – this is such a common practice in Africa but one that

ensuring that tyre performance is not affected. An influx

seriously hinders tyre performance. Tyres are designed to carry a load at a

of air pressure monitoring systems in the market place can bear testimony

given pressure. All ‘E’ and ‘DOT’ marked tyres come with a load carrying

to the importance of selecting and maintaining the correct air pressures

index and speed rating. Exceeding the load index and speed rating, will

in your fleet. TIP: Select and maintain tyre pressures as often as possible.

put the tyres under tremendous pressure and jeopardise the integrity of casings. TIP: Never overload!

Mismatching – imagine for a minute a man removing his Grasshoppers from one foot and slipping on his wife’s

With these basics in place, you are sure to start seeing a difference in

high heels! If he tries to walk, what do you imagine the

your tyre performance. To implement the next step in professional tyre

result will be? The same is true for matching tyres which

management, contact Bandag today!

With the reliability you get from Bandag, your fleet can take on anything. 8182 Bandag Strip Ad.indd 3 5/15/08 4:39:38 PM

4 6 • G o o d y e a r N e w s

Is this the MTR of all tyres? Motoring




The Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar stands the test during evaluation at the Goodyear Serious Freedom 4x4 Academy.

The Hilux approaches the pit - about two metres wide, five metres long and a metre deep - cautiously. More than half of the pit is filled with sludgy, slimy, clay based mud. The entry and exit edges of the pit are vertical. It looks like a cauldron of trouble. We are at Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve near Worcester in the Western

experienced a weekend evaluating the Goodyear

Cape, home to the Goodyear 4x4 Academy. Gerhard Groenewald,

Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar amongst the rugged

surrounding the mud pit stand I (a cynical journalist loving off-road and

(frequently gruelling) hills of the Klipbokkop

Africa. We are waiting anxiously to see firsthand what this new tyre can do.

Goodyear Serious Freedom 4x4 Academy. A

The Hilux carries on regardless, confident that it will reach the opposite

seasoned motoring journalist, we asked him for his thoughts on the tyre.

4x4 expert and owner of Klipbokkop is behind the wheel. On the sides 4x4’s), as well as the sales force of all the major Goodyear offices in South

shore. Its confidence is born from the fact that it is running this gruelling test on a set of very special tyres: a set of Goodyear MT/R with Kevlar. Serious off-road tyres. Because this is serious off-road.

G o o d y e a r N e w s • 4 7

First of all, the MT/R with Kevlar contains Kevlar reinforced sidewalls to provide puncture resistance due to the fact that Kevlar is, pound for pound, five times stronger than steel. The earlier test, climbing rock walls, proved that it works. However, for this mud pit test, the fact that the MT/R with Kevlar has a wraparound tread, giving enhanced sidewall traction, is far more important. The Silica in the compound also gives better all-round traction in the wet. And this mud is wet; slimy wet. The traction forks in the tread also provide additional horizontal edges for grip in mud with see-through grooves that provide an avenue to evacuate the mud. Slowly the front set of MT/R with Kevlar engages the mud and rolls

The bakkie’s rear wheels grind against the exit wall, rocking and rolling in a

forward without a slip until the entire bakkie is taking a mud bath. This

mud wrestling dance. The tyres spin and grip, spin and grip, grinding the

is the easy part. The real test is getting out on the opposite vertical

bakkie out onto dry ground. The spectators start breathing again, looking at

edge. Low range, first gear and diff lock on, the MT/R with Kevlar tests

each other. This is something they can sell with confidence. Buckets full of

the edge. Gerhard gives more power. Bite by bite the bakkie moves

muddy water run off the underside of the bakkie.

forward. Then a little back, forward again. I notice how the mud flies off the tread, grooves cleaning themselves for another attack.

Slowly the front door opens. Gerhard gets out and lights his pipe. “Why did I do this demonstration?” he asks, puffing away. “Because I can. Why? Because of the MT/R with Kevlar. It’s about the only thing that will get you through this pit.” I do agree. It’s the ultimate for serious off-roading. But it’s not an all round tyre. If the going is easy on tar or if it gets tough on dirt, you can keep going with a set of Wrangler AT/SAs (last year I did 11 000 km through Africa on them with no problems) or DuraTracs. But if the going gets tougher, have a set of MT/R with Kevlar in the garage. (courtesy of Gerrit Rautenbach)

Rugged, rebellious, revolutionary ... Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar and Wrangler DuraTrac are Goodyear’s brand new duo of versatile, tougherthan-steel off-road tyres.

4 2 • C o n t i C o r n e r

W o r l d N e w s • 4 9

PIRELLI FORMULA ONE TESTS CONTINUE IN FRANCE Having run its Formula One PZero tyre for the first time in Italy last

has recently been developed into a high-tech test facility, can be driven

month, Pirelli’s eagerly-anticipated Formula One test campaign continued

in a number of different configurations. Pirelli’s test team made full use

this week at the Le Castellet circuit in the south of France, again with

of the circuit to run a high-speed configuration, enabling the engineers

Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the Toyota TF109 fitted with Pirelli’s latest Formula One tyres. 

 The Italian firm won the tender to supply tyres exclusively to the FIA

to assess the performance of the tyres under extreme loading as well as through slower and more technical sections. 

Throughout both days of the test, the car and the tyres performed perfectly. The performance of the new rubber, as well as its consistency and reliability, fully matched Pirelli’s

Formula One World Championship from 2011-2013 earlier this year,

expectations - as motorsport director Paul Hembery explained. 


and since then a concentrated campaign of research and development

very happy with the progress we’ve made so far, which actually puts us

has been ongoing to prepare for Pirelli’s first Formula One season in 20

slightly ahead of where we expected to be at this point in time,” pointed


With the initial shakedown work at Mugello from August 17-18

out Hembery. “We worked through an initial development programme

proving to be extremely successful, Pirelli continued its development

that has given us a useful insight into the performance of our prototype

programme at Paul Ricard for two days, working on both constructions

tyres under a wide range of conditions, corners and speeds. We’ve been

and compounds as per the planned schedule. 

At the same time, Italian

hugely encouraged by what we’ve seen up to now, and that’s been helped

driver Giorgio Pantano continued to test Pirelli’s GP2 tyres, which will

by both Nick’s clear and precise feedback, as well as all the different

also make their debut next season as part of a three-year tyre supply

possibilities afforded to us by the Paul Ricard circuit.” 

Pirelli’s test

agreement that takes in the entry-level GP3 series as well. 


programme will continue in Spain in two weeks’ time. In the meantime,

in the south of France remained warm throughout both test days, with an

the company will take to the track at Monza for the finale of this year’s

average ambient temperature of 24 degrees Centigrade and average track

GP3 Series from September 11-12, which is exclusively supplied by Pirelli

temperature of 28 degrees Centigrade. 

The Le Castellet circuit, which

in its inaugural season.

Apollo to Invest in Dutch, SA Tyre Plants Indian manufacturer Apollo Tyres has announced it is to invest

million for expansion and equipment upgrades.

6.6 million euros in its Enschede, Netherlands manufacturing unit

In its domestic market, Apollo is due to complete its Chennai

to increase the plant’s capacity from 5.1 million to 6 million tyres

Greenfield site by the end of 2010. Work commenced on the site last

per annum. The company’s South African concerns in Durban and

quarter. The company also reports it has sanctioned a further 3 billion

Ladysmith will also receive investments totalling a reported $30

rupee extension to the existing 20 billion investment.

5 0 • W o r l d N e w s

BUDGET TYRES COULD KILL, BUT AT LEAST THEY’RE QUIET What Car? has named and shamed budget brands in a test warning that

Wet Braking

tyres like these “could kill.” In the test published online on 4 August


2010 What Car? measured the performance of the Arrowspeed CP661, Continental Premium Contact 2, Goodyear Optigrip, Michelin Pilot Sport

Michelin Pilot Sport 3

3, Ovation VI-182 and Sunew YS112 in dry braking, wet braking, lateral

Goodyear Optigrip

grip and noise tests. The Michelin Pilot Sport 3 came out top, with

Continental ContoPremium Contact 2

particularly strong results in wet and dry braking. However, there were

Arrowspead CP661

some shocking outcomes in the budget sector when it came to braking

Ovation VI-182

and noise.




59.5 62.1 64.3 68.2 76.0 82.4

Sunew YS112

The budget tyres from Ovation and Sunew had a particularly bad time in the wet braking test. Here GPS-based timing technology was used to measure

Source: What Car?

how long it took each tyre to stop the Vauxhall Meriva test car from 70mph.

When it came to dry braking the budget tyres faired a lot better with the

All three budget tyres came out as clear losers in this category with the

Sunew YS112 outperforming the Goodyear Optigrip by 1.2 metres with a

Sunew YS112 taking 82.4 metres to come to a standstill – a whopping 22.9

stopping distance of 52.2 metres. The Ovation VI-182 equalled Goodyear’s

metres longer than the Michelin Pilot Sport 3. While better, the Ovation

result, but the Arrowspeed was half a metre behind this and came bottom

and Arrowspeed’s 76 and 68.2 metre respective stopping distances were

with a 53.9 metre dry braking distance. Michelin again topped this table,

a world apart from the top three, the longest of which was the Continental

taking 48.5 metres to come to halt, with the Continental tyre taking second

Premium Contact 2 with 64.3 metres.

place with 51.1 metres.



important ingredients that keep us

ahead of the pack!

I S O 9 0 0 2

T +27 11 473 8200 F +27 11 474 8659 E

5 2 • C o m p e t i t i o n / S u b s c r i p t i o n


to our previous competition winner

Paul Camdon of F.F.S. Refiners in Durban whose correct answer wins him a set of Premium 4x4 tyres courtesy of Maxxis

quarterly competition


QUESTION: When did Autoquip Alberton first open? ANSWER:������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ Name:����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Company:������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ Address:�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������



Telephone:___________________________________ Cellphone:��������������������������������

Click onto treads. to ente r!

… a set of tyres or wheels to the value of R5000 courtesy of Autoquip

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or enter online at


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Focus on TY

For more information on previous editions and advertising rates, check out our website:

Tyrexpo Africa hosts dynamic Tyre Confe rence One-on-One with Max T Solutions’ Peter Klein Tyre grading consi dered a new revol ution Michelin unveils first responsible sports tyre Going green … the environmental impa ct


A 2010

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a set of premium

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Vol 16 • June 2010


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