Following the recent global announcement that rubber/plastics industry giant Lanxess is to build the biggest ever rubber processing plant in the world in Singapore, those industries relying on a constant supply of tyres are for the first time being forced to actually consider this product as an asset rather than a consumable.
If rubber production is centralised in the Asia-Pacific region through this facility, it suggests that raw material will come through a centralised flow and prices are almost certain to be driven up.
It is this realisation, according to tyre life cycle management specialist, Mr Brad Bearman of Bear’s Tyres, that is prompting a rethink on the true value of tyres.
"It seems that the long-standing mindset and indifference to tyre choice has been turned on its head by this announcement and transport operators are now thinking more closely about what is the right type and brand of tyre to work with their specific application," said Mr Bearman.
As Managing Director of Bear’s Tyres, Mr Bearman has a lifetime of experience in dealing tyres and maintaining them as an independent operator; now he manages the life cycle of tyres through his world-first software driven technology, Bear’s Tyre Tracker.
"There are so many variables when it comes to choosing tyres but hardly ever are any of these options given any thought," said Mr Bearman.
"Something as simple as provenance, for instance, can matter so much. For example, tyres manufactured in Europe or in Asia are normally manufactured for climatic conditions in those regions whereas Australia can be a totally different physical operating environment.
"The surface of our roads, the heat of our roads, the often changing surface structure of our roads can be so different to those in Asia or Europe but operators here don’t seem to think about their own specific requirements.
"But now, challenged by the prospect of an increase in the price of rubber, there is as widespread expectation that tyres will go up in price and for the first time in Australian transport history, fleet operators and managers are beginning to understand the true value of a tyre.
"There are so many variables to a tyre — the actual compound, the tread pattern, resistance to heat and cold, ability to handle bends and/or straights, short haul demands over long haul demands, even radials versus retreads — these are all things that are poorly understood in Australia.
"This is where Bear’s Tyre Tracker steps in. It analyses statistical data gained from each trip and provides neutral advice for optimised maintenance and handling of every single tyre on a fleet.
Recognised recently as a finalist in a major Australia industry award, The Bear’s Tyre Tracker is a software-based technology that ensures fleet operators gain maximum lifespan from every single truck tyre across its entire fleet.
The simple-to-use system, which logs distances and advises rotations and retreading at optimised moments of each tyre’s lifespan, has been developed in-house by the brand-neutral company for national use.
Apart from enhancing tyre life, the technology also delivers intensely accurate cost breakdowns for each tyre.