A leading tyre body calls for more action to reduce the risks of making false economies when it comes to the selection and fitting of industrial tyres.
Leading figures in the tyre industry have voiced their concerns over the hazards of failing to adhere to strict standards when purchasing and fitting industrial tyres. At the Industrial Tyre Association (ITA), evidence of cutting corners during the economic downturn to save costs on tyres have left many alarmed.
Len Sambrook, chair of ITA explains: "When money is tight it can be tempting to buy cheap tyres or to delay replacing worn ones. But tyres are such an integral part of a forklift or industrial truck that by taking responsibility and following strict standards of specification and fitting of tyres users can significantly reduce the lifetime cost of the machine. Most of the time economies made around tyres are false economies in the long run."
ITA points out that tyres are often the most overlooked part of a truck. But specifying the right type of tyre can affect the lifting, stability and braking distances of an industrial truck, as well as improve its fuel economy. The use of an inferior product will severely impact not only the truck’s performance but also the health and safety of the operator.
"Tyres are the most expensive consumable item, yet a higher quality tyre, specified and fitted correctly has a significant impact on the lifetime cost of the machine," continues Len Sambrook. "Not only will they last longer, they will give better shock absorption thereby reducing the wear and tear on the more expensive components of the machine. And there is also a raft of health and safety considerations involved in the use of industrial tyres."
ITA aims to help companies purchase the best type of tyre for their machines, and ensure that they are fitted and used expertly. In line with this, it has launched a new website and is calling for more members to join the association to promote best practice.
ITA was founded 20 years ago and operates as a professional body setting standards of best practice. Its membership, which includes Solideal, Continental Tyres, Trelleborg, Michelin and ATS Euromaster, is drawn from tyre businesses, suppliers of related components or products, and businesses which service and fit industrial tyres and related products. To find out more about the benefits of joining ITA and learn more about best practice with industrial tyres, please visit the ITA website: http://www.industrialtyres.org