It was on a business trip to Thailand that I spotted the SG Revolution semi-solid cushion tyre range, and knew immediately that it could fill a gap in the market between solid and pneumatic tyres.
The unique design of the tyre, with a row of holes in the side walls, offers the same advantages as solid tyres – puncture-free and durable – but with shock absorbing capabilities more allied to pneumatic tyres. This helps to protect machine transmissions and components from potential damage.
International Tyre & Wheel Solutions (ITWS) negotiated successfully with manufacturer Shun Gin, and the first container was brought into the UK in 2006.
Early sales came from customers in waste, recycling and demolition, who recognised the ability of the tyre to last well in harsh ground conditions and keep working effectively even when damaged from loose objects such as rebar, scrap metal and glass. The semi-solid tyres overcame the issues experienced with foam-filled tyres, which may melt at high speeds, and with reinforced pneumatics that can puncture and deflate.
As more waste customers began to request SG Revolution tyres as a factory-fit option rather than a retro-fit option, fulfilled on-site by ITWS, talks began with major manufacturers.
In the case of JCB (see box left), the wheeled loader division tested the tyres for use with all sizes of machine, and approved the range for specification as an optional item for line fit. This was swiftly followed by the JCB telehandler division.
Now, all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) factoryfit SG Revolution tyres, enabling customers to request them as part of their machine order.
ITWS has also invested in large volumes of high-quality rims in all sizes for its service exchange scheme, whereby customers can order tyres pre-pressed on to exchange rims for a swift exchange.
This has generated the opportunity to offer complete wheel solutions direct to OEMs to save assembly line time. ITWS is also looking to expand the range of SG tyres to products such as Moffetts, port handling equipment and industrial forklifts.
Les Williams is owner of International Tyre & Wheel Solutions
The vehicle manufacturer: JCB
In his previous role as general manager of waste, demolition and recycling, JCB’s Rik Kiddle became an early adopter of SG Revolution tyres. Several sets were supplied to the company for evaluation by its product divisions along with JCB Transmissions, which checks that the tyres work effectively with drivetrain units and main components.
With approval from both divisions, JCB went one step further for the launch of the 550-80 Wastemaster telescopic handler by approving a new size of SG tyre as an orderable option. Today 80% of these machines are specified with SG tyres and are exported globally.
Kiddle explains: “The impact on the waste and recycling industry has been quite revolutionary. As the awareness of these tyres grows, they are becoming ever more popular with our machine customers and, with the factory-fit option, it means they get the tyre they want at the point of delivery.”
A move by Kiddle in 2013 to the JCB manufacturing plant that produces the Teletruk provided another opportunity for ITWS to supply smaller SG Revolution tyres.
Kiddle adds: “The opportunity to supply SG tyres with all the benefits of shock absorption, comfortable ride, great wear characteristics and, ultimately, cost savings, is an attractive one. We are working on approval to fit the tyres as a production item.”
The recycler: ward recycling
Having previously lost up to a day a week in productivity due to punctures and tyre damage, Ward Recycling site manager Michael Jackson (pictured) came across ITWS and its range of semi-solid tyres at RWM.
He was quick to specify a set of 23.5 x 25 SG Revolution tyres, and has subsequently signed up for the company’s service exchange scheme.
Jackson says: “The tyres have eliminated all tyre-related downtime on our wheeled loader. Before we signed up for service exchange, we used to get a tyre fitter out to fix or replace tyres. That would take the machine out of the business for a day or more.
“Now it’s a simple phone call to initiate an exchange. An ITWS fitter comes on-site with the new tyres ready to go on exchange rims, and it takes just an hour or so to get us back up and running. It has made such a difference to this business.”