TYRE TECHNOLOGY WITH A SWEDISH TWIST

TRS Tyre and Wheel, Whanganui, was last year bought by the Swedish giant Trelleborg Tyre and Wheel Systems, and TRS managing director Andrew Gillam says it’s making for an exciting time. “It offers us potential to grow our business by using our experience, but also leveraging the data, technical support and technology of a parent company that leads in tyre and polymer technology,” he told Rural News.

 Founded in the early 1970s, TRS Tyre and Wheel is well known in the Kiwi ag market, supplying tyres for all types of tractors and farm machinery. It also sells off-the-shelf and custom-made wheel equipment such as dual or row crop wheels.

 Trelleborg Wheel Systems, founded in Sweden in 1905, is present in 50 countries, employs 24,000 people and has group turnover of US$5 billion, with US$1.5b coming from the tyre and wheel division. It makes half its sales in Western Europe and 20% in North America and sees growth potential in Asia-Pacific. It has been in Australia since 2015 so the NZ acquisition seemed a logical move. Its products include the premium Trelleborg brand, the mid range Mitas covering 95% of all tractor tyre sizes in use in NZ, and a high quality but lower price tyre range called Cultor. This uses older technology in the 70 and 85 series formats that may suit older tractors.

The NZ operation will now also get access to Trelleborg’s Centre of Excellence for wheel building. Its plant in Latvia makes wheel rims from 3 to 54 inch diameters, in many cases custom made for international OEM customers.

Gillam says the change of ownership will not affect the local company’s distribution. “We have the same staff, jobs and experienced and focused distributors NZ-wide”. “We have the largest and most diverse group of distributor-retailers in NZ. We’ll put more product management staff in the field to find solutions for their customers.”

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