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Trelleborg Wheel Systems America Helps to Grow Sullivan Tire Off the Road Business

Sullivan Tire is a locally-owned, family business started by Robert J. Sullivan in 1955. The foundation on which Robert J. Sullivan started Sullivan Tire was “treat everyone, customers and fellow employees, as you would a member of your family.”  With this philosophy the company also looks to bring onboard suppliers that hold the same values and high standards.  After more than fifty years in the making Sullivan Tire is today New England’s home for automotive care with 67 full service auto repair locations and 15 Commercial Truck Tire Centers throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.  David Bradley is Sullivan Tire’s Off the Road Operations Manager.  He services anything ranging from wheelbarrow tires up to front-end loader tires, providing service for the largest machines within this geographic area of the country. 

Today Sullivan Tire continues to thrive and within the last five years has expanded its tire service offering to the off-road tires industry.
  Right from the start, Sullivan Tire has had particular success in providing off-road tires to manage the needs of trash to energy service providers, scrap metal yards, waste transfer stations and recycling drop off centers where the environments for tires are extreme.  For instance, in extreme environments within a trash or recycling facility, you could have a machine that literally runs 24 hours a day and the tires never have the chance to cool down.  Pneumatic tires' worst enemy is heat.  So when you are dealing with a solid tire like Brawler for instance, it more or less removes the potential problem with heat from the equation.  It basically safeguards operations.  Bradley attributes a portion of his success in this niche to selecting a quality brand and a supportive supplier.   More specifically, he chose this brand because it uses a premium mining rubber compound engineered for high abrasion applications for its tires, which appeals to his customers and results in superior tire life.

Sullivan Tire and Auto Service strives to differentiate themselves by offering exceptional products and services.  They chose the Brawler tire series because they knew they could stand behind them in terms of quality, service life, durability as well as great service from supplier, Trelleborg Wheel Systems.  “I have been familiar with Brawler tires from its inception and have seen this tire line evolve over time and can say today that they’ve got it down and have a really well performing tire for severe applications.  Trelleborg Wheel Systems America has a great team in place and are delivering on quality and value,” said Bradley. 

One of the key factors for either a scrap metal yard or recycling center is cost reduction.  “What we have found by reducing our customers’ need for tire replacements and downtime is that they’ll reduce their overall costs.  That’s something they understand and can invest in.  It is also all about being a good partner and taking the time to create lasting relationships that are built on trust and going the extra mile to ensure our customer’s needs are met,” continued Bradley.  For instance, Sullivan Tire has a program in place to be able to monitor the condition of the tires and the ability to furbish its customers’ tires quickly as their needs arise and as they grow their own business.  It is a pro-active approach that customers appreciate. 

There are certainly other off the road tires that are cheaper in price but then there is that old adage of “you get what you pay for,” which in the end can be very costly if the cheaper route is chosen.  Sullivan Tire's off-road customers are smart, experienced and certainly have tested various brands only to find that it just isn’t worth it in the long run to go with an off-road tire simply based on price. 

For example, it has become apparent that by utilizing a durable, cut resistant rubber compound means that there will be no downtime from flats or sidewall cuts and ultimately it will result in a lower cost per hour.  Another example can be seen with how the Brawler tires use a deep, lug tread pattern that can deliver up to three times more wearable rubber than the depth of regular pneumatic and pneumatic foam-filled tires.  And lastly, the tires provide better traction because of the double-width, multi-step tread design.  This tread design actually helps to minimize any debris that could be picked up by the tire.  In addition the steel base rings ensure strict rim adherence.  These factors can ultimately impact the tire life and cause downtime.  The way the industry is shaping up today, it is becoming apparent that taking into account the total value of ownership of a tire will really take a more prominent role in the selection process, especially considering the extreme environments that off road vehicle operators have to contend with.  The last thing you want to have happen is vehicle downtime due to a flat or a pressure problem.  Sullivan Tire looks for traits in its suppliers that mirror the same characteristics their customers recognize in them - reliability, responsiveness and reputation.

“From a quality standpoint, we like that the Brawler Solid Flex tires are made with their own super-strength rim, molded directly to the tire.  This means that the solid rubber tire and wheel form one ultra-strong component giving them ruggedness and durability. Also, since they are constructed from a special tread compound that is abrasion-, cut- and chunk-resistant, we find the Brawler Solid Flex well suited specifically for handling the severe operating conditions of the scrap metal yards and recycling centers we serve.  Our customers care that there is no chance of a flat, which is due to the fact that they are made of solid rubber,” stated Bradley.

Sullivan Tire has another key differentiator in that it can offer customers the ability to use Solid Flex HPS (high performance solid) tires to press-on to flat based wheels.  There are not many service companies that have the 200,000 pound press available to press on or to remove the tires from the wheels.  Otherwise, the customer would have to ship out to have the press-on to flat based wheels, which translates into time and money.  Also the Brawler HPS (high performance solid) loader tire offers customers additional versatility in being able to be mounted directly onto stock OEM wheels.  The tires can also be retreaded if needed, which provides additional savings.

While the Brawler line carries a reputation in several off-road industries such as construction and demolition, steel mills and foundries, heavy industrial, quarries and open pit mining, Sullivan Tire seems to be quickly making a name for itself in the metal recycling, scrap yards and waste centers as evident from its growing footprint that extends beyond just the New England area and into New York and other surrounding states.  The company has seen year over year growth and forecasts an excellent future in the off-road tire market and anticipates an exceptional ongoing relationship with Trelleborg Wheel Systems.


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