Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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“With the increasing number of 5-tonne Japanese light trucks that come with radial tyres, we can see the rise in demand. It has been quite a while since we introduced the RI128, which was well received in the market. The two new patterns are designed specially to suit Malaysian road conditions, weather and application. They are suitable for steer and trailer axles for highway service,” said Stamford Retread Industries (M) Sdn Bhd Fleet Manager Chiang Chia Heng.
The new RI150, he pointed out, was designed to maximise mileage for mainly steering performance. It incorporated stone drilling prevention features to protect the tyre from casing damage. Featuring an all-new tread profile that widened the tyre’s stance for better weight distribution, the RI150 offered increased tread life and promoted even wear. It also had a wavy outer shoulder groove to prevent cracking typically experienced at the base of the tread. In addition, the RI150 was SmartWay (SM) verified to ensure ‘excellent’ rolling resistance for added fuel economy.
Meanwhile, the new RI151 was said to feature the very latest in cap and base technology. In addition, the high quality base rubber compound and robust casing provided the user with optimal retreadability, which was seen as an outstanding return on investment.
“The R1151 is durable, versatile and safe with excellent all-season capability and exceptional performance, whatever the road condition. With 5-per cent deeper tread depth than its predecessor, it offers improved mileage (cost/km) plus enhanced hydroplaning resistance and traction on wet and dry roads, while its extra wide tread provides a broader footprint and optimised wear properties.”
Additionally, these two new tyres used the proprietary 4D Nano Design Technology, the latest development in the pioneering work debuted by Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) in 2014. This technology won the company’s global brand Falken the Tire Technology of the Year Award at the annual awards for innovation and excellence at the Tire Technology Expo in Hannover, Germany.
“The use of this technology resulted in improved traction, wear life and mileage as well as significantly reduced rolling resistance,” he added.
According to him, both tyres were designed based on a study that SRI did on about 200 commercial vehicles for various applications, including tyre weight tests in Malaysia.
“SRI tested these two new tyres in Europe and was satisfied with their overall performance. We will have a soft launch of the new RI150 and RI151 during an exhibition that will be hosted by the Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association (PMLOA) to celebrate its 30th Anniversary on 11th November at Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Selangor.”
The two new tyres would be available by early January 2018. Initially, he said, the company would bring in 11R22.5 for the RI150 and 295/80R22.5 for the RI151. This would be followed by 215/75R 17.5 in the middle of next year, and more sizes subsequently. Also in the pipeline was the launch of a new urban bus tyre by mid-2018.
Currently, Stamford Tyres has about 40 dealers and 3 Falken truck centres, including the one that it owns in Port Klang, Metromax Tyre Servicing in Balakong and Tong Namm in Johor. Chiang revealed that the company planned to set up more truck centres and was targeting Rawang and Batu Caves in the Klang Valley, East Coast as well as northern Malaysia.
“We have 5 sales personnel in our team and plan to recruit more to help us expand. We are targeting fleet companies that have 100 trucks and above. We need people who are technically sound and experienced to provide good support to the end-users.”
Would this approach create conflict with its dealers? Chiang replied that the company would only deal with end-users who needed a big volume of tyres and support directly from the manufacturer or supplier.
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