Friday, 12 April 2024 09:55

Made in NZ: TRS Tyre & Wheel Ltd

Written by  Mark Daniel
TRS Tyre and Wheel Limited managing director Nigel Sherborne. TRS Tyre and Wheel Limited managing director Nigel Sherborne.

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, creating productive and cost-effective products for the agricultural sector. This week machinery editor Mark Daniel takes a closer look at TRS Tyre and Wheel Limited with managing director Nigel Sherborne…

When was the company founded, by whom and why (was it to solve a problem or market a product)?

TRS was established in1977 as a small family Tyre repair business and quickly grew to become the largest distributor of agricultural and industrial tyres and wheels in NZ. After changes in ownership in 2003 and 2017, it was acquired by Trelleborg Wheel Systems in 2018, who themselves were taken over by the Yokohama Rubber Group, making TRS part of the fifth largest tyre manufacturer in the world and the largest in agricultural tyres.

Where are you located and how many people are employed?

Five warehouses and fitting centres, in Auckland, Hamilton, Whanganui (incl. Wheel Manufacturing), Christchurch and Invercargill, support customers nationwide, with a staff of 40 people supporting over 600 customers

What are your key products and which markets do they serve?

TRS offers bespoke, ocally manufactured Agricultural MPT Spreader Truck, Row Crop, Duals, Tractor, Implement, Industrial (Forklift, Material Handling, Port) and Construction/ OTR Wheels built to the exact specifications required by our customers. We also import and distribute our own Trelleborg brand, Mitas and Cultor Agri, Materials Handling and Construction tyres.

Roadlux TBR, Ecomega Port & OTR and now Yokohama OTR & Port Tyres.

Are your products unique – if so, what are the four key benefits? If not unique, what are the four unique selling points?

While wheels may look the same: they’re not… A farmer may need their tractor or implement to be a particular width to fit through gates or set at precise cropping widths to avoid damaging produce. TRS works with tractor manufacture specifications for transmissions and inter axle ratios to produce the appropriate tyre and wheel setup to meet the needs of the operator within the operating tolerances of the tractor or machine.

Our tyre optimisation service, available to all Trelleborg and Mitas customers, allows operators to get the most out of their tyres, to increase tractor productivity and output. An on-site visit to weigh the axle loadings and weight distribution, then provide advice on recommended tyre inflation and ballast. Adopting the right pressure can reduce running costs by up to 20%!

Looking at an ever-evolving market, what changes have you made over the last few years?

There are now far more machinery brands operating in NZ than 20 years ago with the emergence of more manufacturers from the Asian sub-continent. We continuously bring our business up to speed with any new brands, with our designers and engineers regularly in the field at dealerships and field days, measuring wheels and noting OEM offsets and tyre combinations.

Larger tractors are now entering the market, with pastoral farmers taking 120-180hp units that arrive in NZ on wider tyres from the factory. While 18.4R38 tyres were the norm, we are now seeing 600, 650 and 710 section tyres as far more common place. This has meant we have evolved our wheel business to suit these trends, including moving from the typical equal-sized duals set ups to more step-down dual configurations.

What has been the company’s greatest success since its formation?

Retention of key people has been one of our greatest successes, with our top 10 tenured staff, having been with the business for more than 165 years collectively, alongside several others who are approaching the 10-year timeline. Ultimately our success lies with our customers, and we focus on building customer relationships & partnerships that span just about as long.

If you were approached by someone looking to start a business, what would be your three key pieces of advice?

Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with people that have knowledge and are willing to share that and support your business goals, while also never being afraid to ask questions.

Where do you see the company in the next three, five and ten years?

The next 3-5 years are extremely exciting for us now we are part of the Yokohama Rubber Group. We began landing Yokohama OTR and Port Product in March with the option to solidify another top brand in the construction, mining, quarry and port segments.

The next 3-5 years are extremely exciting for us after becoming part of the Yokohama Rubber Group.

We began landing Yokohama OTR and Port Product from March, giving us the opportunity to solidify another top brand in the Construction, Mining, Quarry and Port Segments.

For the next 2 years, it will be very important for us to help support the agricultural sector as it recovers from debilitating events such as Covid, natural disasters and the global economic downturn.

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