Archived news articles

Biggest threat to road safety: second-hand tyres

SUMITOMO RUBBER SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 25/10/2016

Motorists using second-hand tyres are perhaps one of the biggest dangers to safety on the road.

This is according to Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa - one of the leading tyre manufacturers and parent company to Dunlop tyres in South Africa. The company has highlighted this as a serious issue worth highlighting in October, commemorated nationally in South Africa as Transport Month.

Often a more cost effective alternative to purchasing brand new tyres, second-hand or “part-worn” tyres may present a more viable option for cash-strapped motor owners to replace tyres. However, what one may regard as a financial advantage, could cost them on the road.

The contribution of poor tyre conditions to road accident statistics is alarming. In a report released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation for the period January - December 2015, it was revealed that vehicle factors contributed to 7.8% of all road fatalities, of which 78% was due to tyre-related issues such as smooth tyres and burst tyres. “The impact of second hand tyre use is a massive cause for concern and is a malady plaguing SA’s informal sector at present. Consumers may make potentially life-threatening purchase decisions when buying second-hand tyres as tread depth can be dangerously low, resulting in aquaplaning on wet roads. In addition, the buyer does not have an understanding of the tyre’s age or repair history which can be equally dangerous,” said Haffejee.

The illegal – and highly dangerous - practice of “re-grooving” tyres to create greater tread depth is one of the most common traits in second-hand tyres, and presents a considerable hazard to tyre condition. Often more prevalent in the informal sector, re-grooving constitutes the re-creation of tread depth, often done by means of a sharp object, such as a knife or screwdriver, that has been heated to melt away the rubber. Tyre aging is another less-known factor that second-hand tyre consumers do not consider. After a period of time, the strength of a tyre is compromised and becomes brittle due to environmental exposure such sunlight, ozone factors, and oxygen. Such tyres are more likely to result in weak spots which often lead to burst tyres.

Repaired tyres are also another characteristic in the second-hand tyre market, which result in weaker tyres. In many cases, adhesives like super glue is used to repair rips and tears in tyres, and sold to unsuspecting consumers – which is highly dangerous for all road users.

The acknowledgement of part-worn tyres by government highlights that this is being recognised as a serious agenda affecting road safety. Late last year, the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) informed the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Portfolio Committee that there was a national economic imperative and public interest for the formulation of a part-worn standard for second hand tyres. “Everyone remains concerned about road accidents in the country. The safety of our citizens comes first,” said Ms Joanmariae Fubbs, Committee Chairperson, in support of the concerns raised by SATMC.

Haffejee, who is also Chairperson of SATMC, said that the introduction of such standards and controls could improve the regulated sale of second hand tyres, minimise the importation of substandard tyres, and could contribute significantly in improving road safety and consumer protection. While strides have been made in this regard with the assistance of the DTI and other parties, much of the pressure to create awareness on the dangers of second hand and retreaded tyres lies with manufacturers.

Submissions have been made to National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) to formulate a part-worn standard which has been agreed to with the industry, and NRCS is now starting the regulatory process for part-worn tyres.

“At SRSA, we are committed to safety in everything we do. This permeates our organization at all levels, from manufacturing and operational practices, to the engineering of durable, quality products that adhere to the highest global safety standards, right down to rigorous training programmes that are aimed at upskilling fitment experts at our retail Dunlop franchises like Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express. We hope that safer roads, fewer fatalities and the interests of the public can be preserved through such measures,” concluded Haffejee.

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Sumitomo Rubber SA wins 2016 KZN Exporter of the Year Award

SUMITOMO RUBBER SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 24/10/2016

Parent company to the renowned tyre brand Dunlop, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), was announced winner of the prestigious KZN Exporter of the Year Award hosted by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and held at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Thursday night, the 20th of October 2016.

In what was no doubt a difficult decision, the adjudication panel of the Awards lauded SRSA as the winner of this title in the “Large Companies” category, in which leading automotive manufacturer Toyota, and paper and pulp magnate Sappi were also finalists. This award category measures companies that have a turnover in excess of R100 million per annum, and was sponsored by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), who were also platinum sponsors of the event ceremony.

SRSA was previously awarded this accolade in 2013, and were finalists in the category in 2014 and 2015. According to SRSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Riaz Haffejee, being able to win this award, given the calibre of the other finalists, is testimony to the magnitude and scale on which the company operates. “Winning this title once again is a huge accolade, and in a sense, is affirmation that the various investments made by our company are being acknowledged and lauded on a broader level. Over the period 2014-2018, we will have invested in excess of R2bn into our manufacturing plant and operations in Ladysmith, in order to service both the local and export markets. The byproduct of these investments has been a positive domino effect on transformation in terms of employment, infrastructure and the local economy as a whole,” said Haffejee. The company has a dedicated focus on exporting passenger, truck and bus tyres beyond the borders of South Africa and has enjoyed strong double-digit growth in the sale and export of these goods, particularly over the past three years.

Marking yet another milestone in the company’s streak of significant wins, this award underscores the successful growth path that the tyre manufacturer has been on. This award follows close on the back of the company’s win earlier this year, as the 2016/17 Winner in the Tyre Brands Category in the Target Group Index (TGI) Icon Brand Awards, which measures actual product usage among South Africans, an accolade that the brand has successfully achieved for four of the past five years.

The company hopes to continue its winning streak and plans to acquire increased market share through a selective growth strategy in specific markets. “Sumitomo Rubber SA is a leading tyre manufacturer in South Africa and we intend to solidify this position through the commitment of our people, the consistent delivery of high quality products, technological innovations and through the power of our flagship Dunlop brand,” concluded Haffejee.

Karl Socikwa (CE: Transnet Port Terminals), Ian Pillay (SRSA) and Riaz Haffejee (CEO: SRSA)

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Technical news flash: Grandtrek AT25

SUMITOMO RUBBER SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 21/10/2016

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) is pleased to bring focus to the newly developed Grandtrek AT 25 tyre. Engineered in Japan to the highest standards and manufactured locally in South Africa, this SUV and bakkie tyre has been produced to offer superior comfort characteristics both on and off-road.

The tyre is currently specified as original equipment (OE) fitment to selected models of the popular Toyota Fortuner and Hilux, which highlights the confidence that the OE manufacturers have in the product. Since 2010, more than 170 000 vehicles have been fit with these tyres.

The product has been developed using the latest tyre-building technology specifically for SUV. “Consumers can expect superior handling both on and off-road and noise reduction is perhaps the most attractive attribute for SUV and 4x4 drivers,” say the technical specialists at SRSA.

Good traction in off-road mud conditions but a quiet driving experience on road are key features that set the AT25 apart from similar offerings in the market.

The Grandtrek AT25 is available in 265/65 R17 from leading Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express stores.

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