As a commercial tire dealer, how do you truly assess an Ag tire brand? It’s not advertising superlatives or assurances from the tire manufacturer. It’s customer feedback, correct? Repeat customers are the lifeblood of your business.
It’s noteworthy when your farmer customers come back and ask for the same brand by name. That’s what’s been happening at Millersburg Tire Service in Ohio. They were one of the first dealers to carry CEAT radial and bias farm tires five years ago when the 99-year-old brand entered the North American market.
“What makes me feel really good is when they call in on the phone and they want that ‘CEAT Tire,’” say Millersburg Tire Service owner Brad Schmucker. “That’s the key to making inroads in a market . . . when you have a tire that people ask for by name.”
A “New” Brand That Has Been Around for Awhile
While the brand is relatively new to North America, CEAT was established back in 1924 in Turin, Italy. Today, it is one of India’s leading tire manufacturers, and CEAT tires are sold in more than 115 countries worldwide. CEAT manufactures farm, mining, and earthmover, industrial, and construction equipment tires, as well as special application OTR tires. The North American headquarters is located in Jefferson City, MO.
According to CEAT Specialty CEO Amit Tolani, “CEAT takes pride in its commitment to offer high-quality tires with superior traction and optimized footprint. Our endeavor is to provide best in class products for our customers at accessible prices.”
By all accounts, the company is accomplishing that mission. Brent Sisson, Agricultural Tire Specialist for Tirecraft Sarnia in Ontario, Canada, says it takes him about four years to truly evaluate an Ag tire brand. He’s been selling CEAT farm tires for four years now and is all in!
“For myself, it’s about a 4-year process before I can feel confident in telling my customers I have confidence in a product,” Sisson notes. “I must see it first-hand with known comparisons. CEAT is one brand that has surpassed my requirements. They provide a high quality, precision product. We have had lots of excellent customer feedback.”
Total Quality Management (TQM)
The quality of CEAT Ag tires starts with a strong commitment to R&D and quality manufacturing processes. CEAT is the only tire company outside of Japan to receive the prestigious Deming Prize (in 2017) for Total Quality Management (TQM) excellence. This commitment gives CEAT the confidence to offer a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and 3-year field hazard warranty on its Ag radial tires.
Driving tractors and implements on the road represents a significant and demanding portion of the farmer’s workload these days.
As Barry Hawn, Director of Off-Road Products for Tirecraft Ontario, notes, “Farmers are in their tractors all day long. When they get on the road they’ve got to get to the next field as quickly as possible. They are going pretty fast, so ride comfort is a huge issue. If they get beat up on the road, at the end of the day they are not happy. The CEAT tires do a great job with their capability to roll down the road with a nice comfortable ride.”
“We have been very pleased with the CEAT tires,” says Georgia peanut farmer Justin Studstill, whose John Deere tractors and implements travel over a 60-mile square area. “Our tractors spend a lot of time on the road, and the CEAT tires provide a smooth steady ride. They don’t get squirrelly like some tires do; very stable even when pulling heavy implements.”
Traction in the Field
“Traction wise, I have not had a single complaint on the CEAT tires,” notes Hawn, who has been in the tire business for 50-plus years and has experience with most Ag tire brands. “If you have an Ag tire that performs well in the field and equally well on the road, you have a winner. CEAT is that tire!”
Studstill’s Big Creek Farms is one of the largest peanut growers in the US. They grow and harvest more than 6,000 acres of peanuts. He purchased his first set of CEAT Ag radial tires (FARMAX R80, size 480/80R46 R1-W R) in 2021.
In addition to good roadability and dependable traction, Studstill says the “square footprint” of his CEAT tractor tires help reduce soil compaction, which is a major concern on the sandy soil his team works in southeastern Georgia.
Where Technology and Value Meet
When speaking to farmers, the CEAT Specialty folks often remark, “We provide the latest Ag tire technologies to farmers and ranchers at an honest price.”
On the technology front, the CEAT Torquemax, designed for high power tractors, is available in both VF and IF versions. Features include:
- stepped lug design that provides better grip and traction
- center tie bar provides superior roadability
- rounded shoulders mean less soil and crop damage
- a tilted lug tip reduces vibration and noise
- a wider tread and larger inner volume reduce soil compaction, and the R1-W tread depth ensures long service life
Spraymax tires, designed for self-propelled sprayers, are another game changer from CEAT and are also available in IF and VF versions.
The CEAT FARMAX tractor tire line has also received rave reviews for dependable traction, low soil compaction, good roadability and long tread wear.
In the final analysis, every tire dealer wants happy customers, along with profitable margins and dependable customer service from their tire suppliers. CEAT Specialty Tires delivers on all counts. To learn more, send an email to [email protected] and visit www.ceatspecialty.com.