How dealers can stay competitive in the OTR construction tire market

How dealers can stay competitive in the OTR construction tire market

Tire dealers need to be ready to help their customers keep their machines at maximum utilization when it comes to tires.

The business-to-business construction market is somewhat unique, in that tire dealers selling OTR tires are serving fellow business owners.

“As with any other business owner, construction professionals are always looking to increase their productivity, lower their overall cost, and find something that gives them an edge over their competition,” said Bruce Besancon, vice president of marketing for Yokohama Off-Highway Tires America.

He said that the breadth of Yokohama’s product line offers dealers and their customers a wide range of purpose-built tires that fit all kinds of environments and applications, as well as nearly any budget, to provide the balance they seek.

“The common denominator is that every one of our tires delivers a highly competitive cost of ownership — a lot of hours for the dollar,” Besancon added. “At the end of the day, that’s probably the most important metric, especially in a business-to-business relationship, because it goes right to the customer’s bottom line.”

Scott Holub, manager of OTR technical services for BKT, said that successful dealers are those who stock tires at their locations, so they are able to respond to customer needs quickly.

“Many times, end-users don’t plan to replace construction tires ahead of time; when they ruin a tire on a machine, they need immediate action,” he said. “Dealers tend to stock tires from such manufacturers that can offer up a full product line. They also will stock manufacturer’s products that provide good value and backend support, if there is a problem.”

Most importantly, construction end-users seek good service for the full life of the tire.

“Customers can’t afford downtime,” said Holub. “Whenever the machine is down, it costs them money — sometimes a lot of money.”

Having knowledgeable team members on hand to train the next generation of OTR sales and service people is critical for any dealer’s future, adds Tony Cresta, director of product management at CMA/Double Coin.

“A great deal of information, sometimes contradictory, is online for anyone to reference. But there is no equal to having your questions answered by a real, qualified OTR expert that you can trust,” Cresta said. “The complexities of OTR tire applications make this even more important. As a dealer, when your sales and service teams are comfortable and well-trained, they will carry that flag to the market and offer more than someone selling just on price.”

OTR-tire-feature-– BKT-Earthmax-Sand-Pic-1400

The Tire Dealer Perspective

Beyond understanding the performance aspects of OTR construction tires and knowing what to keep in stock, there are additional steps tire dealers can take to remain competitive in this segment. 

“It’s equally important that dealers are offering professional services to support this type of product in order to maintain your customers’ fleets properly,” said Stephen Reynolds, OTR sales director for Triangle Tire USA. “This is a lucrative part of a dealer’s business, but if done correctly, it is also a cost-saving service for their customer, so it’s a win-win. Offering a cost-competitive brand with a strong pedigree in major OE supply and performance like Triangle can further boost your credibility with customers by offering them the lowest cost per hour, and overall lowest cost of ownership.”

It’s important for dealers to educate their customers in order to help them achieve their business objectives. After all, dealers are the experts when it comes to servicing construction tires, so they need to be ready to help their customers keep their machines at maximum utilization when it comes to tires, according to Jimmy McDonnell, vice president of sales and marketing for Maxam Tire.

“Helping customers to reduce costs by improving tire performance on their equipment should be the dealer’s priority,” he said. “Be the tire expert for your customers and contribute to their overall business and success. Once you can achieve that, you’ll gain a reputation as their go-to dealer and, in return, you’ll grow your business as well.”

CMA/Double Coin’s Cresta said the company makes focusing on partnering with the right dealers in the North American markets a priority to keep dealer profits as high as possible.

“The most effective tool to lower an OTR customer’s cost of ownership is a great hands-on tire dealer. One of the important ways they can deliver this value to the end users’ bottom line is by placing the right tires into the right application and providing a consistent maintenance program,” Cresta said. “Tire health checkups, along with a manufacturer’s support like Double Coin who have boots on the ground, allow all parties to be proactive and support the business. Double Coin OTR tires do the job and our field team does the work to make these processes as simple and profitable as possible for our partners.”

Yokohama Off-Highway Tires America’s Besancon said it’s also fundamental to stay in touch with your customers to understand how they use tires.

“Go watch their operators in action. See the stresses the tires encounter. Get a sense for the kinds of loads and the environment that the tires are subjected to,” he said. “Then stay in touch with manufacturers so you are on top of the latest advances in construction tires. That’s the information you can bring back to your customers.

“Because of the heavy demands construction places on tires and the technology that our industry employs to meet those demands, a good, full-service tire dealer can be an invaluable part of a construction customer’s team — a trusted advisor,” he said.

For dealers, this close relationship with customers pays off. Since OTR tires are often used in very challenging conditions, even the best tires need replacing fairly frequently, Besancon said, adding, “For every loader or dozer, there’s a fleet of dump trucks, water trucks, graders, compactors, pavers, skid steers, telehandlers and pickup trucks that also need tires, so a construction customer can be an excellent account.”

You can read more on trends to watch for in construction tires here!

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