As part of a newly formed agreement, Del-Nat Tire Corp. will serve as the exclusive supplier of Perfect Equipment wheel weights to Del-Nat’s network of dealers and distributors.
Jim Mayfield, president of Del-Nat Tire, said the agreement was made in part because a growing number of the company’s dealers and distributors are proactively switching from lead weights to ones made of zinc or steel. Mayfield said he wanted to ensure Del-Nat’s dealers would have access to a complete wheel weight program with the ability to offer customers either zinc or steel alternatives.
“The wheel weight issue is becoming an important matter in the tire industry and we wanted to move forward on securing a choice of non-lead alternatives for our dealers immediately,” Mayfield said. “Perfect Equipment is an excellent fit for Del-Nat. They are the innovation leader, the oldest wheel weight manufacturer in the business and the largest non-lead wheel weight manufacturer in North America, so we are happy to be partnering with them.”
Six states California, Washington, New York, Illinois, Maine and Vermont already have passed non-lead wheel weight legislation. Several other states are in the legislative research phase and Minnesota already requires non-lead weights on all state-owned vehicles. Additionally, the U.S. Air Force mandates non-lead on all its bases and the U.S. Postal Service requires non-led on all fleet vehicles, Del-Nat said.
“It is refreshing to see Del-Nat on the forefront of this issue and we are pleased that they have selected to partner with our company,” said Mike Pursley, vice president of sales and marketing for Perfect Equipment. “We can provide them with the non-lead options they need to make their dealers successful. Del-Nat can make an impact on the market.”
Pursley said the U.S. EPA already has made a decision concerning a national ban on lead wheel weights, however, its decision has not yet been made public. The EPA has been in the rule-making process on the matter for more than two years and has rescheduled the release of its final determinations several times. The next date for release is scheduled for October 2012. Pursley added Europe is ahead of the U.S. on this issue, having banned the use of lead wheel weights in 2003.
“Europe was the first governmental capacity to ban lead wheel weights and today they utilize zinc as their preferred alternative,” Pursley added. “We expect the EPA to have similar regulations in place in the next three to five years. We provide options so our customers can decide for themselves.”