TANA OTR Conference
Association Adds Extensive Training & Certification Program
The Tire Association of North America’s (TANA) annual OTR Tire Conference continued the group’s streak of relevance and delivery. Not only did the event, held at Amelia Island, Fla., in mid-February, surpass last year’s attendance, but TANA unveiled its new and more extensive ®“ OTR tire technician training and certification program.
The multi-module training program replaces the group’s previous video training program, released back in 1993. According to John Buettner, TANA’s vice president of training and technical services, the Off-the-Road Tire Technician Training and Certification Program is far more extensive and comprehensive compared to its predecessor.
Buettner explained that the market has changed dramatically, with new equipment and procedures, and shifts in tire construction share. The time was right, he said, to readdress the needs of the market, and expand the program. TANA formed a committee made up of a cross-section of the entire OTR tire and equipment market. "We knew we wanted something more substantial than just another video, and the committee stepped up and wanted to expand it to include a certification element," Buettner said.
The committee held its first meeting in June 2000 and began hashing out a plan on how to improve and enhance the existing program. By November 2000, TANA began filming for an entirely new training video. Meanwhile, work was underway to develop a written study guide, as well as certification test questions and procedures.
Broken into 12 interrelated modules, the new program covers tire nomenclature, tools and equipment, safety, and nine step-by-step mounting/demounting techniques for various types of OTR tires and earthmoving equipment, from the smallest road grader to large 57-inch haulage truck tires.
The video is accompanied by an extensive study guide, allowing users to quickly review the training information. Program students can take a test at the end, sending the completed test back to TANA where it will be graded by an outside service. Those passing the certification test receive a certificate and a uniform patch.
Buettner said a second phase of the program, which was formally announced at the OTR conference, will build an additional platform of training into the program, including regional in-person training classes with a more detailed look at tire construction and features, proper application and troubleshooting, wheel applications, performance analysis, and service equipment and trucks.
The final program will be available by May 1, and the second phase will be rolled in once it’s completed. While the final price for this program has not been established, said Buettner, it will probably fall in line with TANA’s other technician training programs passenger/light truck, medium truck, agricultural and industrial ®“ in the $100 range.
"These training programs rely heavily on industry participation to get the best technical information and feedback, plus it gives us extraordinary credibility. The 23 people who served on this committee, and the companies they represent, were critical from start to finish," he said.
The rest of the three-day event was full of outstanding and interesting seminars and panels discussions.
The OTR Tire Repair panel discussion was lively and informative, with representatives from Rema Tip Top/North America, Tech International and Patch Rubber Co. answering audience questions and providing timely advice on key tire repair issues.
Joe Rayna, executive director of mining tires for Bridgestone/Firestone; Larry Hurst, manager of OTR programs for Goodyear; Pat Hicks, manager of Michelin’s earthmover management system project; Tom Griffing, manager of field engineering for Yokohama, and Tim Fuller, president of Fuller Brothers Inc. gave the audience a detailed look at OTR tire chip technology advances.
Tire Review’s publisher, David Moniz, and director of research, Bob Roberts, presented the results of the OTR Industry Retread and Repair Survey, co-produced by the magazine and TANA.
The keynoter for this year’s conference was Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. The Green Bay Packer great talked about his years in football, and used his background to bring focus on finer qualities of what business management of the future needs to take into consideration.
Jack Fenner, national manager of OTR sales for Continental Tire North America, gave attendees a thorough rundown on OTR tire segments results in 2000, including interesting shipment and tire construction trends.
Tom Ford, general manager of Goodyear’s global OTR tire division, presented a unique overview on changes the industry is facing in general as well as specifically within the OTR segment.
Jeffrey Duncan, director of training and educational policy for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, gave a presentation on mine safety-related issues. Since 1983, Duncan noted, there have been 27 deaths on mine properties involving changing, handling or moving tires. He said the new TANA training program was the most impressive effort he has seen.
TANA also announced the dates and location of the 2002 OTR Conference. Next year’s event will be held Feb. 14-16 at the Fairmont South Hampton Princess in Hamilton, Bermuda. Lee Woods, Northern Tire in Ishpeming, Mich., was elected chairman of the 2002 conference.