LAS VEGAS —Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C.'s new earthmover tires unit isn't planning to leave any stones—or boulders—unturned as it seeks to expand its fledgling customer base.
The unit has some lofty goals—and deep ones if you consider the underground and aboveground mining segments—according to T. Shawn Rasey, Conti's director of global business development, earthmover tires, who came onboard in October 2015.
He joined Conti after stints with Bridgestone Americas, Yokohama Tire Corp. and BKT Americas.
The new unit launched Aug. 1.
"It's really a steep, fast-growing pace," Rasey said on the show floor of MINExpo 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center moments after unveiling a slew of commercial/mining tires at Conti's booth, which featured displays of its technological product advancements as well as new belts and hoses from the company's ContiTech unit.
"We're talking about our material-handling product—it's been the core of everything we've got," Ramsey said.
"Now we have this earthmover/OTR product line coming on, and next year the agricultural product line coming, so as a business unit, we're essentially going to triple the number of items that we have and the options we will offer customers. So there's a lot of exciting activity."
Conti's iTyre is tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) technology that Conti puts in mining and OTR tires rather than on a valve stem, according to a spokesman.
Rasey said this is important because, for these segments, it has been "difficult to serve them with this kind of solution because most of the previous solutions were geared toward really giant fleets with 240-ton and (larger) trucks.
"So this makes it potentially a much more affordable option for our dealers to present to their customers. It's really kind of a combination of things."
As for Conti's soliciting business for its new earthmover tire unit, it's going after at least one big player—Caterpillar Inc., a company with a huge presence at the MINExpo show, an event that occurs every four years.
The show, which its organizers call the “largest mining show on—and under—Earth," closed Sept. 28.
Among the tires Conti is showing at MINExpo are the Continental EM-Master and RDT-Master for the earthmoving sector, and the UndergroundMaster, DrillMaster, DumperMaster and ScoopMaster for mining applications, according to Enno Straten, managing director, commercial specialty tires.