MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla.—The OTR tire industry met in person for the first time in two years to discuss training, work force shortages and safety issues during the 2022 Off-the-Road Tire Conference in Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach, Feb. 23-26.
About 500 people from 37 states and 10 countries attended the conference, hosted by the Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Among the topics and information discussed during the first two days included:
- The OTR tire industry is running lean on workers and some employers face the choice between meeting customers' time constraints for tire repairs and taking the necessary time to train new employees on proper repair procedures. "Don't let the shortage blind you to the need for training," warned TIA President Mason Hess.
- TIA Senior Vice President Kevin Rohlwing provided an overview of economic forecasts for the mining and construction industries and noted "the operative work is 'recovery'" this year.
- The construction industry is slowing growing but the industry probably won't experience the impact of the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act until 2024, Rohlwing said. The federal funding for road construction is expected to also impact sand and gravel mining, he said.
- Next year TIA plans to return to hosting a Lobby Day in Washington, after the annual event was suspended during the pandemic, so tire dealers can meet with congressional representatives and discuss industry issues.
- TIA also announced that the 2023 OTR Tire Conference will be held Feb. 22-25 at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, Ariz.