Do you expect to roll out any additional products in 2022?
At Titan, we continue to focus on product development and innovation for our current product lines and new products to meet market demands. We continue to fill out our existing, most popular lines, such as the AgraEDGE and Optitorque, in the ag sector. We will also have some new technology to announce at the upcoming trade shows this summer.
We will also be expanding our OTR offering this year with tires specific to forestry, steel mill and port applications.
What technology will be a game-changer in the tire market?
We're preparing to debut an entirely new tire technology this summer that can create a universal solution for sprayer tire replacements. This technology can match the pressure of conventional, IF or VF tires—whatever meets the needs of the machine or customer. We will have more details to share in the coming weeks.
What are some ways Titan addresses sustainability?
Protecting the environment is a core value at Titan. As part of this commitment, Titan has Environmental Management Systems in place in many of our locations across the globe. These systems monitor and track energy consumption, waste management, pollution prevention, emissions control and overall environmental health throughout our footprint, which enables us to measure and continuously improve environmental performance.
Environmental and social gains can go beyond tire production as well. One example is our LSW tires, where the assembly features a smaller tire sidewall and larger wheel. LSW significantly reduces power hop, road lope and soil compaction, which improves safety and equipment performance.
LSW tires allow for the tractor to carry the same weight at 40 percent lower inflation pressures than a standard tire, significantly reducing soil compaction, which can potentially result in greater crop yields.
When there is less soil compaction, the end-user farmers become better stewards of the land because they can implement lessened deep tillage during field preparations which also reduces fuel and energy use.
In 2021, we released our AgraEDGE tire line, which reduced tire weight by 7 percent compared with previous models. This full-line tire offering was released to replace older dated tire lines, with Titan expecting to reduce materials used by 1.1 million pounds annually. The success has prompted additional product evaluation in other tire lines.
What is driving recent price increases in the tire industry?
The volatility of the supply chain and continued logistics challenges directly impacts costs which result in the need for price increases across the industry. However, we are seeing some raw materials and shipping costs starting to stabilize. We don't know of anything right now that would drive additional price increases, but we are always monitoring these closely.
What will be your major investments in the near future?
At Titan, we want to retain and attract the best people. We have new initiatives for hiring and retaining skilled labor to keep our lines moving. We're also looking at increasing mold and press capacity as well as working creatively to remove any production bottlenecks in our processes. Our teams are investing in continuous and innovative improvements in our production facilities. In terms of getting tires to customers, we are committed to working closely with OEMs and priority dealers to ensure the supply to them is strong.
Biggest challenges you foresee?
There are growing fears of a global food crisis, so we are continuing to do our part in supporting the ag industry. As the only farm tire and wheel company headquartered in the U.S., we support our farmers and look to produce American-made products made by thousands of employees right here in the U.S.
By focusing on production as well as retaining and hiring skilled labor, we can continue to support increased food production in the U.S.