Keep the wheels turning

Titan Australia say tyre stocks are good for now

Coronavirus
ESSENTIAL BUSINESS: Titan Australia said it was essential for agriculture to keep the wheels turning. Photo: Titan Australia

ESSENTIAL BUSINESS: Titan Australia said it was essential for agriculture to keep the wheels turning. Photo: Titan Australia

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Titan Australia believe tyre stocks in Australia are good, however there may be some minor delays on wheel parts.

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The wheels of the agricultural supply chain will keep turning, as long as we have enough spare tyres.

Titan Australia national agricultural product manager Daryl Hynoski believes there are enough tyres in stock across Australia to keep the show on the road, for at least this season.

However, Mr Hynoksi said there may be some supply issues of specific brands, depending on the point of manufacture.

"It depends on where in the world the manufacturers are, obviously there are shut-downs in some areas," he said.

"The European manufacturers have slowed with COVID-19, however China is starting to pick up, with a lot of factories back up and running to almost full-capacity.

"In the US the Titan factories have said they will remain open as an essential supplier to the agricultural market."

Mr Hynoski said Titan Australia held good stocks of its own branded agricultural tyres.

"We carry about four to five months worth of product on the shelf anyway, to allow for lead time issues from suppliers," he said.

"Our primary supplier is our parent company, Titan International, who manufacturer Titan and Goodyear farm tyres.

"We have plenty of rubber tyre stock in the system, and we are not seeing major supply issues at this time."

Wheel parts

While tyres may be fine, Mr Hynoski said there were certain wheel supplies which were likely to be delayed such as certain bearings, studs and axles.

"There were supply chain issues out of China as they were struggling to get people back into factories," he said.

"This pushed productivity back to about 50 per cent, however it is now almost back to full production."

Mr Hynoski said wheel rims had been a concern, as a significant proportion were purchased from Titan Italy.

"A couple of weeks ago they went into shutdown," he said.

"We do have stock on the water and in port, the holdup in ports is obviously due to a backlog due to quarantine inspections and fumigation.

"They are doing a great job protecting our country."

Mr Hynoski said farmers should think about their requirements and talk to suppliers, however the key machinery brands had been on the front foot to ensure stocks were available for clients.

"A lot of our key original equipment manufacturer clients have been on the front-foot," he said.

"Normal lead times on a few products have been pushed out.

"But we are still manufacturing and product is still coming in."

Essential service

Titan Australia managing director Paul O'Brien said Titan facilities across Australia were maintaining normal operations.

"The tyres and wheels we manufacture are on many types of vehicles and equipment that farmers, mining and transport companies use daily," he said.

"We are ready to do our part in keeping these vital sectors fully operational in this challenging time.

"Currently, we are not experiencing infrastructure or supply chain issues that could impact the fulfilment of customer orders due to our local manufacturing capabilities.

"We continue to monitor this extremely fluid and unprecedented situation and will keep our customers informed of any updates or changes."

Mr Hynoski said Titan Australia had gone to significant lengths to ensure the safety of its staff while maintaining essential manufacturing capability.

"We immediately asked our sales team and those who could work from home to do so," he said.

"This involved significant IT work, so I have to thank the Accelerate Group for making it happen."

Social distancing

Mr Hynoksi said in the Mildura agricultural plant staff had been split into functional teams, who were then separated, meaning if a staff member fell ill another team could continue operations.

"To keep our manufacturing plants operational we cordoned off the office staff from the manufacturing staff," he said.

"It was particularly important to split up the engineers as well as to maintain a distance between warehouse and manufacturing sectors.

"We are also minimising the number of outside people coming to site, external contractors and others are coming in after-hours when the factory is closed so they are not coming interacting with our staff."

Mr Hysnoski said it was essential Titan Australia continue to operate, given the reliance farming, mining and transport sectors had on the business.

"We are an essential business, we need to be diligent in what we do and to push our employees to social distance," he said.

"As hard as it is, it is a challenging world at the moment, but we need to get through this together."

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