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Hillhead 2024 – Basking in Success in the Sun

Hillhead 2024

Hillhead, the UK’s mining and quarrying event has taken place at Hillhead Quarry outside Buxton with the opening day seeing huge numbers of visitors queuing to access the show

Hillhead 2024 Review

Early arrivals were faced with long traffic queues to access the event, crossing Buxton and queuing to get into the site added a full hour to this contributor’s journey. On arrival the car parks were already filling fast – compared to the previous event where travelling at the same time it was a question of simply parking up in the first car park.  This gives a slight measure of how the event has grown. The entrance takes visitors through a covered exhibition area, and this area has grown is size over the year. Hillhead has always been a target for the OTR tyre manufacturers and this year was no different. RH Claydon Hillhead

RH Claydon Ltd had taken on the UK distribution of Triangle tyres and were pleased with the results this year, which looked like hitting their sales target by October. RH Claydon has been putting a greater focus on OTR sales and has started to bring in some speciality lines, such as their latest crane tyre the TB576, which the RH Claydon team praised as a great success and a beginning of the company’s foray into the more specialised industrial tyre sector.

Goodyear presented their OTR offer, with a couple of new additions to the range. The first was the new 750/65R25 Goodyear GP-4D Gen II tyre,which targets articulated dump trucks with an optimised tread design, multiple steel belt carcass construction, and a toughened tread compound. These features add up to benefits such as versatile tread pattern for balanced performance, improved treadwear as well as high level of comfort for the operator.

Goodyear Hillhead
Goodyear 750/65R25 Goodyear GP-4D Gen II

The second new offer, launched in March 2024 is the RL-5K with three-star load capacity. The RL-5K is for large wheel loaders and wheel dozers. The RL-5K is Goodyear’s newest radial OTR tyre in the 45/65R45 tyre size and is constructed to withstand the air pressure necessary to deliver an increased three-star load capacity, which translates to a 16 per cent increase in load carrying capacity. The RL-5K with three-star capacity also features a deep, 250-level durable tread to deliver cut resistance and traction in severe underfoot conditions.

Continental, of course had a strong showing, and again was pushing its tyre management as a value added element to its offer. Discussing the range with Reinhard Klant , Product Line Manager Earthmoving and Mike Leedham OTR Sales manager for UK & NI, they agreed that the premium sector was having to add to the offer to compete with budget brands.

Klant said, “We need to emphasise the life cycle costs and how through tyre management, careful maintenance and retreading we can give a better whole life cost, and importantly lower the carbon footprint for mining operations.”

Continental Hillhead
Reinhard Klant , Product Line Manager Earthmoving (r) and Mike Leedham OTR Sales manager for UK & NI (l)

Continental is probably at the forefront of the tyre telematics sector. It’s technology has the potential to put fleet managers in full control of their vehicles, not only from tyre management but also operations and load management -as was demonstrated at Bauma in 2023.

“However,” Klant says, “we cannot overload the clients, we need to bring them onboard at a pace they can accept. We will introduce the capability of our tyre management step by step.”

City 1st OTR Tyres is a specialist distributor of OTR tyres and they have taken on the distribution of Goodride and Westlake OTR Tyres. Lloyd Papantoniou, Scottish Area Salesman explained that the two brands both came from ZC Rubber but a decision had been made to focus on the Westlake brand. With ZC Rubber being one of the larger players in the rubber sector, the product has the might of a major manufacturer behind it. Sales this year had been encouraging, a message mirroring that of RH Claydon.

Michelin Hillhead
Michelin presented the Tweel at Hillhead

Michelin had taken a very different approach to their display at Hillhead this year. They had focussed on the latest technology – the Tweel. Michelin’s marketing brand manager Andy James was positive about the future of the Tweel. “The Tweel is puncture free, has a much-improved ride over a solid or pneumatic tyre, and it also runs at lower temperatures so has a longer working life. The steel hub, and the polythene “spokes” are fully recyclable, and Michelin also aims to filly recycle the tread at the end of the Tweel’s working life.”

T&C Site Services is an earthmover tyre specialist. The UK’s largest independent OTR tyre distributor the company sells a wide range of brands across the premium and budget sector and has the experience to find the best solution for each individual client.

T&C Site Services Marketing Manager, Kimberly Adams was keen to point out that the company also managed retreading of earthmover tyres using Marangoni as the OTR retreader. Casings were collected and shipped to Italy for retreading. Retreading is an important element of earthmover tyre management to ensure the greatest life to a casing.

Trelleborg introduced their EMR Series. These tyres feature a multi-surface tread design, providing exceptional grip and control across various terrains—from sand to rock, gravel, and soil. Their radial all-steel construction and reinforced carcass offer long-term durability and equal load distribution, ensuring a comfortable drive and reduced fuel consumption for operators.

Trelleborg Hillhead
The Trelleborg Brawler HPS attracted attention

The EMR1030 offers excellent self-cleaning and versatility, while the EMR1031 features a wide tread contact area for superior control and tight grip. The EMR1042 is designed with a multi-surface tread pattern for excellent ride comfort, and the EMR1050 is built for very hard conditions with a deep tread. Particularly noteworthy is the EMR1051, which provides optimal traction and enhanced damage protection, making it ideal for loaders in intensive applications.

For the waste and recycling industry, Trelleborg’s Brawler High Performance Solid (HPS) line is engineered to withstand severe operational stress, minimising downtime caused by tyre changes or failures. The Brawler HPS Soft Ride, with 40 per cent greater deflection compared to standard solid tyres, features unique elliptical sidewall construction for greater shock absorption and 30 p[er cent less vibration, maximising operator comfort.

The Brawler tyres on display will included a model offering the ride comfort of a filled pneumatic tyre with unique elliptical sidewall apertures, and another model designed for excellent ride comfort with a deep lug tread pattern.

GB Tyres, and Kirkby Tyres were also present at the show, though Bridgestone were not listed in the catalogue. Vaculug and Magna Tyres were present with a joint sales team though at the time of our visit the team was incredibly busy, so we will cover that partnership in another article.

One other tyre supplier was present, BOTO Tyres. Boto Tyres had a small stand in the entrance pavilion and were offering a full range of tyres, Sales Executive Frank Zhang admitted that sales of BOTO earthmover tyres were not the greatest in the UK, but they hoped to change that in the future by appointing a UK&NI distributor for BOTO Tyres.

Hillhead organisers reported a record first day to the event with over 600 exhibitors enjoying large numbers of visitors making the most of the fine weather – a rare spectacle for the summer of 2024.

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