Looking back at BAUMA

Apr, 18 2016

An interview with Michael Codron, Managing Director Commercial Business Unit Bridgestone Europe

Bridgestone was present at this year’s BAUMA show. How did it go? 

Very well! Our Bridgestone booth attracted many visitors and we were glad to be able to show and explain our latest innovations in terms of products and systems! This edition of BAUMA attracted around 580,000 visitors from 200 countries which is over 9% more than the previous one, which we definitely felt on our stand. 

Why did Bridgestone go to BAUMA? Your competitors weren’t there… 

As the world N° 1 tyre and rubber company, Bridgestone is a major supplier to the construction and mining industry… and BAUMA is the world’s top trade fair for this business segment. So I think it’s only natural that we were there to meet our OEM customers face to face. As you walk around the halls, you could notice how many of the latest machines are equipped with Bridgestone original equipment. And let’s not forget that thousands of operators of these machines were also there as visitors, looking for solutions to their companies’ needs. 

We see other Bridgestone products and services on your stand this year, not just tyres. Why is this? 

Yes indeed, and there are two reasons behind this. Firstly, for the first time at a major fair in Europe, Bridgestone is also presenting some of its rubber-based industrial products such as rubber tracks, hydraulic hoses, and engine mounts. These Bridgestone products are widely used right across the spectrum from local construction sites to the world’s largest globally-operated mining activities. They are very often purchased by the same customers who use our premium tyres, and we are delighted to welcome them on our stand! 

Secondly, we are presenting our complete tyre service offer to customers, called Total Tyre Care. Operators want to control their tyre costs and are looking more and more at the total investment over the tyre life, instead of just the initial tyre purchase price. The Bridgestone Total Tyre Care approach links up tyre experts with our network of local dealers to provide customers with the highest possible return on their investment in our premium tyres. 

Is there any specific example of this you would like to emphasize? 

Yes, falling under our Total Tyre Care are Total Tyre Systems, which provides management tools and customised reports which give end-users clear visibility of their tyre conditions in order to increase complete business efficiency. This includes our Tyre Management System (TMS) presented at BAUMA, which is dedicated software for off-the-road tyres enabling to evaluate tyre life, estimate cost and predict future consumption by providing accurate and reliable reports on the entire performance history of the tyres at a glance. 

Turning to the German market, are there any product highlights? 

Wheeled loaders are widely used in Germany in many applications. The Bridgestone extra-deep profile VSDT and VSDL tyres on display are proven best-sellers in this market as they satisfy operators in the toughest conditions in quarries, mines and the recycling industry for example. Bridgestone is one of the few companies able to offer a premium product across the full range of sizes, from the 15.5R25 right through to the giant 60/80R57. 

What have you learned at this fair about future trends? 

Well, I think one of the most important factors is the need to continually innovate in order to improve business efficiency. We work closely with all leading OEMs to carry through their innovations to end users. You can see examples on our booth, including the new Bridgestone 33.25R29 VLT tyre that was developed especially for the world’s largest articulated dump truck, the new Volvo A60H. Another example of continual industry innovation is the approach of Liebherr to equip their latest mobile crane series with single-piece rims. Bridgestone carried out a lot of development work to ensure that our latest VHS crane tyre perfectly matches the requirements for use with these innovative rims. 

Now that BAUMA is over, what would you say were for you the highlights of the show? 

There were many exciting novelties for the industry, but a number of them stood out. In terms of new vehicles, as mentioned, Volvo launched a new Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) – the first conventional 60 tonne ADT on the market – for which Bridgestone has specifically developed the 33.25R29 VLT. TADANO FAUN also displayed a huge fleet of their latest crane models most of which were equipped with our new VHS2 mobile crane tyres. TEREX showcased the revival of their DEMAG brand for mobile cranes, and we were thrilled to see that all TEREX Trucks presented were fitted on Bridgestone tyres. 

This was also very exciting for us because we had a number of fitments showcasing our strong relationships with the different manufacturers. CAT was a great examples, with fitments on the Wheel Loader ‘M’ series machines which are equipped with tier 4 low emissions engines. They also had new series for ADT called the ‘C2’ series which also included their latest low emission engines. Overall, the majority of CAT machines, including the eye-catching giant CAT992 wheel loader, were equipped with our tyres. This was also the case with, LIEBHERR’s new ‘X-Power’ Wheel Loader line. 

Bridgestone fitment highlights at BAUMA