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Hello from the SEMA Show

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Hello from the SEMA Show

Did Hurricane Sandy affect attendance at the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas? Yes, but that didn’t keep the final numbers from reaching record levels again.

There were 135,000 attendees at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show, Global Tire Expo and AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo), a 2.2% increase over the previous high-water mark set in 2011. Exhibitors also set records.

SEMA Show: 2,256 booths, up from 2,142 last year. The total includes more than 500 first-time exhibitors.

Global Tire Expo: 247 booths, up from 239 last year. It would have been higher, but one booth, by Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., was removed.

AAPEX: 2,309 booths, up from 2,278 last year. The total includes 600 first-time exhibitors.

Only the number of buyers was down, from a record 61,000 in 2011 to 60,000. The 2012 total was still higher than the number of pre-registered buyers, and was the second-highest total in SEMA Show/AAPEX history.

“While the hurricane did impact some of our participants’ plans, we were fortunate,” says Peter MacGillivray, SEMA’s vice president of events and communications. “Most exhibitors were in Vegas to set up their booths before the storm hit, and the airlines and hotels were flexible with others so that they were able to attend the SEMA Show later in the week.”

“Hurricane Sandy did have some impact on TIA’s pre-Global Tire Expo activities,” says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president for the Tire Industry Association (TIA). “Specifically, the tire industry’s award ceremony did not have its two keynote speakers since they were unable to leave Washington, D.C.

“The storm also did delay some attendees. However, most of those people were able to take a flight a day or two later and make it to Las Vegas in time for the expo.”

More than 4,500 buyers representing tire dealers or distributors were pre-registered, according to Gavin Knapp, SEMA’s senior market research manager. In addition, more than 13,000 registrants “expressed interest in tires.”

Web content is king, according to Google

It’s a digital world, says Wayne Williams. Here’s how to function in it

One of the topics Wayne Williams talked about in his “Turning ‘Real’ Trends into ‘Real’ Revenue” seminar was search engine optimization (SEO).

“You’ve got to write content for the customer, but you also have to write content for Google,” said Williams, president and founder of Exsell Marketing Inc. and Modern Tire Dealer “Counter Intelligence” columnist. “Google will tell you the top search key words and the rising key words.

“If customers are looking for lime green wheels, Google knows it.”

He displayed an example of SEO copy for a tire dealer’s website, with the key words underlined.

Big Bubba’s Tire Barn has been serving their local communities for more than 50 years. Big Bubba’s is a leader in offering discount tires, the best prices on tires, like (list tire brands).

“We also specialize in 20-inch tires and 20-inch rims, 22-inch tires and 22-inch rims, 24-inch tires and 24-inch rims and more.

“We sell custom rim wheels, chrome rims, black rims, we have a nearly unlimited number of styles and finishes like (list wheel brands).

“We sell great custom rims and tires. Not only is our tire installation cost the right price, but we install passenger car tires, performance and light truck tires and SUV tires.

“Our oil changes are cheap oil changes when you use our oil change coupons. We’ll do a wheel alignment and as some people say a tire alignment. Our alignment cost is an investment in making sure your tires last as long as they should.”

Take advantage of Google Insights, said Williams. “The calls will come, the trends will grow, and the sales will increase.”

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Disappearing act

Prior to the show, all evidence of the Shandong Linglong Tyre Co. booth was removed from the trade show floor. The contents of the booth — including the carpet on which it was sitting — were seized by United States marshals, who were enforcing a $26 million civil suit judgment against the company in favor of Bearcat Tire ARL LLC and its CEO, Jordan Fishman. Bearcat does business as Alpha Mining Systems.

According to plaintiff’s attorney August Matteis of Weisbrod, Matteis & Copley PLLC, a jury convicted Shandong Linglong and Al Dobowi Ltd. of 1) copyright infringement on Alpha mining tire designs, 2) conversion (the civil version of theft) and 3) “conspiracy to do those things” in 2010. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld not only the decision but also the damages.

Although Shandong Linglong has not responded to Modern Tire Dealer’s e-mails, we have learned that both defendants have lodged an appeal against the appellate court’s ruling.

The seized assets will be sold at a sheriff’s auction and the money used to pare down the monetary judgment.

Falken gets sportier

Goodbye Ziex S/TZ04. Hello Ziex S/TZ05.

Falken Tire Corp. introduced a next-generation sport truck tire designed for SUVs and 1/2-ton sport truck applications.

The new Falken Ziex S/TZ05 will replace the S/TZ04 as the company’s main sport truck line. (But fans of the S/TZ04 need not despair: The S/TZ04 will become the Ohtsu ST5000 in the new Ohtsu consumer tire line, which will launch in 2013.)

Andrew Hoit, vice president of marketing, defines sport truck tire buyers typically as highway drivers who want a sportier look. They are more driving enthusiasts than not.

He said 95% of the competitors in this category have a directional tread pattern in a V or Z rating. The S/TZ05 has a five-rib asymmetric tread design and is H-rated.

The result is a tire that is less harsh with plenty of handling. “You are not going to drive an SUV tire 150-plus miles per hour.”

It also has a 14/32-inch tread depth, compared to an 11/32-inch tread depth for other sport truck tires on the market. Falken backs the tire with a 50,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. (Hoit says Falken has improved the long wear aspect of the S/TZ05 by 12% over its predecessor.)

Other features include the following:

•  double taper cut tread blocks, which are designed to maximize noise control and water evacuation. It also gives the tire a state-of-the-art look.

•  wide and narrow shoulder lug grooves that are engineered for optimal noise reduction.

•  wide shoulder blocks.

The tire is available in 16 sizes ranging from 275/60R20 115 H to 305/35R24 112 H. Two 19-inch sizes and two 20-inch sizes will be added in 2013.

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Four more hall of famers

TIA inducted four outstanding individuals into its Hall of Fame during the annual awards ceremony. That brings the total number of members to 157, which includes 20 historical contributors.

The four 2012 Hall of Fame inductees were:

1. Randy Clark, chairman and president of Dunn Tire LLC, a 31-store retail chain based in Buffalo, N.Y. Formerly chairman of Dunlop Tire North America, Clark is known for his philanthropy. Dunn Tire supports breast cancer awareness and yearly holiday food drives, and has made notable donations to disaster relief efforts. “In the tire business, it’s all about people, and giving back to the communities we serve,” he said in his induction speech.

2. Bruce Halle, founder of Discount Tire Co., the second largest domestic independent tire dealer. With more than 840 locations in 23 states, Halle “has become a shining example of the success possible in the tire business,” said Larry Brandt, TIA past president. “To have my name listed alongside some of the great names of our industry is an honor beyond my imagination and my dreams,” said Halle.

3. Paul Kruder, founder of Computerized Information and Management Services Inc. (CIMS) in 1971. His efforts “revolutionized” the tire industry by creating an easy and efficient method to register highway tires, according to Randy Groh, TIA president. Accepting the award for Kruder, who died in 2009, was his widow, Susan, president of CIMS.

4. Pete Veldman, founder of The Tire Rack. The “V” in Veldman could stand for visionary: Tire Rack was one of the first tire companies to have a major online presence. Sixteen years later, the website racks up more than 50 million viewers annually. Veldman is a contemporary of Halle’s, and brought that up in his acceptance speech. “I’m glad you moved out west!” he said to Halle.

The Tire Industry Hall of Fame was created to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments of those who have contributed greatly to the growth and development of the tire industry.

They must demonstrate high standards, ideals and leadership in management of their businesses and in the tire community, which includes the retail, commercial, retreading and rubber recycling segments.

“These individuals have achieved inspirational successes that distinguish them from others,” said Groh.

In addition, two individuals received 2012 Ed Wagner Industry Leadership Awards: Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association and immediate past president of the Virginia Society of Association Executives; and Reece Hester, executive director of the North Carolina Tire Dealers Association.

Hester is a current TIA board member; Akridge is a past board member.

The gavel changes hands

Groh officially took over as president of the Tire Industry Association at the organization’s annual General Assembly on Oct. 29, 2012. He took the golden gavel from Brandt, who for the next year will be the immediate past president.

“More and more, we’re finding ourselves addressing legislative issues in the TIA,” said Groh, vice president of product marketing for U.S. AutoForce, a division of U.S. Venture Inc. based in Appleton, Wis.

In that vein, one of Groh’s first duties was to adopt two resolutions.

1. Estate (death) tax repeal — yes. The association backs all federal legislation supporting the full or permanent repeal of the estate tax, or, if necessary, legislation to extend the current law. After 2012, the top estate tax rate will increase to 55% with a $1 million exemption (it is currently 35% with a $5 million exemption).

“Protecting family businesses from the estate tax is important to keep small businesses operating for future generations,” says TIA in its resolution. “In numerous national polls, small business owners confirm that their top legislative concern is permanent repeal of the estate tax.”

2. Credit card fee surcharges — no. Since 2001, interchange fees have tripled, according to TIA. In 2011 alone, the fees cost retailers and consumers approximately $48 billion.

TIA does not support a proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against VISA and MasterCard that will give merchant’s “a limited right to surcharge consumers and does not reduce swipe fees long-term.”

In addition, TIA supports the efforts of the Merchants Payment Coalition to seek “a more competitive and transparent credit card system to better serve retailers and consumers.”

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‘Tire Safety Starts Here’

TIA also announced a change in its tagline to “Tire Safety  Starts Here” as part of its overall efforts to educate the general public about how to properly maintain their tires. It replaces “Working for the Industry, Working for You.”

The tagline will work on repeating the importance of safety with a series of sub-taglines consisting of “Tire Safety Starts with Proper Tire Repair,” “Tire Safety Starts with TPMS,” “Tire Safety Starts with Inflation” and “Tire Safety Starts with Rotation.”

TIA’s Littlefield believes the campaign “is a natural extension of the emphasis the association has had on training for many years, now having trained over 70,000 technicians.”

Double Coin prepares for winter

Double Coin Holdings Ltd. and China Manufacturers Alliance LLC (CMA) held a soft launch for their latest radial OTR tire, the Double Coin REM-28S. Designed for use on loaders, graders and mobile cranes in winter applications where enhanced winter performance is required, the tire is being field-tested in the U.S.

The REM-28S (the “S” stands for snow) combines the performance characteristics of the REM-2 loader tire and REM-8 crane tire. It features a wide footprint, zigzag siping and proven tread block design that increases winter condition performance, according to Aaron Murphy, vice president of CMA.

The REM-28S is available in three sizes: 385/95R24**  (grader), 17.5R25**/20.5R25**  (loader) and 385/-95R25*** (high speed mobile crane). The mobile crane version is DOT-certified for on-highway use. Additional sizes are under development for 2013, said Murphy.

As with most of the small and large OTR tires that Double Coin produces, the REM-28S is manufactured at the company’s Rugao, China, plant.

CMA also introduced two truck tires for the U.S. market: the RSD3 premium drive tire and the OptiGreen Series FD425 wide-base tire.

The RSD3 is designed for use in severe winter driving conditions. It is available in three sizes: 11R22.5, 295/80R22.5 and 315/80R22.5. Additional sizes are planned for 2013.

“We were already producing the RSD3 for Europe, but didn’t have the sizes we need here,” said Murphy.

The FD425 is the company’s fifth SmartWay-verified truck tire. It is available in size 445/50R22.5.

Hankook: new tire, new plant

To meet ever-increasing demand, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. plans to build a tire plant in the U.S. at a yet-to-be-determined location. Soo Il Lee, president of Hankook Tire America Corp., said construction of the consumer tire manufacturing facility tentatively will begin in January 2014.

If that timetable is met, the plant will begin producing tires in the second half of 2015.

To meet demand in the present, the company’s seventh plant is up and running in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia. Shawn Denlein, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Hankook Tire America, said the facility should begin exporting tires to the U.S. by the end of this year. Eventually, 50% of the Indonesian plant’s production will be earmarked for the U.S. At full capacity, it will be able to produce 6 million tires annually.

“In 2013, we will supply more tires to auto makers,” said Denlein. We are increasing our capacity so it won’t have any impact on the replacement market.”

Hankook chose the Global Tire Expo to introduce its Ventus S1 noble2. Denlein said the UHP all-season tire features the four things consumers look for in any tire: “performance, safety, comfort and its impact on the environment.” A new silica tread compound and triple-radius profile give the latest line in the Ventus family better traction on wet roads and lower rolling resistance.

The tire was developed using 3D vibration analysis technology, which produces an advanced mold profile designed to deliver uniform contact pressure on the tire’s center and shoulder blocks for secure braking performance.

Hankook will make the tire available to the aftermarket in 40 sizes, ranging from 16 through 20 inches, beginning next March.

Two new Landsail tires

Two new premium Landsail products were displayed in the Sentaida International Inc. booth.

The Landsail CLV6 all-season SUV/CUV features an asymmetrical tread pattern “completely different” from the CLV2, according to Maxwell Wee, director of sales.

The tire’s special three-dimensional zigzag sipes are designed to help not only maintain block rigidity (they lock together), but also provide biting edges for wet, snow and ice traction.

It will be rolled out in 17- through 26-inch sizes in the first quarter of 2013. Wee said sizes will be added to the line-up, including OE sizes for Japanese, U.S. (specifically Detroit) and European vehicle applications.

The Landsail LS588 all-season summer tire also has an asymmetric tread pattern. Wee said there is more silica in the LS588 than in the flagship LS988, which gives it lower rolling resistance. It initially will be available in 23 sizes ranging from 215/55ZR17 94W to 245/30ZR20 86W.

Wee said the new Delinte DH2 asymmetric passenger touring tire line also will be introduced in the U.S. in the first quarter. Eventually, it will be available in 50 13- through 18-inch sizes covering applications the Delinte D7 all-season performance tire does not. “We will have complete Delinte and Landsail lines — including all-terrain and mud-terrain tires — within two years.”

Sentaida International is a wholly owned division of the Sentaida Group Co. Ltd. The company produces passenger, ultra-high performance, light truck, medium truck and aircraft tires at its Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. plant in China.

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Gaither gets a ‘Grip’

Gaither Tool Co. Inc. introduced two products, including a revolutionary development in the tire load transporter sector. The Gaither SmartGrip Heavy Duty tire and wheel cart weighs only 37 pounds and provides high capacity and durable long life.

Made of high-grade steel, it can handle tire and wheel combinations from 13 up to 20 inches and up to 440 pounds. The patented tilting device permits the easy lifting of tire and wheel loads up to 220 pounds with just one hand.

Other equally important benefits include a Push-Slide secure automatic clamping and locking clip system that allows the cart to securely grip its load without harming the tires; and yellow, maintenance-free foam-filled wheels that run on industrial bearings and leave no trace on the workshop floor.

The cart made its debut in Europe earlier this year. It will be available in the U.S. in January 2013.

Gaither Tool also displayed its new Bead Bazooka Charging Station, which was developed as a result of customer demand.

Three products from Bartec

Bartec USA LLC launched three TPMS products designed to make servicing tire pressure monitoring systems more efficient, more accurate and more profitable.

Two are tools: the Tech200 and Tech500. The third is new TPMS Management software: TPMS Hub.

The Tech200 TPMS Activation Tool is the latest innovation in TPMS sensor testing (for the “test before you touch” step in TPMS servicing). Its compact and rugged design, coupled with Bartec software flow, means technicians can easily and quickly test TPMS sensors.

The Tech200 also features wireless Bluetooth. Techs can easily transmit sensor information to a computer or printer and quickly show customers their sensor condition. The Tech200 will be available this month.

The Tech500 TPMS tool features an attractive enclosure design that is rugged and ergonomic. Like the Tech400SD before it, the Tech500 is an all-in-one design, which means the OBD functionality is built in, not in a separate connector.

The Tech500 contains both wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

The TPMS Hub management software puts the look-up process at the dealer’s fingertips. From sensor searches to TPMS tool work instructions, re-learn procedures and valuable Bartec Tech Tips, the TPMS Hub makes the TPMS service process more efficient, accurate and easier to complete.

Ironman vs. Terra Trac

Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. displayed two new tires: the Ironman RB-12 and the Hercules Terra Trac R/S.

The Ironman RB-12 is an entry-level, all-season touring tire. It features a symmetric, five-rib tread design, with slotted shoulders, moderate siping and wide grooves. The variable tread design is engineered to reduce noise and deliver ride comfort.

Hercules anticipates the tire will be available in 21 sizes in the first quarter of 2013. They will range  from 155/70R13 75T to 205/55R16 91T.

“This line is going to fill a void that our customers are looking for,” said Suzanne Mitchell, manager of brand development.

The M&S-rated Terra Trac R/S is designed for rugged, on- and off-road applications. Its low-void shoulder and wide footprint “enhance vehicle stability, even during extreme maneuvers,” according to the company.

The tire will be available in 10 sizes ranging from P235/75R15 XL to LT265/70R17 in 1Q 2013.

ASA powers up software

ASA Automotive Systems has made a significant R&D investment in JAVA-based technologies, said President Ken Halle. As a result, the TireMaster family of products will become Web-based applications running in the cloud for all mobile devices, including tablets, PCs, laptops and smartphones.

“ASA is investing in the newest technology to drive applications that improve profitability for the dealers.”

Halle debuted three modules: a new scheduler, a mobile warehouse quick order entry system, and general ledger, which already have been completed as part of this new technology rewrite.

With the look and feel of an Outlook-type calendar, ASA’s Scheduler allows dealers to book appointments from a work order or the calendar; view appointments by date, location, bay, technician and other user-defined resources; and receive email service reminders. Eventually, customers wil be able to book appointments directly online.

The Mobile Warehouse Order Entry module is made for speed. The General Ledger module features enhanced drill down and reporting capabilities.

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Chinese sunrise

Hangzhou (China) Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. will be opening a marketing arm in California soon. The ZC Rubber America Inc. subsidiary will sell the Westlake, Goodride and Yartu brands, plus the new Arisun truck tire line.

The company introduced Arisun (which, in Chinese, means “sunrise”) at the Global Tire Expo. There are three tires in the line: steer/trailer, drive and trailer.

The Arisun AS600 has an advanced five-rib design that enhances even wear, wet traction and low rolling resistance. The Arisun AD737 has a closed shoulder design that provides “outstanding stability in long-haul applications,” said the company.

Both tires are available in six sizes: 11R22.5 Load Range G and H, 295/75R22.5 Load Range G, 11R24.5 Load Range G and H, and 285/75R24.5 Load Range G.

Tire number three, the Arisun AT500, has a unidirectional tread pattern that the company said gives it “exceptional handling ability.” It is available in two Load Range G sizes: 11R22.5 and 295/75R22.5.

All three tires feature an advanced, four-belt casing design under the tread that makes the casing more durable and enhances retreadability. The Arisun AT500 has been SmartWay-verified; the AS600 and AD737 are awaiting certification.

Arisun is the first truck tire brand from Hangzhou Zhongce offered to tire dealers in the U.S. “This brand is our trial to be a supplier to the U.S. direct,” said Guorong Ge, vice general manager.

Three of the company’s nine tire factories are dedicated to truck and bus radial tire production (two others manufacture consumer tires). Ge said there are plans to build a passenger, light truck and truck tire plant in the Jiangsu Province of China in the city of Jintan, and a similar plant in Thailand.

Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber is expected to record sales of more than $5 billion this year, with tires representing 97% of that, said Larry Williams, CEO of LJ Williams Consultants LLC. The company has plans to expand in the coming years, and the U.S. market is an important part of that.

The company has no specific revenue goal for the U.S., said Ge. “But we hope we can achieve double-digit increases in the coming years.

“We don’t treat sales volume as our primary target. We want to provide better service to the dealers in the United States.”

Cooper CS3 Touring

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. previewed the new CS3 Touring all-season performance tire. The CS3, which replaces the Cooper Lifeliner GLS, will be launched in April 2013.

According to Bruce Sanborn, product segment manager in North America, the CS3 is going to be one of the lightest tires in its replacement segment.

The tire will be available in 48 mid-range T-, H- and V-rated sizes. It will feature Cooper’s StabilEdge technology, which increases dry handling stability and ride comfort.

The CS3 has a five-rib tread pattern designed to improve wet and light snow traction performance. The smooth, quiet ride is achieved with the help of a newly developed tread pitch and pattern design. The tread compound and profile provide even wearing and long tread life. (Cooper backs the CS3 with a 60,000-mile limited tread wear warranty.)

“The CS3 is going to be one of the lightest in its class,” said Charles Yurkovich, vice president of global research and development. “That means better fuel efficiency.”

Cooper also introduced the Mastercraft Courser AXT premium all-terrain tire. Its all-terrain design provides balanced all-season capabilities, “confident” highway performance and off-road traction.

Kenda goes green

American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., which does business as Kenda USA, introduced a low rolling resistance tire.

The Kenda Vezda Eco features “advanced compound technology (that) improves rolling resistance and reduces CO2 emissions,” according to the company.

“Rolling resistance is the new trend,” said Eric Yang, sales and marketing manager. “We want to do our part, not only by coming out with innovative products, but also to help the world reduce carbon emissions.”

The tire has 32% less rolling resistance than the Kenda Kenetica, the company’s broad-line tire. Yang said the Vezda Eco is comparatively “a step up,” with more current sizes — including larger sizes.

“The right size is a marketing tool in itself. If we can be the first to market in our tier against our competitors in the right size, it gives us an advantage.”

The Vezda Eco initially will be introduced in 27 sizes in the first quarter of 2013. They range from 195/65R15 91V to 275/55R20 117 V. “We made a conscientious effort to cater to hybrids,” added Yang.

By the 2013 Global Tire Expo, Kenda hopes to have another 10 sizes available in the eco-friendly line, with an ultimate goal of 40.

Other features include the following:

•  an optimized design, courtesy of pattern pitch arrangement harmonic analysis. The result is reduced road noise.

•  a silica-infused compound that increases performance in wet conditions.

•  shoulder siping and circumferential grooves that help displace water for enhanced hydroplaning protection.

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Plus-sizing guide

Wheel Consultants Inc., publishers of “The Ultimate Wheel & Tire Plus Sizing Guide,” launched the Tire Pressure Computer.

The new software program calculates the required air pressure for plus-sized fitments based on gross axle weight ratings. Afterward, a report can be printed along with a label sticker for the vehicle’s door.

Wheel Consultants founder and President Joe Findeis partnered with tire forensic scientist Dr. John Daws to bring the software to the industry.

The inflation cage is all the rage

Ken-Tool targets retail and commercial shops with 6 new products

Ken-Tool Corp. debuted six problem-solving tire changing and service products. The launch included the Dual Wheel Separator and the revolutionary reCore TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) Sensor Saver System, which the company said makes short work of TPMS sensor repair. Ken-Tool also showcased three specialty socket sets and “the world’s largest single-piece inflation cage.”

 1. TPMS Sensor Saver System. Marketed as an affordable solution to valve stem corrosion problems, the patent-pending reCore Sensor Saver System provides everything service technicians need to repair seized and corroded TPMS valve cores — including replacement TPMS valve stems and caps that are nickel-plated and will not fail due to galvanic corrosion, according to the company.

2. Dual Wheel Separator. This specialty tool makes removing stuck or frozen dual steel wheels quick and easy. Designed for use on nearly any dual steel wheel truck, bus or van, the separator slips between rust-frozen wheels and uses the power of a screw-driven pusher to force them apart.

3. Sockets for removing wheel locks or damaged lug nuts. The Ken-Tool 4-Piece Lug Nut Remover Impact Socket Set has patented, internal tapered reverse threads that lock onto damaged nuts and easily tap the power of an impact wrench to pull them off. The set comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

4. Sockets for removing damaged wheel studs and inner Budd nuts. The Ken-Tool 4 PC. H.D. Wheel Stud Remover Set also features patented, internal tapered reverse threads that lock onto damaged studs or nuts. The set comes conveniently packaged in a compact storage case and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

5. Thin-wall sockets for wheels with minimum clearances. Ken-Tool’s 7-Piece Thin-Wall Impact Socket Set is designed for tire care on delicate car and light truck wheels with minimal clearance. The set comes with seven six-point sockets color-coded by size and sheathed in a plastic sleeve. It is backed by a two-year limited lifetime warranty.

6. World’s largest single-piece inflation cage. The new Ken-Tool Earthmover and Agricultural Tire Inflation Cage guards both technicians and the shop environment against the explosions that stem from blown lock rings and rims on large earthmover and agricultural tires (see photo). Made from heavy-gauge steel tubing welded to a steel base, the cage measures 48 inches by 72 inches by 89 inches. It features a robust 10-bar construction and fits up to 29.5R25 L-3 earthmover tire and rim assemblies.

“These six new product offerings... solve problems that are important to tire service technicians, and help them boost customer satisfaction and shop profitability at the same time,” said Rock Tyson, vice president of sales and marketing.

SEMA New Product Awards

The finalists in the “Best New Tire and Related Products” category were:

Winner: Cinturato P7 All-Season Plus, Pirelli Tire North America Inc.

Runner Up: ET Street Radial Pro, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels.

Runner Up: Street Comp wheel, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels.

The awards were presented in 16 categories, and the judges’ criteria for selection included quality and craftsmanship, technical achievement, marketability and consumer appeal.

More than 2,000 products were submitted for consideration at this year’s SEMA Show.

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