Training, Technology Took Center Stage at OTR Conference

Feb. 23, 2023

Training, technology and the economy were hot topics of discussion at the 2023 Tire Industry Association (TIA) OTR Tire Conference in Tucson, Ariz.

The three-day event kicked off on Feb. 22 with several presentations, including a panel discussion in which Jeff Faubion, TIA/Mine Safety and Health Administration compliance director for Bridgestone Americas Inc., and Roy Galyer, training manager for Klinge Holdings Pty Limited, discussed coming changes to TIA's Earthmover Tire Service program.

Kevin Rohlwing, TIA's chief technical officer, also moderated a live OTR tire service demonstration, and Roy Littlefield IV, TIA's vice president of government affairs, discussed legislative issues that are impacting the OTR tire segment, including bipartisan legislation that could be introduced in 2023.

Ana Arce, senior manager, corporate sustainability, governance, stakeholder engagement and business development for Bridgestone, discussed her company's commitment to sustainability.

On day two, Rohlwing presented his annual economic forecast - predicting that road and bridge construction will be a bright spot in 2023. "Infrastructure money is finally getting out there," he told attendees. "It's the most we've invested in infrastructure in 70 years."

Carol Hochu, president and CEO of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, shared statistics about the Canadian economy, which "proved pretty resilient" in 2022. However, "there is consensus that the economy will likely slow in 2023. Experts expect economic growth to stagnate, but not contract."

Greg Smith, publisher of MTD, moderated a panel discussion involving representatives from Balkrishna Industries Ltd., Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Yokohama Off-Highway Tires Inc., who discussed the role that independent tire dealers will continue to play in OTR tire service. (Stay tuned to for more details.)

The 2023 TIA OTR Tire Conference ended on Feb. 24.

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.