BOWIE, Md.Response to the Tire Industry Association's (TIA) Basic Earthmover Tire Service (ETS) program has been very strong in the five years since its introduction, according to Kevin Rohlwing, the trade group's senior vice president of training.
Whereas the Farm Tire Service (FTS) program is still too new to generate any measurable numbers, farm tire technicians have responded enthusiastically to it, Mr. Rohlwing told Tire Business.
More than 2,500 tire technicians have completed the ETS program since its inception in 2008, according to Mr. Rohlwing.
But that number does not reflect the thousands of technicians who have received the training without sending in a test to be graded, he said, or those who have completed the course online through their company's internal learning management system.
Basic FTS was released only this past April and isn't yet available online, according to Mr. Rohlwing, but the response from those who have purchased it has been great, and they are very happy with the content and information that it provides.
Both the ETS and FTS programs focus on safety guidelines and step-by-step procedures for servicing different types of OTR and farm tire-and-wheel assemblies. Mr. Rohlwing said both programs cover every step of the assembly process to make technicians aware of every conceivable hazard, both to themselves and to vehicle operators.
These are not the first large-tire service training programs to be made available to the public. Among TIA's forerunner organizations, the Tire Association of North America (TANA) released an OTR tire program in 2001, and the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA) issued a program for agricultural tires in 1995.
But the TANA and NTDRA programs, Mr. Rohlwing said, did not go into the detail the TIA programs provide.
The Basic ETS and FTS programs are traditional video-workbook programs, according to Mr. Rohlwing. Dealers can purchases the instructor kit, which includes the video and lesson plans, and then order workbooks for their technicians.
The workbooks include all the guidelines in the video, as well as additional resources, such as the Tire and Rim Association's load and inflation tables and tire dimension charts.
All of the same information is available online at TIA's University, Mr. Rohlwing said. TIA does occasionally hold seminars with hands-on instruction for some members, but that is handled on a case-by-case basis.
Since FTS was just released, TIA has no plans to change the program in the near future, according to Mr. Rohlwing. And although Basic ETS is five years old, the information it contains is still relevant, he said.
There haven't been any significant changes in the (OTR) industry other than the introduction of 'double-gutter' rims on large-haul trucks, which is already covered, he said.
Nevertheless, ETS will be updated in a few years, and TIA will work with its OTR members to determine what needs to be added or eliminated from the current program, Mr. Rohlwing said.
We already know there will be more emphasis on the process for lifting and supporting the equipment, he said.
Statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicate that lifting and supporting tire equipment is a leading cause of fatal accidents for tire service personnel in general, he noted.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 202-662-7211.