Q&A Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director BKT Port Tyres



BKT Tyres


What are your key products and outline their applications in ports globally?

BKT’s key products in port applications are: A) 18.00-25 Port King Plus is a BKT flagship tyre for port applications, designed especially to meet the specific needs and requirements of port equipment and to enhance port economics. It comprises a highly wear-resistant tread compound coupled with exceptionally high tread depth, all of which offer an edge over competitors with respect to service hours and performance. It is designed to be used on reach stackers and is used in almost all the leading ports globally. B 18.00-25 Container King is very much identical to Port King Plus with respect to its features, however it has better performance. Its wider centre-area offers additional stability to the machine which is one of the major requirements of a reach stacker application; the extra tread weight provides additional service hours. C) 21.00-25 XL Grip is designed to meet the requirements of rubbertyred gantry cranes (RTGs). It has very high load capacities and also a heat- and cut-resistant tread compound. It is used in most of the busy and leading ports globally, such as Singapore Port (PSA) and others.

What is your company philosophy and how does it manifest itself in your products/trading?

Our philosophy is to ‘offer the best quality product to market, at the most reasonable cost’. When it comes to R&D and quality control, the team ensures that only the best-quality tyres are produced and shipped. It is a ’no compromise philosophy’ and the results are farreaching.

Where are your markets?

More than 95% of our production is exported to more than 130 countries worldwide.

Do buyers and suppliers of port equipment understand the link between on the one hand rubber composition and tread, and on the other hand, economy, longevity and performance?

Most of our buyers know the number of service hours and performance levels they require, and they can calculate the cost per hour of the tyre in service. However, only very few know how to do this with the tread, rubber composition and other features of a tyre. This is where the technical training team of BKT comes into the picture, with its various presentation modules used for in-depth training of end-users.

What should buyers and suppliers of port equipment be aware of to ensure the best tyre is chosen for the right application?

Buyers are expected to be aware of the factors that will reduce their operational costs. These include: • A thorough knowledge of their machines and their applications, requirements and expectations. For example, one must not use regulardepth tyres for reach stackers as the tyre wear will be very rapid, resulting in increasing frequency of tyre changes. The downtime of a reach stacker in a port is very costly hence it becomes uneconomical to resort to regular-depth tyres. Buyers should opt for an extra-deep tread tyre and for a highly wear-resistant tread compound to increase the life of the tyre, which will reduce the frequency of tyre changes and make the operation more economical; • Similarly, for RTG cranes, one must use a regular-depth tyre. RTG crane tyres are subjected to extremely high loads and pressures; their life span (regular depth) is not less than five years, but if one uses a deep tread then it may go up to beyond 10 years. However, a longer life-span increases the risk of separation in tyres due to the extremely high loads and pressures that alternate with ‘relaxation’, hence it is better to use a regular tread-depth tyre; • Also, it is important to take care of tyres during service and maintenance, such as continually maintaining correct inflation pressures and interchanging tyres at regular intervals;

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