After 40 years of global experience in the tyre industry John O’Donnell was frustrated with the poor quality that was creeping into the market he was so passionate about. John wanted to strive for excellence and quickly identified a gap in the market to supply high quality truck tyres to dealers across New Zealand.
John drew on his experience to design tyres which would have superior performance characteristics and identified 18 potential manufacturers and after personally visiting these factories appointed only one that met his rigorous standards. Six tyre molds were originally forged over two tyre patterns and Kiwi Truck Tyres was born in 2010.
Kiwi Truck Tyres now proudly represents 22 tyre models over 3 brands with international acceptance and with warehouse hubs in Auckland and Christchurch. We have made many improvements over the years to compound and structure of the tyres and more innovations will continue to meet New Zealand’s unique roading conditions.
Quality and performance, however, was only one part of Johns strategy to return excellence back to his industry. John built a business to business platform which would not cannibalise market share for valued clients and he rigorously defended not selling to end users unless they had their own fleet service. This became the Kiwi Truck Tyre founding philosophy and continues to this day.
Kiwi Truck Tyres experienced challenges and substantial growth over the next 5 years and in 2015 John quickly realised to do the company’s growth potential justice he required assistance. John has been involved with the Jones family businesses from start up and worked with the family to enable them to become a major shareholder in Kiwi Truck Tyres. John remains a shareholder and active within all aspects of the larger business opportunity.
Most tyres which are imported into NZ are made to International standards and this is where Kiwi Truck Tyres employs their fundamental point of difference. Kiwi Truck Tyres while manufactured to International standards they are designed specifically for New Zealand’s unique roading and weather conditions.
Kiwi roading conditions cause rapid wear on the truck tyres compared to International roads.
1. Chip Seal: Kiwi roading has the most course chip seal used on the planet due to the weather conditions. This is to ensure traction for vehicles in challenging conditions. For transport this means a greater rate of rubber tearing and tyre wear.
2. General Roading Materials: Materials on Kiwi roads are similar to international metropolitan conditions commonly found in Europe with chip, cobblestones, concrete and natural stone. The exception is that the speeds across these surfaces in New Zealand are much higher with freight traffic turning and braking resulting in higher wear and tear on the tyres
3. Road Camber: Population and topography challenges results in New Zealand being unable to afford the expense of laying 1 – 2 m of base course rock for drainage. Kiwi roading engineers faced with this challenge designed a drainage camber of 12 - 13° to ensure run off of surface water. As a consequence, the roading camber causes rapid shoulder wear on the left side of the trucks or the inside tyres of trailers.
Kiwi Truck Tyres is committed to invest in innovation and continues to improve our Tyre range to improve sustainability and lower costs per km travelled for transport operators.
Kiwi Truck Tyres focus is cost efficiency for our customers which means the right balance of cost price per tyre and quality to generate the lowest possible cents per km
2011 - The beginning of Kiwi Truck Tyres
John O’Donnell identified a gap in the market to supply high quality light truck and truck tyres to tyre dealers across New Zealand. John created a strategic business plan and approached 18 factories worldwide looking for a credible factory who would manufacture tyres to John’s quality and specification standards. Once the right partner was confirmed John manufactured moulds for 2 tyres which proved to be successful at meeting the market needs.
A leader in the marketplace
Kiwi Truck Tyres quickly became a leader in the marketplace, selling high quality tyres at a competitive price. Business-to-Business customers appreciated that Kiwi Truck Tyres only dealt with businesses and not the end consumer therefore not cannibalising market share for valued clients. The Kiwi Truck Tyres philosophy was born: " Kiwi Truck Tyres only trade with tyre dealers, however, continue to help end consumers locate specific tyre sizes for their application and recommend the consumer to an Kiwi Truck Tyres authorised tyre dealer".
Kiwi Truck Tyres is a growing company
Kiwi Truck Tyres experienced substantial growth and increasing demand for more sizes and tread patterns. John then implemented his next business plan to extend the range of tyres to cater for all applications. Warehouses are located across New Zealand with representatives building valuable relationships with business-to-business customers.
A successful company
Kiwi Truck Tyres quickly became a large national organisation requiring assistance to grow further. Kiwi Truck Tyres strategically required assistance to allow the next level of growth. The assistance required included management, sales, marketing, administration, and logistics. To facilitate this growth John O’Donnell entered into negotiations with Jones Trading Company Limited to become a major shareholder in the Kiwi Truck Tyres business. Part of this transaction was the registration of a tyre group organisation named “New Zealand Transport Tyres” (NZTT). NZTT was formed to allow the Jones Trading group to grow into many other tyre opportunities which are part of the long term business plan.