When it comes to specialty tires, Mike Travale and his dedicated team of professionals tread where others dare not go.
With three locations in Ontario, including Beamsville and Mississauga, Travale Tirecraft has grown exponentially since they opened their first location, and current head office, in the industrial area of Hamilton.
“My father, John Travale and I started this business in 2002,” says Mike Travale, President, Travale Tires & Service. “My dad is retired now, but he had been in the business since 1962.”
Those decades of experience were put to good use, especially when you consider the niche market Travale has succeeded in. Besides passenger, LT, and commercial tires, they cater to the needs of construction equipment owners and material handling equipment operators.
That means their customers operate equipment in some of the most demanding conditions imaginable. “Their tires are designed to run on a variety of terrains,” Travale explains.
“Not every machine is engineered the same. Some run in rough terrain, some on wet surfaces, some run in water, while others run over scrap metal or aggregate.”
Tough tires for tough terrain
These demanding conditions call for some of the most specialized tires on the market today. Travale’s warehouse, in fact, is stocked with products that would simply be out of place in a traditional tire shop. They carry solid tires, huge tires for OTR applications, and tires engineered specifically to operate in food handling facilities, to name but a few.
“We’re talking about high loads, high lifting, narrow turns. It’s pretty complex,” adds Bernie Cheeseman, VP of Sales & Marketing for Travale Tirecraft.
Travale also offers unique services. For example, for some customers, Travale will “inflate” their pneumatic tires with a urethane filling to make it puncture proof. “These are customers who use their equipment in environments where a slashed or punctured tire would mean lost productivity,” Cheeseman explains. “If we can assure them that these tires won’t go flat, and will in fact keep on working long after a puncture or a cut, there’s real value in that.”
Travale and his team of more than 30 specialists make daily house calls on customers who simply can’t bring their equipment into one of Travale’s three locations for servicing. Whether it’s an equipment handler on the docks in Hamilton, or a forklift with a “flat” in a warehouse in Mississauga, one of Travale’s highly trained technicians goes onsite to care for the needs of the customer.
“There’s not a tire out there that my technicians can’t change,” Travale says. “From a wheelbarrow all the way up to an OTR tire, to specialty tires and beyond, we have the know-how and the equipment to do the job right.”
The company has made a huge investment in equipment and an even larger investment in training and educating their technicians.
“We have crane trucks, five ton trucks with specialty presses in the back, 3/4 ton pickup trucks that do the OTR and pneumatic stuff, and much more,” Travale says. “Our customers won’t bring their forklifts to us. They’ll bring them to the end of their loading docks, and that’s where we have to service their tire needs, right there on the job site.”
The specialty tire side of the business isn’t easy, but it’s one Travale and his team have excelled at. “There are about a thousand more tire sizes available than there would be for a passenger tire,” Travale says. “It’s very detailed, it’s very demanding, but we enjoy it.”