Industry Mourns Loss of Fred Taylor, OTR Wheel Engineering Founder, Community Leader & Philanthropist
OTR’s founder, Fred) Taylor, passed away peacefully on December 13, 2021, at the age of 70. Known as a visionary, entrepreneur and innovator, Taylor was also a highly respected community supporter whose acts of generosity and philanthropy benefitted his employees and neighbors alike. Taylor founded several businesses, but he is best known for his success in founding OTR Wheel Engineering in 1987. Taylor served as CEO of the company until early 2021 when Tom Rizzi was hired, after which he transitioned to the role of Chairman of the Board. Known for his entrepreneurial spirit, Taylor was the driving force behind the creation and launch of many innovative tire and wheel assemblies, securing numerous patents and trademarks that set the standard in the industry, such as the well-known Outrigger tire. As a result, the company was able to do business with well-known original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers, with whom he ultimately enjoyed close personal relationships. “The characteristic I strive for in my family of companies is to build customer relationships,” said Taylor. “After all the contractual and product negotiations are over, it is the relationship between OTR and our customers that sustained the business over many years.” “We’ve lost a great innovator for our company and the industry as a whole,” said Tom Rizzi, OTR CEO and president. “Additionally, his passion for taking care of customers and establishing partnerships is a legacy that will be long-lasting, and it will continue to drive the company forward for many years to come.”
OTR acquires Hoosier Wheel Oct. 2021
OTR International has acquired Hoosier Wheel, the U.S.-based manufacturer of standard and custom wheel assemblies for off-the-road applications, including lawn & garden, agriculture and material handling. “We are proud to announce the addition of Hoosier Wheel to the OTR family,” said Tom Rizzi, OTR CEO and President. “OTR and Hoosier are regarded as market-leading, off-the-road tire and wheel partners with world-renowned original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket distributors, each recognized for innovative products and services. The addition of Hoosier Wheel increases the company’s U.S. manufacturing footprint, while expanding our portfolio and reach in core markets served.”
OTR BOOTH # IS S-27539 AT MINEXPO, 9/13/21-9/15/21
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. will attend the 2021 MINExpo in Las Vegas from September 13-15. Visit us in booth 27539 in South Hall; drop your business card off and you'll be eligible to win a Yeti cooler, we're doing a drawing at the end of each day! Featured products include a 63x36 5-piece heavy-duty mining wheel with an innovative, patent-pending integrated lock ring system; 33x38 OEM underground mining wheel; 25” gantry crane wheel with a unique hub design; all-new Crane Wizzard tire and 25” aluminum wheel assembly, with a unique patent-pending deflation system; and 25” OEM underground mining wheel in a cutaway form.
OTR Hires New CEO & President
OTR International, Inc. has appointed a new CEO & President, Tom Rizzi, succeeding founder and former CEO Fred Taylor who will stay involved with OTR as Chairman of the Board. In Mr. Rizzi will oversee OTR Wheel Engineering's ongoing integration of companies acquired over the last several years; strategic plans for global expansion; and future acquisitions in support of OTR's vision to enhance and evolve its position as a leader in off-the-road mobility and logistics solutions for OEM and aftermarket customers.
Mr. Rizzi joins OTR from JSJ Corporation, where he held two roles: First as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for JSJ, and most recently as CEO and President of GHSP, JSJ's largest portfolio company. Prior to JSJ, he was President and CEO of Pettibone, LLC—a unit of The Heico Companies—and held executive roles at Barnes Group, Inc. and Gerber Scientific, Inc. He has significant global experience, having lived and worked in Asia, Europe and Canada.
OTR Supporting Kubota National Dealer Program
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. is collaborating with Kubota Tractor Corporation's aftermarket group to support a promotion for its 1,100+ dealers. OTR is a strategic supplier to Kubota, providing tire and wheel assemblies and accessories for utility vehicles, turf equipment, tractors and construction equipment. For a small purchase of Kubota-approved tires and wheels supplied by OTR, dealers receive a free tire rack showcasing six products. OTR assisted Kubota in developing marketing collateral and is working with Kubota's regional sales team to visit and encourage dealers to purchase products. This will help Kubota dealers generate profitable sales and ensure the level of high-performance and engineering excellence Kubota's end customers have come to expect.
OTR Launches National Program for United Rentals
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc., a long-time strategic supplier of tire and wheel assemblies to United Rentals in the U.S. and Canada, has launched a program to grow sales at the branch level. In addition to core markets supported, such as construction and material handling where OTR is an OEM supplier (thus enabling the firm to offer OEM-approved replacements), OTR will support United Rentals in the powersports, agriculture and specialty vehicle sectors as well. Additionally, OTR will roll out a Partner Portal Program for United Rentals in late 2021 designed to connect tire dealers with whom OTR enjoys a partnership to provide necessary services to the branches, whether it's stock for same- or next-day delivery, repairs or disposal.
OTR Commences Work on New Website and PARTNER PORTAL
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. will launch an all-new website in September 2021, featuring standard products available for purchase by OEMs, distributors and select dealers. In addition, we will introduce a B2B customer portal with the ability for customers to transact business and access key information, as well as a Partner Portal designed to enable primarily rental companies to purchase OTR products from tire dealers who are stocking products and set up as service providers. This closed-loop system is key to supporting key customers such as United Rentals, Sunbelt Rentals, Herc Rentals, Ahern and Rental One, among others.
OTR Launches Program with Mi-Jack
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. has launched several new multi-piece hub style wheels for Mi-Jack, a recognized leader and innovator in gantry crane manufacturing located near Chicago, Illinois. Wheels are 10-Bar rated, with HSLA grade steel and protection to ensure lock rings cannot loosen up. Additionally, Mi-Jack's wheels were carefully developed using finite element analysis (FEA) and beta-site testing to ensure targeted performance for use in severe-duty applications. Feedback to date from Mi-Jack has been very positive.
OTR Supplying NDX Airless Tires to CSX
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. is supplying NDX airless tire and wheel assemblies to CSX Transportation in cooperation with our distribution partner, Orange Aftermarket, who are warehousing and supplying units on a just-in-time basis. OTR's game-changing airless system simulates the performance and comfort of a pneumatic tire, except it never goes flat! The tire fits CSX's fleet of Kubota RTVs driven in rail yards, where flat tires are an expensive and recurring problem. Learn more here.
OTR Awarded New RTV Program with Kubota
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. is suppling tire and wheel assemblies to Kubota for the new RTV520. This midsize utility vehicle is hailed as “nimble and mighty”, built for home and job sites. OTR's tires provide the ideal blend of performance and value for this application, with a proven tread pattern that's long-lasting and adaptable to myriad ground and weather conditions. Check out the 520 and you'll see our tires.
OTR Opens New Facility in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. has opened a new facility in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, 35 miles west of Milwaukee. The facility, with over 100,000 square feet, provides additional capacity for growing OEM customers such as Doosan (formerly Schiller) and their Bob-Cat mower line, for which OTR not only supplies tires and wheels but mounting, warehousing and sequencing as well; and Metalcraft and its well-regarded Scag turf equipment line. This location also supports customers in neighboring states, including Illinois and Iowa.
OTR Launches Dirtmaster Tire for Honda SXS
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc.—a strategic supplier to Honda's powersports division—has launched the Dirtmaster tire for the popular Pioneer 1000 side-by-side. Dirtmaster is one of OTR's best all-around tires, featuring prominent V-shaped tread blocks, overlapping center lugs, and an optimized void-to-lug ratio for exceptional performance, whether off- or on-road. OTR also provides the wheel plus mounting, warehousing and sequencing for this new program
OTR Launches New Telehandler Tire Line Called TX-90
OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc. has launched a new telehandler-specific tire solution called TX-90. OTR is an OEM and aftermarket supplier of foam-filled pneumatic tire and wheel assemblies for telehandlers, covering popular models such as JLG, Genie, Skytrack, JCB, Manitou and Gehl, among others, so this is a great new option. The first unit released is a 17.5-26 16PR for 14x25” rims, featuring a non-directional multi-purpose tread designed specifically for telehandlers. The center tread block angled design with deep shoulder lugs, coupled with a flat profile, ensures exceptional stability, traction and long-life, whether operating on hard, soft or muddy surfaces.
OTR China Expands Business in Australia with Distribution Partner
OTR China has expanded its business in Australia in a big way, partnering with the highly regarded distributor, OTR Tyres, to provide mining rims and components to mines in western Australia. OTR's team in China has established a strong working relationship with the OTR Tyres' team, whose principals boast over 70 years of experience, making this an ideal fit. OTR manufactures multi-piece wheels up to 63” in diameter, featuring HSLA grade steel and robust designs that are form-fit-function replacements for OEM wheels and components.