DRIVING TO SAFETY
Published on Mon, 03/14/2016 - 5:51pm
Joel Hawkins and Rick Hawkins, Jr., understand that the foundation of any solid business is built around great customer relationships. As co-owners of the Boar Wheel Company, a manufacturer of 19.5" heavy-duty trailer wheels and tires, Joel and Rick strive to provide the highest quality commercial wheel upgrade for trailers, including horse trailers, stock trailers, dump trailers, fl atbeds, living quarters or hay haulers.
In 2007 the Hawkins brothers took over operations of High-Tec Retreading, changing the name to TreadWright Tires, and grew the business from around 10,000 units sold per year to over 53,000 units sold annually before selling the company in 2012. “During our time running that company, we were repeatedly asked by our customers for a ‘better tire’ for their trailers,” Joel Hawkins says. “These customers were having frequent and repeated problems with blowouts on their trailers. We knew the right tire for the job, one that wouldn’t require any trailer modifications, as it is the same outer diameter as a 235/85R16. The best tire would be a 225/70R19.5. The problem was there was no wheel made to fit the trailers and utilize this tire.”
Today, their new company named Boar Wheel, allows owners of trailers with inadequate 235/80R16 and 235/85R16 tires to upgrade to a commercial truck tire size, 225/70R19.5 or 245/70R19.5. As Joel explains, overloading and under inflation are two of the biggest causes of catastrophic tire failure.
As such, the Boar Wheel Company focuses mainly on trailers that feature 7,000/lb. axles and up. These trailers typically have two or more axles and have a GVW of 12,000/lbs. plus. “The most common size tire on these trailers is either a 235/80R16 or 235/85R16. Both of these tires are radials but are considered a high profile tire,” Hawkins says. “With most trailer’s stock tires the sidewalls contain no steel, only nylon, polyester, rayon, etc.” Due to the heavy loads most agricultural users are carrying, these standard trailer (ST) or light truck (LT) tires are under extreme stress and distortion while under load. This weakens the belt package of the tire and leads to premature tire failure.
But the Boar Wheel Company has found a solution — making it easy to replace this antiquated technology with no modifications to a customer’s trailer. At this time, the company focuses on two main products: The Evron Single wheel and the Hooper Dual wheel. Both of these are 4,000/ lb. rated and tested to SAE J267 standard. This is the same standard as tractor-trailers and commercial buses.
“We have had all our wheels designed and engineered to be a direct bolt-on replacement,” Hawkins says. “By going to commercial truck tires and wheels, most of the causes of blowouts on these trailers can be eliminated or greatly reduced.” Levi Akers of Equipment Rental Services in Colorado understands the impact Boar Wheels has had on lowering the incidence of trailer tire blowouts for his company. Recently Akers purchased a brand new trailer and within three weeks had already blown out one of the stock 16" tires.
“He switched to our 225/70R19.5 wheel and tire package and since that time has not had a single tire failure,” Hawkins says. “That was over a year ago. He is one of hundreds of customers that have reported on the reliability of making the switch.” With an ever-expanding dealership network in 11 states, the Boar Wheel Company is able to service customers’ trailers in parts of Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington state, Utah, and California. “Customers can visit a local dealer that they are accustomed to working with and request our upgrade,” Hawkins says. “We also work directly through our website, which will continue to grow to be a major source of information and informative videos for our customers.”
Meeting a Core Need
One of the challenges Hawkins and his team continually faces is educating customers as to whether their products will fit the customer’s trailer. “We work to explain that ‘yes, this product will fit’ their trailer and that the small increase in initial cost will pay for itself many times over throughout their ownership of our wheels,” Hawkins says. Hawkins further explains that the 225/70R19.5 in one of the top-five commercial tires sold in the USA. No 17.5" or 16" tire can boast that. As such, they are readily available and often are no more expensive than a 16" tire. “They do however, last much longer, have greater stability, all-steel construction, and they are retread and re-grooveable,” Hawkins says.
“This means the same tire core can be retread two or three times, extending the life of the tire and further reducing the cost of ownership.” So how can a customer determine if Boar Wheel’s tires and wheels will be a solution for their trailer needs? First of all, determine if your trailer has the standard 8-on 6.5" bolt pattern and if you are currently running either 235/80R16 or 235/85R16 tire sizes. If so, chances are the Boar Wheel products will work on your trailer.
Joel and Rick pride themselves on helping customers maintain safety by reducing and eliminating tire blowouts on the trailers they drive. In fact, customer service has been top of mind for their company and something they value very highly. “We always want our customers to feel like they’re getting even more value than what they paid for and to know how important they are to us,” Hawkins says. “We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years bringing this product to them because we know how important it is for them to be able to pull their trailer safely and affordably. We are the only company specializing in commercial trailer wheels specifically for trailers and we think it shows in our application and quality.”