A well-known name in the commercial vehicle tyre industry, Safetygrip has added to its portfolio by becoming the exclusive local importer of Pirelli commercial tyres
From humble beginnings as a family business in 1997, Safetygrip has grown to be one of South Africa’s most trusted tyre retailers and service providers. Juan Venter, the company’s current owner and son of its founder, says that the company’s morals, which come from it being a family run business, ensure customers are provided with the best service, knowledge and expertise.
“We need to ensure our customers are provided with the products that work best for their application, so that their businesses can run as efficiently as possible,” Venter says.
In this regard, Pirelli is seen as an ideal product addition to the Safetygrip stable.
“Last year when the opportunity came about to be the South African Pirelli agent through Prometeon, we grabbed it,” explains Venter. “We are in the process of testing different tyres in their respective applications at various fleets.”
To begin with, Safetygrip will offer Pirelli truck and bus radial (TBR), as well as military tyres, sourced from Turkey and Egypt. “There’s a big, untapped market for military tyres in South Africa,” Venter explains, adding that in the coming years the range will be expanded with the addition of agricultural and radial OTR tyres.
The company is also known as a Michelin Truck Service Centre and also offers its own brand of Fesite tyres sourced from China.
“There are probably more than 400 different makes of tyre coming into South Africa from China. However, we did testing to find out if it was viable to bring in these tyres and if it’ll make a difference in the local environment. The Fesite brand is one of the better-performing budget tyres from China,” Venter says.
While Safetygrip consists of three departments (retail – which deals with the end customer; wholesale – which deals with other tyre and procurement dealers; and exports – which handles cross-border sales), supplying tyres is not where the business begins and ends.
“Service levels are first for us, then the product, quality and price,” Venter notes. The company offers both on- and off-site services. On site the company offers the usual alignment and balancing as well as brake and suspension testing, air-conditioning re-gasssing and nitrogen for the tyres. Fully equipped breakdown vehicles tend to stricken trucks.
When a truck comes into its Cosmo City premises (even if it’s simply to fix a puncture) the Safetygrip team will conduct a full inspection of its tyres, brakes and suspension and provide a full report.
“If something needs to be fixed, we will call the customer and see if we can go ahead,” says Venter.
The company also runs a retreading operation, offering Michelin’s Recamic as its premium retread option, and Leadertread as the second brand.
Venter is excited to add that Safetygrip has worked with Budini tyre-management software for around ten years now, which loads every tyre in a fleet to the system and electronically records each unit’s measurements. These can be referenced via an app and the customer receives a copy of the inspection report via the cloud.
“We strongly believe that it’s the best system for testing products and the management of a fleet’s CPK,” Venter says. “Of course, these services come at a price; but we offer them to ensure the best CPK for the customer’s operation.”
“We hold a lot of knowledge within the company and we want to share it with our customers to ensure their success,” he concludes.