Bearcat, Dealer Profile, Spare Parts, Tyres & Tracks

Bearcat tyres, wheels, and rubber tracks

With 2023 being the 50th anniversary for Bearcat’s tyre division and 20th anniversary for its wheel-manufacturing division, we figured it was time we headed out to Girraween in Sydney’s west to catch up with General Manager Lyle Pearce.

Bearcat General Manager, Lyle Pearce.
Bearcat General Manager, Lyle Pearce.

It’s well worth celebrating this great business which specialises as a solution provider for the material-handling and off-highway sectors. Providing tyres, wheels and tracks in this space truly is a speciality area, and Bearcat is Australia’s leading provider of specialty inhouse Australian wheels. For example, when a forklift or material handler in construction, mining, commercial and other off-highway applications damages a wheel and the owner simply can’t find a replacement, Bearcat’s team of specialty technicians can custom make a wheel to the highest standard available. Also, when it comes to replacing tyres or tracks for anything from excavators, skid steers, roller/compactors, ridged dump trucks, loaders of all kinds, graders, dump carts, articulated dump trucks and forklifts through to asphalt pavers, platform lifts and a pile of other tyres and tracks for too many machines to mention, Bearcat has you covered with fresh rubber on the shelf for a huge range of requirements.

Tyres are puncture-proofed by being filled with various materials.

Bearcat branch at Girraween

Chatting with Lyle Pearce at the Girraween Bearcat facility, it’s quickly apparent family values are solidly entrenched within the Bearcat business model and the staff are more like family members than employees.

Lyle shared, “We really value our team and staff and are very proud of the fact we still manufacture in-house here in Australia. While all our tyres are imported – there’s no tyre manufacturing in Australia – we do have a nice little wheel-manufacturing plant here where we do speciality wheels for the off-highway segment. For conversions or special applications, or just for when you’ve damaged a wheel and can’t get a replacement, we can get our customers back up and working. That’s something we’re very proud of.

“People come to us needing a replacement wheel from various industries, including forklifts, construction, skid steers and even underground mining and many other speciality applications for airports, and it’s an honour to get these people’s problems solved and get them back to business.”

Bearcat has fresh rubber on the shelf for a huge range of requirements.

Part of the Michelin group

Bearcat has been part of the Michelin Group for the past four years.

By all reports it’s been a wonderful change for Bearcat as all the manufacturing and distribution strengths have come across from Michelin.

It was back in 1973 that John Bloxham originally set up Bearcat Tyres, an American enterprise specialising in forklift tyres and material handlers, with a small team of four in Alexandria. Today the business operates from seven branches nationally, with a team of 80 staff.

When there’s no replacement available for a damaged a wheel, Bearcat can get customers back up and working.

Despite this growth, Bearcat has remained a family-oriented business through and through, and it’s inspiring to see the care it has for its people, what they do and its customers. But today Bearcat can enjoy being a part of a very large organisation and the benefits and strengths that come along with that.

On a tour of the facility, we saw the team in action across a wide range of day-to-day aspects of the Bearcat business. A tyre-fitting area that predominantly removes and fits solid tyres was working hard, and tyre filling is clearly another big aspect of Bearcat’s activities. With in-house as well as regional dealers, Bearcat is Australia’s number-one provider of equipment and materials to allow local operators to provide tyre-filling services in regional communities. Tyres are puncture-proofed by being filled with various materials.

Bearcat is also Australia’s number-one provider to the material-handling sector.

Australian manufacturing

As we made our way around the Bearcat facility, from the wheel-manufacturing plant, where there were several welding projects under way (including submerged arc welding), we really got an appreciation for the people who are the backbone of the business and just how important it is to keep manufacturing alive in this country. It’s highly skilled people like these who lose their jobs when companies make the decision to take their manufacturing offshore.

With seven branches now in Australia and one in Auckland, NZ, and with a huge selection of tyres, wheels and tracks available, make sure next time you need a wheel replacement or any sort of rubber for your machinery and equipment you get in contact with one of the Bearcat branches. These guys and girls will truly bend over backwards to solve your problem and get you back to work as quickly as they can.

Bearcat’s team of specialty technicians can custom make a wheel to the highest standard available.
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