News story

Forklift tyre luminary Tom Buckley dies at 78

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 ( #497 ) - Mississauga, ON, Canada
Thomas Philip Buckley
Thomas Philip Buckley
Onetime forklift tyre guru Thomas Philip Buckley died at age 78 on 14 January.

Buckley founded and, for many years, owned and, as chief executive officer, operated Industrial Tires Ltd (ITL) in Mississauga.

The popular ITL legacy-brand solid rubber tyre remains in the marketplace today.

"It was with sad hearts that we learned of Tom's passing," says John Ryder, a vice president with prominent materials handling equipment dealership JH Ryder Machinery Ltd in Mississauga. "Our relationship with Tom and the ITL organisation spanned four decades. His unique blend of a colourful personality, visionary leadership and intuitive business savvy will leave a significant legacy in the materials handling industry." The JH Ryder organisation has 14 branches in Canada.

"Mr. Buckley was a man of integrity," says Robert E Quinn Jr of Lexington, Kentucky, a forklift industry manufacturers' representative and consultant. "He provided a positive value proposition for doing business with his team at ITL. He was a pleasure to work with and will be missed in our lives."

Buckley was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, emigrated at the age of three from the US to Canada and, at 21, took out Canadian citizenship. His family says "he remained a proud Canadian".

In high school in the town of Mimico, Ontario, he was captain of the football and baseball teams. The school yearbook identified him as the graduate "most likely to succeed".

On the business front, Buckley worked initially for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co and, in 1958, formed a business to import and distribute tyres in Canada. He was involved in technology developments for making tyres for forklifts, acquisition of the Uniroyal Tire Corp industrial tyre division, expansion of tyre marketing into the US and technical collaboration with Germany-based solid rubber tyremakers Gumasol-Werke and Vorwerk & Co KG.

Cascade Corp of Fairview, Oregon acquired ITL in January 1997 for USD23.66 million and sold the business in April 1999 to an entity known now as Maine Industrial Tire Ltd of Wakefield, Massachusetts that manufactures four solid-rubber-tyres brands-including the ITL line-in the US and China and distributes the products to dealers.

Buckley was an avid golfer and a resident of Sailfish Point on Hutchison Island in Florida. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean, his sons Tab, Sean and Robert, his daughter Wendie, 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

In honouring his wishes, the family will hold a private ceremony and service. Memorial donations may be made to the Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8 or a charity of the donor's choosing.

Oakview Funeral Home of Oakville, Ontario handled arrangements.
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