Back from the Dead: How retreads maximize profitability, Part 2

Continental ContiTread

ContiTread, Continental’s premium tread for cold retreading, is produced with proprietary mixtures and profiles.

In Part 1 of CCJ’s series on retreads, Equipment Editor Jack Roberts goes into detail on the profitability benefits of implementing a retread program and how to get started doing so. Click here to see it. Part 2 covers how that investment can pay off in both the long and short run.

Simple — but not easy

If tires seem daunting to manage, the good news is that getting a productive retread and used tire program established is simple to do. In many cases, a local tire dealer will be happy to take on the bulk of the management for a fleet – often for little or no fee.

Yokohama’s TY517 ultrawide-base drive tire is designed for added traction, long and even wear and increased durability and retreadability.

Yokohama’s TY517 ultrawide-base drive tire is designed for added traction, long and even wear and increased durability and retreadability.

A fleet only has to call their local Wingfoot dealer to get started, Totten says. “For no charge, we can put a tire maintenance program in place that will save money in terms of operating costs,” he says. Wingfoot also will handle preventive tire maintenance to spot irregular wear and head off issues that otherwise would lead to decreased life or premature failure. In many cases, Wingfoot can do tire dismounting and mounting in the fleet’s own service yard.

A retread program also can have other maintenance benefits. “Once in place, a fleet knows where their tires have been and under what types of loads and inflation conditions,” says Phil Boarts, retread product category manager for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “By running a program which tracks this information, they will have the critical information for their retread program. Buying quality casings is crucial for these programs.”

Even better, there’s no upfront cost to begin a retreading program, says Matt Schnedler, retread product marketing manager for Bridgestone Commercial Solutions. “The fleet will begin to see significant tire cost savings from the first retreads they purchase,” Schnedler says. “They already have purchased the casing asset on the initial new tire purchase, so the retreads come at a significant savings, which is realized immediately. This savings drops to the bottom line right away.”

Even though used tire and retread programs are easy to implement, some fleets find them difficult to execute. “Fleets must dedicate resources to manage the program or partner with a tire dealer that not only understands the program and criteria, but also is also engaged in its compliance,” Fanning says. In most cases, the program’s only cost is the resources dedicated to its enforcement, such as time dedicated to better tire maintenance to protect the casing.

Kumho’s KMA01 steer and trailer tire is designed with an advanced belt package that enhances casing integrity and uniformity for higher removal mileage and retread quality.

Kumho’s KMA01 steer and trailer tire is designed with an advanced belt package that enhances casing integrity and uniformity for higher removal mileage and retread quality.

“Those investments will provide huge dividends in lower downtime and better asset management of the valuable casing inventory of the fleet,” Fanning says. “If you do not look at tires and the corresponding management of a sound maintenance program, you are leaving a lot of money on the shop floor.”

Fleets also are likely to lose money in expensive emergency road service calls, which can be avoided or mitigated with improved maintenance practices such as regular inflation checks and tire inspections.

“With used tires, the main thing would be the inspection process,” says Rick Phillips, Yokohama Tire’s director of commercial sales. “There is a reason that tire came out of service, and you want to make sure it’s safe to put back on a vehicle that’s about to be loaded and dispatched for delivery.” Tire manufacturers should educate everyone how to determine if a used tire can be put back into service, Phillips says.

“There is an old saying – ‘It is simple, but it isn’t easy,’ ” Brodsky says. “There is nothing complicated about having a good tire maintenance program, but it must be adhered to on a regular basis.” Fleets that pay attention to good tire maintenance and have their tires checked regularly are the ones that easily can average three retreads, saving money and helping the bottom line.

A good tire maintenance program, Brodsky says, is not a cost but an investment that easily will pay for itself in a short time. “That’s not counting the time, money and headaches caused by unnecessary downtime because of improper tire maintenance,” he says.


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experienced driver7
experienced driver7

I must disagree with the statement that retread tires are a good investment. I have seen a few different times companies buying retread tires for their trucks. The problem is sometimes the retreads are not worth the time or the money spent on them. Only if the shop is reputable and replaces a retread that fails. But, when companies buy the retreads from a local dealer to work over the road, you never know when or if that retread is going to fail. Buying the retreads from a major truck stop might seem wise to an over the road company but, the major truck stops charge as much as 3 times more than the tires are worth.

Me tire
Me tire

I would have to differ on this as we have done cost comparisons and always came out ahead on buying virgins as when figuring cost per mile (cost per tread inch)  there pretty closed to dead even and that's before selling the virgin case. We get the best alittle over 100,000 on recaps the last set of virgin toyos ran 212,000 and these are drive tires pulling 117,000 loads with a 475 cat. We now go virgins on trailers as I have never seen a set of recaps go the distance as at least one comes unglued tears finders, lights and everything else  plus the price of the service truck and the high priced tire he brings, it only takes 1 tire  and you have lost everything you might think you saved,  and I have never have seen a virgin tire come unglued!