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.
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.
“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.