The ‘good guys’ won’t tread on you

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“As any other business, there are good retreaders and some that are not so good,” asserts Harvey Brodsky, president of the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB). The trick, he says, is to be certain you are dealing with the best top-quality retreaders in your area. Here are a few of his suggestions to be certain you get the best quality retreads for your money, with the fewest problems.

Know your retreader. This means you should visit the retread plant you are planning to give your hard-earned money to when you buy retreads. If you aren’t impressed with the cleanliness and availability of modern equipment in the plant, move on to another retreader. TRIB publishes a retread tire buyer’s guide, which lists all retreader members worldwide. A free copy can be obtained by contacting TRIB by telephone or e-mail, using the contact information shown below. You also can view the buyer’s guide on TRIB’s website, www.retread.com.

Ask for references. A reputable retreader will be happy to provide a list of satisfied customers. But don’t just accept his word for it, warns Brodsky, who suggests calling those customers. Ask if they are happy with the price, service, quality, warranty and anything else you can think of. Then ask the big question: Would they do business with the retreader the next time they need to buy retreads or have their own tires retreaded?

TRIB has compiled a series of industry-recommended practices for tire repairing and retreading. Ask if the retreader owns and uses his copy. If he doesn’t even own a copy, consider moving on to another retreader (all retreaders can obtain a copy of this important document from TRIB).

Ask about the retreader’s adjustment rate. All good retreaders – no exceptions – keep accurate adjustment records. Ask to see them, and have the retreader explain exactly what he is showing you. If you aren’t impressed, move on.

Don’t try to buy the lowest-price retread in town. It may turn out to be a very expensive mistake. Instead of price, you should be concerned with lifecycle costing – that means buying a top-quality retread that delivers more trouble-free miles than a low-priced sub-quality one. It actually will save you money in the long run.

There is an old saying: “It’s simple, but it isn’t always easy.” Just as with anything else in your business, the purchase of good retreads for your fleet (whether it’s one truck or 10,000) requires that you do your homework and not make a quick decision based on low price by a quick-talking salesman.

Finally, you are being a good citizen. Retreads are very environmentally friendly and are responsible for saving hundreds of millions of gallons of oil every year. You can do your part by buying a recycled product that does the job. The safety and performance of retreads has been proved by millions of vehicles all over the world. Retreading is recycling in the truest sense of the word.

Brodsky also cautions that even the best retreads – and new tires, for that matter – need to be properly inflated and maintained. Studies have shown that around half the “alligators” found on the road come from tires that never have been retreaded. Underinflation almost always is the cause, and it can kill any tire, retreaded or not.

The Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau is an international industry association, with hundreds of top-quality retreader members in nearly 50 countries worldwide. TRIB’s materials are noncommercial and free. For a complete retread tire information packet and CDs/DVDs, contact TRIB toll-free from anywhere in North America at 888-473-8732 or e-mail info@retread.org.