Retread, and realize returns

MONTREAL, Que. -- Tires are a fleet’s third-highest operating expense, just after wages and fuel. But while many fleet managers can tell you precisely how many drops of diesel they burn, tire life is often described in vague terms, says Lorenzo Borella, general manager of Montreal’s Système de rechapage RTS. A closer look at the life of rolling rubber will identify just how quickly the rolling rubber is heading to the scrap heap, and stress the need to maximize the underlying investments. Having a healthy casing retreaded, for example, can save as much as 50% compared to buying a new tire of the same brand and model. According to the Tire Retread Information Bureau, those savings add up to billions each year in the North American trucking industry, says Robert Palmer, director of market sales for Bridgestone Americas tire operations.