New message to fleet managers: retread instead

 MUSCATINE, Iowa – Why replace when you can retread instead?

That’s the message from Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS), which has launched a new web site to give fleet managers tools and information about extended casing age limits.

As the trucking industry finds its feet in the wake of the recession, and while the supply of new tires continues to be tight, the company says it is putting a greater emphasis on retread options.

Chris Ripani, director of marketing strategic brands and channels, says retreading is an attractive option for all types of fleets.

“Fleets who now retread are extending their age limits to realize the most value from the casings they own,” he said. “We’ve also seen fleets return to retreading, or perhaps evaluate retreads for the very first time, as a strategy to maximize their tire programs and keep their trucks rolling.”

Lincoln, Neb.-based Crete Carrier Corporation, for example, has recently extended casing life from five to seven years.

 “We’ve been tweaking our tire program for about five years, trying to find a casing age limit that provided the best return on investment for our fleet,” says tire program manager Mike Bice. “We spent a lot of time diagnosing our scrap pile. From the data we gathered, we determined that our casing age limit should be seven years.”

By adding those two years to his fleet’s specs, he has been able to realize one to two additional retreads per casing and has lowered his overall operating costs. The fleet has more than 172,000 wheel positions.

Ripani says in some cases, a closer look at repair specifications may be in order. BBTS has conducted studies of more than 13 million tires rejected for retreading and determined that 30 percent of those commercial truck tire casings could have been retreaded at least one more time if the repair specs had been different.

The new BBTS web site,, gives fleet managers tools and information to get the most out of retreading. It includes a wheel position analyzer, a cost-analysis example for considering extending current casing age limits, and an informational video on shearography, a modern casing inspection technology that ensures retread reliability.


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