Free Service Tire Co. Inc. has installed a new, 140-inch autoclave at its OTR retread plant in Johnson City, Tenn., as part of the dealership's plan to increase its OTR retread production capacity.
The autoclave represents a $400,000 investment, says Harrison Wexler, Free Service Tire's executive vice president.
"It replaces a 45-year-old, 120-inch autoclave. We decided to replace (the old autoclave) with something that was bigger and fits the needs of today's market," including 49-inch and 57-inch tires.
Wexler says Free Service Tire's OTR retread operation is unique in that it "only provides retreads for end users," as opposed to wholesaling finished products to other dealers. "Our capacity is only there to satisfy our customer base."
Free Service Tire, which is based in Johnson City, Tenn., currently produces six OTR retreads per day, on average, he reports. The company -- which is celebrating its 90th year in business -- also operates an Oliver medium truck tire retread factory.