Acquisitions and Conversions Impact Top Retreader Rankings
Acquisitions have claimed two independent dealers from this year’s Top Retreaders list: Brahler’s Truckers Supply Co. and Hill Tire Co.
Continental Tire the America LLC’s BestDrive subsidiary purchased Brahler’s retreading plant and seven stores in February 2016. Hill Tire’s two retreading plants and five stores were added to the BestDrive network in July 2015.
The retread plants and commercial tire stores will go to market as Brahler BestDrive and Hill Tire BestDrive for the foreseeable future, according to Glen Carson, director of retail Americas for BestDrive. In addition, a BestDrive retread shop opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 2016, bringing the number of company-owned plants in the U.S. to seven. The new shops increased output from 375 to 800 medium truck tires per day to bump Best Drive to No. 20, up 22 spots. BestDrive also has 16 commerical tire sales and service stores.
There are now 17 ContiTread licensees in the U.S. Three dealers joined the ContiLifeCycle network in 2015. Inter City Retreading Inc. of Elizabeth, N.J., and Industrial Tire Service Inc. of Portland, Ore., converted to the ContiTread process. CMC Tire Inc. became part of the network with the opening of its first retread plant in September 2015 in Las Vegas, Nev.
CMC Tire’s 25,000-square-foot retread plant can produce up to 24,000 retreads annually. Co-owner and President Mike Morast says the plant is retreading 44 medium truck tires per day.
He says low-cost import tires from China have “definitely ruined” the Las Vegas retreading market, which is a heavy construction market. “Construction guys think about what a retread and casing costs. For another 20 or 30 bucks they can have a new tire,” he says.
Morast says fleet operators are shifting freight consolidation and distribution points from California to Las Vegas and other western locations. The changes in freight distribution patterns are creating opportunities for dealers in western states because “large fleet operators understand the value in retreading.”
Morast opened his Las Vegas store in August 2015. He also has a store in St. George, Utah, which opened in August 2014. Both stores offer commercial and retail sales and service. He plans to open stores in Spokane, Wash., and Reno, Nev., in 2016, and is aiming for 10 to 15 CMC stores in the next five years.
Morast is hopeful the U.S. government levies tariffs on truck and bus tires from China as they will “equal out the disparity between the low-cost import tires and retreading.” His hope is shared by dealers who responded to MTD’s question on the necessity of proposed TBR tariffs.
The Chinese truck tire issue is different from the passenger/light truck issue, according to Terry Westhafer, president of Central Tire Corp. of Verona, Va., which holds the No. 85 spot.
“Domestic manufacturers abdicated the entry level P/LT price point years ago, and the Chinese were merely filling the demand for those products. This did not reduce sales of higher priced products,” says Westhafer.
“The level of pricing for Tier 4 truck tires is quite different and has had a dramatic effect on the sale of Tier 2 products, particularly in trailer positions. Retreading is suffering more than new tires because the retreader is trapped in their cost of production and cannot lower selling prices.”
Other process conversions and a plant closure
Several dealers joined Marangoni Tread North America Inc.’s network: Tire Service LLC of Jacksonville, Fla., Quality Tire & Service LLC of Munford, Tenn., J&R Tire Inc. of Fairburn, Ga., and Industrial Tire of CNY LLC. They will offer Marangoni’s Ringtread brand and Unitread precure products in their respective markets.
Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. (STTC) joined Oliver Rubber Co. LLC’s North American retreading network, a move that adds intermodal tires to its retreading capabilities. STTC also retreads medium truck tires at Michelin Retread Technologies plants in Bethlehem, Pa., York, Pa., and Millbury, Mass.
McCarthy Tire Service Co. left the off-the-road retreading business with the closure of its OTR retreading shop in Somerset, Pa., in August 2015. McCarthy will supply its customers with retreads sourced from RDH Tire and Retread Co. and B.R. Retreading Inc.
MTD ranks the nation’s top 100 retreaders every year. Click here to see the Top 100 retreaders and find out how your operation compares. ■