Belle Tire shows retreading value at open house
The open house at Belle Tire Distributors Inc.’s retread plant near Cleveland, Ohio, featured tours, food, prizes and a close-up look at the value of retreading.
“We’re proud of our process because we put out quality products," says Tom Bowman, vice president of Belle Tire’s commercial division. "When we bring prospects and customers to our plant they understand why there’s such a value in retreading.”
He expected about 170 customers to stop in during the course of the open house on Aug. 13 to see Bridgestone’s Bandag process for retreading their tires.
Of all the steps in the retreading process, shearography most often turns prospects into customers, according to Bowman. Shearography is used to inspect tire casings for damage prior to retreading. "It takes out the guessing game; you can see an anomaly in the tire, a belt separation, anything wrong with that tire,” says Bowman.
The shearography machine at the Belle Tire plant is the latest model manufactured by Bandag. “We take pride in technology innovation, and we’re always upgrading our equipment so we have the latest in the plant,” says Bowman.
Belle Tire opened the retread plant in Oakwood Village, a Cleveland suburb, 16 years ago. Business has increased year after year, according to Bowman. The retread plant had two salespeople when the plant opened, now it has five.
“Our business base and the relationships we’ve built with our customers have grown so much," says Bowman. "We thank them for their business every day, and we also want to show how much we appreciate them by letting them see our process.”
The Oakwood Village retread plant employs eight people. The building includes a commercial truck center where 24 people are employed. Belle Tire also has a retread plant in Detroit.
“We have great employees that take pride in what they do every day. They’re turning a worn out tire into something beautiful, and it goes back out on the highway,” says Bowman.
Belle Tire is No. 10 on the Modern Tire Dealer 100. The Allen Park, Mich., based company has 93 retail and commercial outlets in Michigan and Ohio and plans to open three stores in Indiana in the fall of 2015.