Commercial Business

Top retreaders prep for growth

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Top retreaders prep for growth

Domestic retreaders produced 15.3 million truck tire retreads in 2011, 7% more than they did in 2010. Based on the expansion plans of the “Top 100” retreaders in the United States, those numbers will go up this year.

Some are replacing builders. Others are remodeling facilities. Almost all of them are optimistic, although casing availability remains an issue.

Looney’s Tire Service is installing a tracking system at its plant in Little Rock, Ark. McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc., based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., is investing in new equipment for all six of its shops.

Two of the largest OTR tire retreaders in the country will up production in 2012. H&H Industries Inc. in Oak Hill, Ohio, already has added equipment, and plans to grow its product base “in markets such as port and industrial areas,” says President Noah Hickman. And B.R. Retreading in Glasgow, Ky., is adding a radial OTR tire mold.

When asked, “What are your retreading plans for 2012?” here are the comments from some of the commercial dealers on Modern Tire Dealer’s “Top 100 Retreaders in the U.S.” list.

Tom Bowman, vice president of the commercial division, Belle Tire Distributors, Allen Park, Mich.: “Business continues to grow in the retreading arena since the fleets continue using more retreads due to the escalating costs of new tires. We’ve seen productivity increase daily in all our plants.”

Richard Brahler II, president, Brahler’s Truckers Supply Co., Jacksonville, Ill.: “We are expanding our capabilities by adding new modern equipment and retiring equipment that has run its useful life. Retread demand is very strong and we expect an increase in volume for 2012.”

 Terry Westhafer, president, Central Tire Corp., Verona, Va.: “We are completing a major expansion of AcuTread mold-cure retread capacity. We are also participating in the development of a new retread plant management computer system.”

Mike Berra, president, Community Tire Co., St. Louis, Mo.: “Over the past three years, we have added additional buffing, building and curing equipment to increase capacity and improve the quality of our product. We recently took delivery of another OTR press for 14.00R-24 through 20.5R-25 tires. We are expanding our offering with new tread designs on two sizes, as well as adding two new sizes to our line.”

Fred Schmidgall, president, Morton Supplies Inc., Morton, Ill.: “We are in the process of adding 4,000 square feet of production and storage to the plant, and we are hoping to add a fourth chamber this year to get up to 400 tires a day.”

 Jon Langerak, president, Wonderland Tire Co. Inc., Byron Center, Mich.: “We are preparing for a 25% increase in retread production for 2012. In order to handle the growth, we are implementing a third shift into our production. We also intend to add several new pieces of equipment, including a new buffer, two new Cima presses (and) a new tread rubber extrusion machine.”

Only the top 50 retreaders are listed in this issue. They include Bergey’s Retread Technologies in Franconia, Pa., which jumped a high of 16 spots to number 36 by increasing its truck tire retread production by 60%.

To see the “Top 100” list in its entirety, click here.

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