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Breaking down the top 100 retreaders

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Breaking down the top 100 retreaders

In our April issue, we profiled the “Top 100 Retreaders in the United States.” Tire manufacturers held the top two spots on the list: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., with its Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC subsidiary, and Bridgestone Americas Inc., with Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions.

That changed dramatically in May, when third place Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. acquired Wingfoot’s two OTR retread plants. Located in Minnesota and North Carolina, the facilities produce a combined 40 OTR retreads a day.

Purcell not only solidified its position as the top domestic OTR retreader, but also jumped ahead of Bridgestone Bandag into second place.

Here’s how the acquisition changed the balance of power (previous point totals are in parentheses):

Company                        Rank    Total points
Goodyear                        1 (1)     19,178 (21,018)          
Purcell                             2 (3)     12,165 (10,325)
Bridgestone/Bandag    3 (2)     11,139

Commercial Tire Dealer awards one point for every seven pounds of rubber used per retread. Each light truck tire retread equals 1.7 points, each medium truck tire retread equals 3.5 points, and each OTR tire retread equals 46 points. Goodyear’s two Wingfoot OTR retread plants add 1,840 points to Purcell Tire’s total.

Strength at its core

The acquisition of Goodyear’s OTR retread business is a key step in Purcell’s strategic business plan, says the company. It will increase the production of OTR retreaded tires from 120 to 160 units per day.

Purcell Tire already was the largest OTR tire retreader in the U.S. It also is one of the largest producers of truck tire retreads, averaging 1,300 per day.

“This acquisition is a win for new and existing customers,” says Keith Butcher, executive president of Purcell Tire. “This is a core business for Purcell Tire, and we are committed to investing and growing this business.”

“We’ve made a significant investment in helping our customers recycle tires and save money,” says Purcell Tire founder Bob Purcell. “Recycling tires, especially large OTR tires, reduces costs and saves resources. By helping our customers to reduce operating costs, we are also helping them reduce their carbon footprint.”

Purcell Tire will operate the business out of its centrally located, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Potosi, Mo. The addition gives Purcell seven retread plants in the United States.

They feature Goodyear’s Unicircle, precure, mold cure and Flexcure processes.
From Bandag to Michelin

Two other large truck tire retreaders also have made significant moves since our list was published. Snider Tire Inc. didn’t change positions — it remains 10th on the list — or add capacity.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based dealership did, however, change processes.
In 2008, Snider retreaded 1,350 medium truck tires a day in eight Bandag plants. Now it is a Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MRTI) Pre-Mold precure retreader.

Another North Carolina retreader, Edenton-based Colony Tire Corp., also has switched from Bandag to Michelin. Prior to the switch, Colony retreaded approximately 150 truck tires a day at its Edenton plant, which tied it for 81st on our “Top 100 Retreaders” list.

Colony Tire also acquired a Tire Centers LLC (TCI) retread plant in Norfolk, Va., which potentially will double the company’s daily output. That would place Colony Tire 48th on our list — assuming there are no other changes.

The addition of Snider Tire and Colony Tire give MTRI 46 franchisees throughout North America, according to Michelin North America Inc. TCI, a Michelin subsidiary, accounts for 14 of them, or 30%.

By the numbers

The top 100 retreaders in the U.S. retread 47,473 truck tires per day. They also produce 2,625 light truck tires and 625 OTR tires daily.

There are 97 truck tire retreaders in the list. More of them favor the Bandag precure process than any other.

Forty-two of the 97 use it, representing 23,364 of the estimated 47,473 truck tires produced per day, or 49.2%. Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions accounts for 13.2% of the list’s total Bandag production.

Seventeen use Goodyear’s precure process (three of the 17 also use Goodyear’s mold cure process).

In total, the 17 Goodyear retreaders produce an average of 9,037 truck tire retreads per day (8,122 precure and 915 mold cure), or 19% of the total truck tire retreads produced.

More retreaders in the list use one or both of MRTI’s processes than Goodyear’s — 22 to 17. Michelin’s Pre-Mold and Custom Mold retreaders produce 9,678 truck tire retreads per day (7,397 precure, 2,281 mold cure), or 20.3% of the total. Michelin’s largest retreader is Tire Centers LLC, which is fifth on CTD’s list, immediately behind Southern Tire Mart, an independent Bandag retreader.

Marangoni Tread North America produces 1,822 precure/RINGtread truck tire retreads per day, or 3.8% of the total, solely through its independent dealer channel. One of the nine is ninth-place Les Schwab Tire Centers, which produces 600 Marangoni retreads per day.

Of the truck tire retreads produced, 89.7% are precure, while 10.3% are mold cure.

The top 100 total 343 retread plants, or an average of 3.4 per retreader. Each plant uses an average of 1.36 million pounds of rubber annually. If you eliminate the top two retreaders, Wingfoot and Bridgestone Bandag, the average is higher.

Truck tire retreaders average 136 truck tire retreads per plant. Light truck tire retreaders average 10.4 retreads per plant.    ■

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