Tip-top shape

April 21, 2010

Domestic retreaders produced more than 13 million truck tire retreads last year, down 10% from the year before. By comparison, new replacement truck tire shipments totaled 12.5 million units, down 19.3%.

That didn’t keep some of the largest retreaders in the United States from making major moves in 2009. None of them were busier than Snider Tire Corp., the seventh largest retreader on Modern Tire Dealer’s “Top 100 retreaders in 2009” list. Last April, the longtime Bandag retreader joined the Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MRTI) network. To date, it has converted three of its eight Bandag plants to MRTI facilities.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based retreader also purchased Consolidated Tires Inc., 34th on MTD’s list in 2009, and its Pelzer, S.C., MRTI retread plant — one of the largest in the country. Snider Tire enters 2010 with five Michelin Pre-Mold plants, which includes its latest in Bluffton, Ind.
Michelin has 46 franchise members with 80 plants throughout North America. Its largest is Tire Centers LLC (sixth), which sold one of its 14 plants to Service Tire Truck Centers (17th) earlier this year. The Millbury, Mass., facility has the capacity to produce between 400 and 500 Michelin Pre-mold and Custom Mold retreads per day.

Hustle and bustle in 2010

In January, Belle Tire Distributors (19th) in Allen Park, Mich., and Tredroc Tire Service (12th) in Antioch, Ill., formed a joint venture in Michigan.

The joint venture, Belleroc Tire Services, encompasses one Bandag retread plant and three commercial tire locations. Tom Bowman, vice president of Belle Tire’s Commercial Division, says Belle Tire will lend its medium truck tire expertise to Tredroc, while “we’re hoping, in return, that they can help us with the OTR tire business.”

H&H Industries Inc. (27th) recently opened an OTR retread and repair facility in Pickton, Texas, with Trey Whiteman. The joint venture facility is named H&W Retread and Repair.
Whiteman, who owned and operated an OTR repair facility in Pickton for several years, will operate H&W.

“H&W was formed as a sister company to H&H to expand our national coverage area, increase our market share in the western territories, and to be utilized as a staging point for our business in Mexico,” says H&H President Noah Hickman. H&H is based in Oak Hill, Ohio.

H&W will retread OTR tires using the Bridgestone Continuum precure retread process and cut tread process, supplemented by H&H’s mold retread process, which will allow H&W “to have the most diverse retread capabilities possible,” says Hickman.

Look out for Continental

“Others” account for 3.5% of domestic retreaded truck tire market share, behind Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (42%), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (28%), Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (23%) and Marangoni North America Inc. (3.5%).

One of those “others” is Continental Tire the Americas LLC, which introduced its ContiTread tread designs in the United States last year. Continental retreads are produced by Marangoni licensees under a manufacturing alliance between the two companies.

[PAGEBREAK]ContiTread is available both as a spliceless product (like Marangoni’s Ringtread) and premium, cut-to-length tread, depending on size and other criteria.

ContiTread retreads are available in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Continental says it plans to set up 15 self-contained ContiTread plants throughout Mexico within the next two years.    ■

Mold cure market share

Among Modern Tire Dealer‘sTop 100 Retreaders (see chart in Stats section), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is the largest producer of mold cure truck tire retreads.

Of the close to 500,000 mold cure retreads produced by the top retreaders, Goodyear accounts for 37% of them, followed by Acutread Alliance Group Inc. and its Acutread precision remanufactured tires.

Top 100 mold cure retreading market share

Goodyear 37%

Acutread 24%

Michelin 16% 

Others 23%

Mold cure retreading accounts for approximately 4% of the truck tire retreads produced by the Top 100 Retreaders in the U.S.