How many times do independent tire dealers expect to be able to retread a truck tire? Do their fleet customers expect the same? Modern Tire Dealer and Heavy Duty Trucking magazines asked dealers and fleets that question and more in an exclusive study of truck tires and their maintenance. The Truck Tires and Maintenance Survey provides a glimpse into how dealers and fleets approach retreading.
Respondents from tire dealerships and truck stops completed the MTD survey. The majority of respondents to the HDT survey work for regional private fleets servicing the general freight or construction industries.
Survey responses revealed markedly different expectations for a tire’s retreadability. In general, most dealers indicate they find they can retread a tire two or three times, with none retreading a casing four or more times. Among fleets, 54% of respondents believe they can retread a tire just once, while one in four believe a truck tire can be retreaded twice.
For tire dealers, the most popular retreading process is precure, with the Bandag system the most common. Fifty-two percent of respondents use the Bandag system. The Michelin Oliver (14%) and Michelin Retread Systems (8%) combined for the second most common. Other processes used by dealers are Goodyear Unicircle (14%), Marangoni Spliceless (6%) and Continental Lifecycle (6%). Among fleets, the Bandag method was specified by 22% of the respondents followed by the Michelin Retread System (18%). Forty percent of fleet customers said they used other methods: Goodyear Unicircle (9%), Michelin Oliver (5%), Marangoni Spliceless (3%), Continental Lifecycle (2%). Twenty-three percent of respondents reported they don’t use retreads. (The total is more than 100% since multiple choices were allowed.)
What do dealers and fleets think of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program? Overall, the SmartWay program is not seen by dealers as being of significant importance to the fleets they serve. However, the perceived importance is significantly lower among single location dealers versus multiple location dealers, suggesting that it is more important to those who operate larger fleets. The response was similar on the fleet side, where the SmartWay program is of significantly greater importance among the largest fleet operators.
The EPA currently has 56 precure tread patterns and nine mold cure tread patterns for drive and trailer tires on its list of approved retread products for the voluntary SmartWay program.
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