Oliver wins postal service retread contract

March 22, 2004

The United States Postal Service has picked Oliver Retreading Systems to retread all its tires nationwide for the next 10 years.

"They have no system in place to track tires, particularly retreads," says Phil Boarts, Oliver director of sales and marketing.

Oliver is a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

Most of the postal servce's mail trucks use LT195/75R14 light truck tires, according to Boarts.

A smaller number use 15-inch tires.

The postal service has more than 300 vehicle maintenance facilities. Only 20% of its trucks use retreads.

"They want to increase that to 70% within two years."

The government agency will use both mold cure and precure technologies, adds Boarts. It currently uses mold cure retreads.

"Part of what we need to do now is perform in-the-field audits" to determine what the postal service needs.

He says Oliver does not know what the yearly volume or dollar amount of the contract will be yet.

Postal service reprentatives made the annoucement last week at a Washington, D.C., meeting that was attended by Oliver officials, Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) Managing Director Harvey Brodsky, Tire Industry Association Director of Government Affairs Becky MacDicken and others.

There had been concerns that awarding the contract to a single entity would be detrimental, Brodsky told mtdealer.com.

"We said if we had our druthers, it wouldn't be this way. But they said, 'This is what we're going to do.'"

He says TRIB will "cooperate any way we can," including helping convince the postal service's truck maintenance facilities that "retreads are the way to go."

The contract goes into effect on April 1.