Article

Has the U.S. SmartWay Program Helped Retreading?

July 2014, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

by Jim Park, Equipment Editor - Also by this author

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

Fleets with 21 or more trailers operating in California found themselves in a bit of a bad spot back in 2010. That’s when the California Air Resources Board’s Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas regulation became effective. The regulation required, among other things, that trailers be fitted with low-rolling-resistance tires.

As long as the tires were new, it wasn’t a problem. But fleets used to taking advantage of the inherent value of retreaded tires were stuck: CARB did not recognize retreads as LLR tires. The rule left fleets little choice but to replace aging trailer tires with new ones from the SmartWay list rather than retread them.

“Fleets that retread don’t like selling their casings; they’d rather retread them and preserve their value,” says Bridgestone’s Guy Walenga, director of engineering for commercial products and technologies. “It’s safe to say a lot of fleets were pretty happy when the EPA announced in 2012 that it would add compliant retreaded tires to the list of SmartWay verified technologies.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Philip Boarts, Michelin’s retread product category manager, says EPA’s move didn’t increase the number of retreaded tires sold, but it sure shifted the focus to LLR retreads.

“Fleets that travel into California are required to run new tires and retreads that are SmartWay compliant,” he says. “So some of this specific business has shifted to SmartWay-approved products.”

David Stevens, managing director of the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau, notes there was a small year-over-year increase in retread sales in 2013 (the year after SmartWay began approving retreaded tires), but it’s unclear how much of that can be attributed to SmartWay-verified tires.

“Fleets are continuing to convert to low-rolling-resistance retreads,” he says. “That highlights the importance they place on bringing down fuel costs and lowering overall operating costs.”

While the CARB requirement may have increased the demand for LLR retreads, it does not seem to have impacted volumes in a significant way. It just narrowed the fleets’ choices. SmartWay today lists more than 20 models of verified LRR retreaded tires for trailers alone. There are dozens more for trucks and tractors.

Comments

  1. 1. Steve P [ July 15, 2014 @ 05:19AM ]

    Now Really what has the government done to benefit any business but Solar in the last 6 years. Just Sayin

  2. 2. MARK [ July 22, 2014 @ 08:23AM ]

    WHAT ABOUT THE UPRR?? DO THEY HAVE TO COMPLY?
    THE TIRES ON THE CHASSIS ARE AN AVERAGE OF 10 YEARS OLD AND THEY RECAP THEM AT 10-12 AND THEN PUT THEM BACK ON THE CHASSIS THEN THEY FAIL WHEN IN OUR POSSESSION.

  3. 3. Ralph [ July 22, 2014 @ 08:37AM ]

    Only in the infinite wisdom of the government would this even appear to make sense.
    We are going to save the planet by making you buy more new tires!
    sheesh.
    I wish there was at least on complete brain cell left in Washington.
    How about the government quits trying to help me run my business?
    If there is a product that will help me save money, I will find it, investigate it, measure it, and then if it makes sense, I will implement it across the fleet.
    They have done such a wonderful job of running the gov't, I really dont want their help.
    Thanks but no thanks.

  4. 4. Waldo [ August 07, 2014 @ 06:40AM ]

    Don't understand the griping; this is a good news story. CARB made a requirement that put fleets that wanted to use retreads in a bind; EPA took action to help fleets out; truckers in CA that want to run retreads are saving money from NOT having to buy brand new tires and from the fuel savings from the LRR. Sounds OK to me.

 

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.



GotQuestions?

LUBRICANTS

The expert, Mark Betner from Citgo will answer your questions
Ask a question

Sponsored by

Magazine