Mike Bice, tire program manager for Crete Carrier Corp., has extended his casing life from five to seven years. "We've been tweaking our tire program for about five years, trying to find a casing age limit that provided the best return on investment for our fleet. We spent a lot of time diagnosing our scrap pile. From the data we gathered, we determined that our casing age limit should be seven years," he said.
By adding those two years to his fleet's specs, he has been able to realize one to two additional retreads per casing and has lowered his overall operating costs. The fleet has more than 172,000 wheel positions and uses Bandag brand retreads.
Chris Ripani, BBTS director of marketing strategic brands and channels, says tightness in the market supply for new replacement tires in 2011 has made retreading more attractive for all types of fleets.
"Fleets who now retread are extending their age limits to realize the most value from the casings they own," Ripani said. "We've also seen fleets return to retreading, or perhaps evaluate retreads for the very first time, as a strategy to maximize their tire programs and keep their trucks rolling."
In some cases a closer look at repair specifications may be in order. BBTS has conducted studies of more than 13 million tires rejected for retreading and determined that 30 percent of those commercial truck tire casings could have been retreaded at least one more time if the repair specs had been different.
BBTS has launched a new website, www.retreadinstead.com, to provide fleet managers with tools and information to get the most out of retreading. The site includes a Wheel Position Analyzer tool, a cost-analysis example for considering extending current casing age limits, and an informational video on Shearography, a modern casing inspection technology that ensures retread reliability.