Keeping cool under pressure – retreads rule the road

By: Greg Worrall

Mention retreads to most people and they will either roll their eyes to the heavens, or simply dismiss them as

Mention retreads to most people and they will either roll their eyes to the heavens, or simply dismiss them as a cheap and nasty alternative to ‘proper’ tyres.

The reality is, however, that a properly manufactured retread can actually offer a better service life than a new tyre, and for a fraction of the price of a new tyre.

Greg Nielsen, Bandag’s Brisbane-based National Marketing and Sales Manager, is proud of his company’s efforts in recycling tyres, particularly as the heavy transport sector becomes more environmentally conscious with every passing day.

"Looking after tyre pressures, and doing a proper pre-trip inspection of the vehicle, whether it is a bus, coach or truck, is vital to a tyre’s long term health," he says.

"If a brand new tyre is looked after properly, with no run flats, and punctures attended to as soon as they happen, then when it reaches the end of its first life, it is a good candidate for retreading, where it becomes an even more valuable asset."

Industry statistics show manufacturing a new heavy vehicle tyre consumes 80 litres of oil, while the retreading process uses only 25 litres.

It is not just the tyres’ longevity that makes Nielsen proud, the company has made a big investment in factories Australia-wide, with a total of 29 branches, plus the New Zealand and South Pacific markets they supply with treads and adhesives.

Being the local arm of a major multinational doesn’t hurt, with plenty of technical support available for product development, with plenty of ongoing research in the US aimed at extending the life of the tread, and making other improvements.

Nielsen says the future of retreading looks bright, both in Australia and around the world, with technology promising more changes, just like other industries.

While he expects some retreaders to close, Nielsen says if Bandag sticks to its message of environmental responsibility, coupled with the quality of their product, the future is bright for the company.

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