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Tire recapping drives down costs
By Pam Maris on May 10, 2016
Our Fleet Operations team rolled out a new tire recapping program, slashing our tire costs by 50 percent!
The team routinely looks at what factors may be driving up vehicle and equipment costs. They noticed the substantial costs for tire repairs and replacements and decided to deflate the problem.
“In 2013, we made the decision to place recapped tires on larger equipment – bucket and dump trucks, pole setters and pole trailers,” said Fleet Operations Manager Tommy Johns. “Recapping tires is an industry standard.”
In a nutshell, the exterior, or cap, of the tire is replaced with new tread. Before and during recapping, the tire is put through a series of rigorous inspections. This helps ensure that recapped tires don’t fall flat when it comes to quality, safety and reliability.
“Of the more than 1,800 recaps we’ve installed, we’ve had a 99.8-percent safety and reliability rate,” said Tommy, adding, “We could theoretically get about 150,000 miles on each tire, but in this industry we tend to damage tires before we wear them out.”
Tommy and his team coordinated with Southern Tire Mart to help design the tread for our recaps. The design reduces roadway noise, while offering the best traction with the least amount of wear.
Southern Tire Mart also mounts the recaps on the wheel before delivering them to our garages. This allows our mechanics to quickly and safely change tires and get our crews back on the job.
Recaps offer many environmental benefits. For example:
- A reduction in fuel use; a new tire takes almost 22 gallons of oil to produce, compared to about six to produce the cap, saving millions of gallons of oil each year
- Improved air quality from fewer tires being produced and transported
Beyond switching to recaps, Fleet educated and trained our crews on proper tire inflation – another driving factor behind our improved tire safety, performance and longevity.
But, there comes a time when a tire is ready to be retired.
As good environmental stewards, we don’t landfill our damaged or spent tires. “We recycle the rubber from all of our used tires, including those not recapped,” said Tommy. “Recycling removes the risk of any used or damaged tires making their way back into the community.”
Here are some of the ways recycled tires are used.