The Akron stop at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center included an interactive exhibit for guests to compete with questions regarding retread knowledge, demonstrations, customer testimonials and a tour of Bridgestone’s facility. The goal of the roadshow, according to Commercial Marketing Director LaTres Jarrett, is to change the perceptions some tire dealers and fleet managers might have associated with the reliability of retread tires.
“They’re still playing back an old tape that says, ‘all the rubber I see on the road, those road gators are retread,’” Jarrett said. “When in reality, technology has improved a lot over the last 50 years. It’s just been a fallacy, because when you really look at those tire road scraps, it’s 50/50. There are third party studies that say there’s a 50% chance it’s a new tire, 50% chance it’s a retread.”
Jarrett said more often than not, tires don’t malfunction due to an issue at the manufacturer; it’s normally a maintenance issue due to a combination of low tire pressure and heat generated from the road.
“The thing about the fleets we really depend on – the emergency vehicles you need in an urgent situation, or the school bus you are putting your little kids on, or you’re landing planes every day – they’re using retread,” Jarrett said. “So if they’re depending on Bandag, why shouldn’t you?”
James Brott, CEO and president of Great Lakes Best One Tire & Service in Alliance, Ohio, attended the show. His shop is part of a Bandag franchise, and he said his customers often turn to retreading to help with their bottom line.
Brott added although he recognizes there can still sometimes be a stigma associated with retread tires, it’s nothing education on the topic can’t fix.
“Most companies out there can benefit from retreading,” Brott said. “I have been working with a recent customer in the refuse business, and because of Bandag’s superiority with some of their tread designs, we were able to prove we could give them a 2-to-1 cost savings, which is just huge.”
The “Fleets We Depend On” Roadshow began in March and will end in July.