Continental Tire's lessons learned from over 120 years of retreading

Continental Tire’s lessons learned from over 120 years of retreading

John Cox, head of retread truck tires Americas, discusses retread market trends in 2024 and the importance of tire dealers advising their fleet customers on the benefits of retreading.

They say that 10,000 hours of practice will make you an expert at whatever task you’ve set your mind to. If that’s the case, what does 120 years of practice make you? (That’s 1,051,000 hours, for the record).

In 2023, Continental marked its 120th year of retreading truck and bus tires. Today, the tire manufacturer retreads more than one million truck and bus tires worldwide every year – conserving resources and reducing costs all along the way. In fact, according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), retreaded tires reduce CO2 emissions by up to 50% compared to new tires. The amount of recycled and renewable materials in retreaded tires can be up to 85%.

While the benefits of retread tires haven’t waned, modern retreading facilities are very different from those designed a century ago. For example, today these factories use barcode tracking to monitor tires throughout the retreading process, which has significantly improved efficiency and data collection, allowing for better analysis and decision-making. Plus, today’s factories have inspection equipment to ensure the tires leaving the factory are of the highest quality possible.

“[Continental’s] inspection process allows us to know what’s happened in a casing and make some good predictive models of whether that casing will be retreadable. From a continental point of view, we also have a high-pressure test at the end of our process so that we can ensure that anything that gets through the process is going to be a safe and reliable retread when it gets mounted on and aired up and goes onto the tire,” says John Cox, head of retread truck tires Americas. “The overall inspection is going to keep the retread better as well.”

In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, Cox discusses the advancements and changes in the tire retreading industry, retread market trends in 2024, and the importance of tire dealers advising their fleet customers on the benefits of retreading.

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