March/April 2008

Satisfying a supersized hunger

By A. Gordon

The supersized off-the-road (OTR) tires used on heavy-duty mining equipment are becoming almost as precious as the commodities they help to unearth. A worldwide shortage of OTR tires, which isn’t expected to go away anytime soon, means that the demand for retreads is extremely high.

Goodyear Canada Inc. has announced that it will be building a new 80,000 square foot retread plant in North Bay, Ontario, to satisfy this increasing demand for retreaded OTR tires in mining and other industries. The new larger facility is scheduled to be completed this fall and will replace an existing plant that has operated in North Bay for the past 21 years.

“Moving the retread operation into a larger facility reinforces our commitment to the northern Ontario community,” said Glenn Bennett, Business Centre manager, Goodyear Canada. In the short term, 50 associates will be relocated to the new plant; however the larger facility will allow room for potential expansion in the future.

According to the Tire Retreading Information Bureau, approximately 18.6 million retreaded tires were sold in North America in 2006, with sales in excess of $3 billion.

Goodyear Canada maintains that retreads provide reliable service equal to and, in some cases, better than new tires. The casing of a tire is a highly engineered structure, designed to carry very high loads, which can readily outlast the original tread moulded onto it. Putting a new tread onto the original casing greatly extends a tire’s lifespan. There is also an environmental upside to retreads, as thousands of scrap tires can be diverted from disposal each year.

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