Oliver Rubber celebrates centenary
Retreading materials supplier Oliver Rubber is commemorating its 100 anniversary. The US firm was founded in Oakland, California in 1912 by engineer Marion F. Oliver, and believes it may well be the first company to retread tyres using pre-cure rubber; it accomplished this feat in 1916. In that same year Oliver Rubber became one of the first in the industry to work with organic accelerators and use carbon black as a reinforcing pigment.
During the 1930s, Oliver’s technical engineers worked with US government scientists and colleagues from within the industry on the development of fast curing gum and SBR rubber, and during the Second World War the company made its own small but valuable contribution to an Allied victory by shifting production from tread rubber to items needed for the war effort, such as moulded and extruded products. The big growth in pre-cure retreading didn’t take place until the 1960s, however, after the introduction of radial truck tyres in the US. By 1990, more than 20 patents had been awarded to Oliver Rubber for its development of pre-cure retreading equipment, compounds and tread designs. The company was acquired by Michelin North America in 2007 and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the tyre maker.
“Oliver Rubber’s original goal was to provide its customers with quality tread rubber and value,” said Vic Koelsch, chief operating officer for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “Now, 100 year later, Oliver continues to execute the strategy that has made it successful from day one and we are proud that the company is part of the Michelin family.”
Today, Oliver offers a wide variety of pre-cure and mould cure tread rubber. Its product line of rubber compounds and tread patterns includes highway/rib, traction/lug, wide base, light truck, specialty, and ultra-low profile wide base. Additionally, Oliver provides tyre repairs and performance consulting, emergency road service, and national account and warranty programmes.