Sales of Bandag retreaded tyres increased 9% in North America during 2022, with more than seven million units sold during the year. A US$60 million investment in capacities & debut of a new programme for small and mid-sized fleets should ensure continued growth in 2023.
To meet demand driven by the rapid growth of its retread business, Bridgestone is investing US$60 million to expand its Bridgestone Bandag manufacturing plant in Abilene, USA. The project includes new mixing operations as well as an immediate shift to six and seven-day production schedules. The mixing facility will be operational by January 2025 and, together with the revised production cycle, will increase plant output by 16%.
Bridgestone has celebrated the diamond anniversary of the very first Bandag operation to join the group. Today Australia’s sole producer of pre-cured retread materials, Bandag, has marked 60 years of local manufacturing, a milestone that Heath Barclay, managing director of Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand, says is “significant for any business, let alone a manufacturing business.”
Bridgestone claims to be, together with its Webfleet fleet management solution, on a “mission to move the world towards a sustainable future of mobility.” Both will be present at IAA Transportation 2022 to showcase a portfolio of tyres, tyre-centric technologies and mobility solutions and to give fleets an opportunity to learn more about their products and data-driven mobility solutions and how they can enhance performance.
The automatic Buffer 8550E is the latest addition to the Bandag retreading portfolio, and Bandag designed it to address one of the biggest challenges the retreading industry currently faces – adopting and optimising automation. By deploying the fully automated Bandag Buffer 8550E, retreaders can further reduce the manual effort required.
Commercial vehicle tyre suppliers are increasingly required to be multifaceted in their approach. Following its acquisition of TomTom Telematics in 2019 (now known as Webfleet Solutions), Bridgestone’s transition from tyre producer to mobility solutions provider with increasingly integrated approaches to fleet services moved up several gears. Demand for fleet-based mobility grows year-on-year, the tyre manufacturer says, with fleet managers demanding reliable and innovative services to maximise their effectiveness and efficiency. Webfleet Solutions has allowed Bridgestone to support business process streamlining with seamless end-to-end systems. These include transport management systems, on-board cameras, and route optimisation.
SSH Recycling Ltd has submitted a planning pre-application to Renfrewshire council in a bid to build a tyre devulcanization and processing plant in Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
The project is what the company describes as “the first of its kind in the UK” and is intended to “solve the entirety of Scotland’s waste tyre problem, using revolutionary new technology to recycle or reuse every component part of the tyre”. However, SSH’s process will support the devulcanisation of treated rubber in order to create synthetic rubber sheet, conveyor belts, shoe soles or rubber mats.
This article appears in full in the September edition of Tyres & Accessories’ Retreading Special supplement. Subscribers can read the supplement online here. Not yet a subscriber? You can change that here.
One of Bridgestone’s largest European Bandag franchisees, Top Treads, stayed open during the current pandemic in order “to support our customers, changing working practices” while also “implementing social distancing”, according to Top Treads’ owner and managing director Steve Evans. Moving forward, the firm’s faith in its sustainable retread products is beginning to reap dividends in the demanding commercial tyre market.
Bridgestone Americas has announced plans to restart its North American commercial tyre plants as well as its North American Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products manufacturing facilities on 13 April. The company’s Bandag retread rubber manufacturing plants in North America resumed operations the week of 29 March in order to meet demand by essential service providers.
One of the UK’s biggest freight haulage companies has given its endorsement to Bridgestone’s suite of commercial tyre services. Pentalver, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), which offers a range of container services including road haulage and container conversions, operates a fleet of over 350 tractor units and 900 trailers in the UK – all fitted on a combination of Bridgestone’s latest generation Ecopia H002 tyres and Bandag retread products.
It’s now more than two months since the European Union applied anti-dumping duties on a range of truck and bus tyres manufactured in China, and during this time Bridgestone has observed a “strong uplift in demand” within the UK retreading industry. With the market “showing signs of a significant upturn in fortunes,” the company behind the Bandag retreading brand believes a “continued investment in its range of products is beginning to reap dividends.”
Bridgestone will demonstrate its fleet solutions to reduce overall operating costs alongside its car tyre range for dealers at The Tire Cologne trade fair 29 May to 1 June. The manufacturer added that it will also display part of its wide range of consumer products, with the spotlight will on the Turanza T005 summer touring tyre and a brand new product – one that represents “an entirely new direction for Bridgestone.”
Cork-based S Tyres Ltd. is investing in CAM Cloud to host its Cameo POS, stock, billing and ledgers system. According to the company, hosted Cameo will provide the Republic of Ireland’s premier Bandag agent with a managed service that ensures quality, hassle-free maintenance of its server and backup solution. It will enable S Tyres to connect directly with key partners such as Bridgestone.
Having recorded a number of significant fleet wins during 2017, Bridgestone states that a number of factors combined make its proposition attractive to fleets when the pitching process begins. Fleets signing deals with Bridgestone in 2017 include Simon Gibson Transport, ARR Craib, Greggs, and the global First Group agreement. The company says there isn’t one compelling factor to secure a fleet business for a premium tyre manufacturer; in fact commercial sales director Greg Ward believes there are five or six behind any successful partnership.