According to Bridgestone, there is an underlying trend in favour of increased demand for retreading because fleets view the sector as a significant contributor towards a more sustainable operation, along with a reduced environmental impact as a result. Against the backdrop of increased disruption to the supply chain causing a reduction in imports from the Far East, there has been a noticeable move towards fleets looking for the supply security which comes from a local manufacturer of retread products. It means that the retread conversation has moved up businesses’ agendas significantly.
In addition to the Bulldog retread plant in Bourne, Bridgestone has a number of key resources that enable it to stay ahead of many competitors, not least the company’s casing collection system, which ensures a good continuity of supply.
“We have a huge portfolio of fleets to collect casings from, and we utilise a comprehensive casing collection management system,” explained Salter. “We collect them and manage them in a careful manner to give us our core feedstock. Where we see the need, we can purchase additional casings, but the majority come from our current fleet portfolio.”
Data Delivering True Reflection of Costs Associated to Retread Solutions
We asked Salter what is the one development a tyre manufacturer would like to see in the tyre retreading sector.
“The answer comes back to data,” he replied. “More and more businesses are using data to make informed decisions. As a retread manufacturer, this is great news because data gives a true reflection of the real costs associated with retread solutions. We are convinced that data will show how cost-effective retreading is for truck and bus transport operators. Historically, fleets have gone on gut feel or intuition, which is where our move to be a mobility solutions provider – featuring advances in data through Webfleet Solutions – will come into its own. In this regard, developments are already happening.”