According to some of the top tire retreaders in the U.S., many fleet managers are looking at their tires as a commodity rather than an asset. While efforts have been made to slow the flood of Chinese tires in the U.S. marketplace, the temptation to purchase a less expensive product seems too powerful to resist by many commercial fleet managers. Industry experts warn that spending less on lower quality products now can have devastating effects on a fleet’s bottom line in the future.
Tire Retreads & The Chinese Trade War
Recent tensions between the U.S. and China have resulted in on-again-off-again tariffs targeted at Chinese truck and bus tires. While efforts have been made to stymie access to Chinese tires by the U.S. government, the result has not been as significant as industry experts would have hoped. For the most part, the price of a radial truck tire from China is far less than similar tires made in the U.S.
But a lower price doesn’t always translate to a better product. While fleet managers may be able to find similar products for less money, sometimes the more economic option is actually to purchase from a first- or second-tier tire manufacturer. Not only are higher-quality products able to provide fleets with immediate performance benefits, but the money fleets spend now can save them on unnecessary costs in the future.
Higher Quality Means Increased Longevity
While it may not seem financially sound to regularly purchase top-quality products for your commercial fleet, doing so can actually save money in the long run. Not only are higher-quality products able to provide better performance, but they’re able to save fleets money in other areas as well, including:
· Fuel consumption/economy
· Maintenance needs
· Blowout repairs
· Unnecessary downtime
· Retreadable Casings
Industry-leading tire manufacturers are using higher-quality materials for their products and specifically engineering their casings to be retreaded multiple times. These manufacturers are providing warranties that guarantee multiple retreads. This is not something many of the low-cost, low quality imported tires can offer.
Choosing to retread tires purchased from first- or second-tier domestic manufacturers further extends the life of a fleet’s commercial trucking tires, giving them access to a second set of like-new tires from their preferred manufacturer. Additionally, many top-level tire manufacturers provide a broad service network for commercial truck tire installation, maintenance and repair, giving fleets added insurance for their investment.