Tire Retreading and Repair Shops

SIC 7534

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This classification covers businesses that primarily repair and retread automotive tires. Industry firms either retread customers' tires or retread tires for sale or exchange.

Tread increases a tire's traction, particularly on wet roads. The forward portion of a tire's contact area wipes away water so the rest of the contact area will grip a dry surface. Continuous channels from the center to the edge of the tread propel water outward, eliminating potentially dangerous "aquaplaning." Snow tires and off-road tires have deeper treads designed to grip through snow and dirt. After tire treads wear down, tire retreading and repair shops repair the tires by cutting or stamping new treads into the rubber on the tire.

Because about 70 percent of a new tire's cost is in its body rather than its tread, tire retreading shops provide a valuable and cost-effective service, especially for companies running a large vehicle fleet. A typical retreaded tire costs about 50 to 70 percent less than a new tire. And retreads typically offer service, mileage, dependability, and warranties comparable to new tires. Most truck tires can be retreaded two or three times, resulting in up to 750,000 miles of service.

Although pneumatic automobile tires--invented in 1888--were used in the United States during the early 1900s, treads, which reduced "sideslip," were not introduced until 1910. Soon after, treads became standard on all types of tires. The massive expansion of the automobile industry, combined with the development of a national highway system, generated a strong demand for tires and retreading services during the mid 1900s. By the early 1980s, tire retreading industry revenues topped $935 million.

Because of advances in technology and gains in manufacturing productivity during the 1980s, automobile tire retreading became more cost-effective than it was during the 1960s and 1970s. Still, industry revenues grew meagerly, to about $1.1 billion by the late 1980s as the incidence of truck tire retreading slowly increased. Eventually the industry disproved consumers' perceptions that retreaded tires were not as durable as new tires and that they "unraveled," so that by 1995 retreaded tires outsold new tires in the replacement market. The industry also benefits the environment. It takes seven gallons of oil to retread a truck tire compared to 22 gallons to manufacture a new one. Overall, retreading conserves more than 400 million gallons of oil a year. Further, the new tread applied can contain up to 10 percent recycled, reprocessed rubber and retreading tires reduces solid waste disposal problems by up to 75 percent. Because of these environmental benefits, President Clinton signed an executive order in 1998, which superseded one issued in 1993, that mandated the use of retreaded tires on all federal government vehicles.

In addition to government vehicles, nearly all off-the-road, heavy duty vehicles, and all of the world's airlines use retreaded tires, as well as school buses, trucking fleets, taxis, race cars, and emergency vehicles. Industry expert Marvin Bozarth stated: "Aircraft tires routinely receive 12 or more retreads; haulage and local pickup and delivery truck tires are often retreaded five times or more; and high-speed long haul truck tires generally receive two or three retreads. Passenger tires are usually retreaded only once." Safety standards developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation govern the manufacture of retreaded passenger car tires, and manufacturers of retreaded truck tires must comply with industry standards. The Federal Aviation Administration approves commercial aircraft retreads, while the military branches approve military aircraft retreads.

During the 1990s, the industry underwent considerable consolidation. According to government statistics, there were 1,845 companies in this category in 1992, down from 1,930 in 1987. Most of these were small, local tire repair shops. Total annual receipts for the industry were $1.3 billion in 1992, a 19 percent change from the 1987 sales total of $1.1 billion. In 1997, there were 632 companies, operating 754 establishments. Their shipments were valued at $983 million. The top five states, in terms of establishments, were Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois. In 1992, 12,898 workers served the tire retreading and repair shop industry, down from 13,808 in 1987. By 1997, the number of workers had dropped to 7,939. The U.S. Census Bureau's indicated in 2002 that figure was stable at 7,933 and actually increased to 8,298 employees in 2005 earning $268.5 million. Shipments in 2002 increased to nearly $1.3 billion from a lower number of establishments (595). The number of businesses dropped to 518 establishments by 2005.

The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) reported in its 2007 Fact Sheet that "Approximately 18.6 million retreaded tires were sold in North America in 2006, with sales in excess of $3 billion." Further, TRIB indicated that there were 900 retreading plants in North America owned by independent small businesses, new tire manufacturers, and a major tread rubber supplier. These figures represent a decrease from 1998 statistics from TRIB of 30.9 million retreaded tires, some 1415 plants in the United States and Canada, and $2 billion in sales.

According to industry statistics, there were 2,688 establishments engaged in the industry categorization of repairing and retreading automotive tires in 2009. These firms employed roughly 19,500 and generated $1.1 billion in revenues. Over 90 percent of establishments employed fewer than 25 workers.

The tire and retread industry was negatively affected by the downturn in the economy during the late 2000s. As the economy stagnated, consumers spent less, stores' inventories dwindled, and truckers logged fewer miles. The result was less wear and tear on tires and firms that looked to cut costs and postpone expenses. Also affecting the industry in the late 2000s and early 2010s was the rising costs of raw materials.

Bridgestone Bandag of Muscatine, Iowa was a prominent company in the early 2010s. Bandag, which operated as a subsidiary of tire powerhouse Bridgestone, had roughly 1,600 service centers around the United States. Fort Smith, Arkansas-based Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems--previously known as Treadco Inc.--is a subsidiary of Goodyear. It does its tire service and repair business under the names Wingfoot, Piedmont Service Trucks, and Pilot Truck Care Center at 190 locations.

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News and information about Tire Retreading and Repair Shops

Are Naics Industries More Homogeneous Than Sics Industries?
Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal; September 1, 2009; 700+ words
...The NAICS categories are based on production processes, rather than product outputs. For example, tire retreading and repair shops are classified under services using SICS codes (7534), but are classified with manufacturing of rubber...
Are NAICS Industries More Homogeneous Than SICS Industries?
Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal; July 1, 2009; 700+ words
...The NAICS categories are based on production processes, rather than product outputs. For example, tire retreading and repair shops are classified under services using SICS codes (7534), but are classified with manufacturing of rubber...
ARKANSAS BUSINESS RANKINGS: LARGEST PRIVATE TRUCK FLEETS.
Arkansas Business; April 24, 2000; 700+ words
...and products 515 A. Randall-Woebbe Lane, Springdale (501-290-4000, 290-5891) 5. Treadco Inc. Tire retreading and repair shops P. O. Box 10048, Fort Smith, 72917-0048 (501-788-6400, 788-6486) 6. McClinton-Anchor Construction...
A second chance for big tires. (includes information on section-repair, calculating ton-mile-per-hour loads, and sources for retreading off-road tires)
Construction Equipment; August 15, 1990; 700+ words
...retreading, section-repair of off-road tires is a new concept...severe damage in a tire's tread area...and sidewalls. Repairs can be as large...the size of the tire's cross section...With section-repair, you may be able to salvage tires that you once...beyond help. ...
Are Naics Industries More Homogeneous Than Sics Industries?
Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal; September 1, 2009; 700+ words
...The NAICS categories are based on production processes, rather than product outputs. For example, tire retreading and repair shops are classified under services using SICS codes (7534), but are classified with manufacturing of rubber...
Are NAICS Industries More Homogeneous Than SICS Industries?
Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal; July 1, 2009; 700+ words
...The NAICS categories are based on production processes, rather than product outputs. For example, tire retreading and repair shops are classified under services using SICS codes (7534), but are classified with manufacturing of rubber...
Tire-Track[TM] System helps manage tire costs, repairs. (Shop Equipment).
Fleet Equipment; October 1, 2002; 429 words
...information about a tire's repair, maintenance and service...purchasing costs, and avoid tire failures on the road. The Tire-Track System includes the Tire-Track ID Unit (barcode...RFID labels designed for tires); software; handheld...original casings after retreading * deters ...
ARKANSAS BUSINESS RANKINGS: LARGEST PRIVATE TRUCK FLEETS.
Arkansas Business; April 24, 2000; 700+ words
...and products 515 A. Randall-Woebbe Lane, Springdale (501-290-4000, 290-5891) 5. Treadco Inc. Tire retreading and repair shops P. O. Box 10048, Fort Smith, 72917-0048 (501-788-6400, 788-6486) 6. McClinton-Anchor Construction...

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