Recently one of my commercial accounts asked how much truck tire prices had risen over the last two to four years. Even though it seems the major rubber companies announce price increases periodically, the records of this particular account (show) his tire costs haven't changed much.
Do you have any accurate industry data on this?
Zone Sales Manager
Bauer Built Inc.
Editor's note: You're correct in concluding that tire prices haven't changed much over the last four years. The U.S. Department of Labor's ``producer price index,'' shows that wholesale prices of truck and bus tires have increased only 1.2 percent in the last three years. What's more, prices of these tires have actually declined 4.8 percent since 1981-the base year used for purposes of comparison. Meanwhile, average tire mileage has increased during this 13-year period. So cost-per-mile is down.
Merging shows not the answer
There seems to be much correspondence regarding the logic of merging the trade shows of the American Retreaders' Association and the National Tire Dealer & Retreaders Association with the sole purpose being the reduction of exhibitor costs.
Unfortunately, the International Commercial Tire & Service Expo held last year in Nashville, Tenn., did not alleviate that problem. If two shows were too many for the tire industry suppliers, how could a third relieve that problem?
Some years ago, the ARA's board recognized the need for more activities directed to those selling and servicing customers who use commercial-sized tires. It added new membership categories for both the truck industry and those who sell and service-but do not necessarily retread commercial tires.
For two years running, the opening of our trade show is a full morning seminar dedicated to the problems and opportunities facing the trucking industry and those that sell and service new and retreaded commercial tires. We have given special consideration to the growing intermodal industry.
We have added new members to our board and advisory council who are representatives from commercial trucking companies and those who sell and service equipment required by trucking firms and tire dealers serving commercial tire users.
It may well be that someday there will be only one trade show for the entire tire industry. We have seen this in Europe where the automotive industry holds a major show that includes every facet of service for trucks and automobiles.
New tires, retreads and associated service are a part of this trade show, which is held on alternate years in Bologna, Italy, and Essen, Germany.
However, (merging) either group with another association and trade show is not the answer to cutting the costs of suppliers or members.
Joseph J. Kilcoyne
Oliver Rubber Co.
Worn-off rubber: Where does it go?
Recently, while participating in a seminar on truck tire wheel and rim safety, I was surprised when a young attendee new to the business asked: ``Where does all the worn off rubber go from the millions and millions of tires rolling on our highways?''
Not being able to answer his question, I put the question to your readers: Where does worn off tire rubber go?
Our company will offer a $50 savings bond to the person who can best explain-in terms anyone can understand-what happens to the rubber that wears off the tires of millions of vehicles.
I and two or three other industry figures will judge the entries.
Answers and entries should be mailed to: Michael Jordan, George M. Jordan & Associates, 15450 Flight Path Drive, Brooksville, Fla. 34609.
George M. Jordan & Assoc.
Reader qiestopms reported mileage
We were impressed with the information contained in your March 7 article headlined, ``Tires kept going and going.''
(Imagine traveling) 496,917 miles in 622 days and (running) seven days per week! Wow!
This translates into 799 miles per day, which at an average speed of 55 mph is 14 1/2 hours per day non-stop. I repeat, Wow!
Can this be correct?
Sand Ton, South Africa
Editor's note: Yes, according to maintenance personnel at the Columbus, Ohio-based trucking company that recorded this remarkable achievement in tire mileage using Bandag retreads. They said the truck in question runs back and forth daily between Pittsburgh and Memphis, Tenn. It is painstakingly maintained and always driven by the same team of drivers, who operate it in relay fashion.