FORT SMITH, Ark.-Faced with the pending loss of eight Bandag Inc. retreading franchises next summer, Treadco Inc. has turned to Bandag's rival, Oliver Rubber Co., to fill the void. And if Bandag declines to renew other Treadco franchise agreements that expire in the next few years, North America's largest independent truck tire retreader said it may become a nearly exclusive Oliver licensee.
Treadco currently operates 26 Bandag precure truck tire retread plants and Bandag has not indicated whether it will renew the remaining 18 franchises when they expire in 1997 and 1998, Treadco said.
Oliver, however, has agreed not only to supply retreading equipment and related materials to the eight transition shops, but also license ``any other Treadco shops which cease being a Bandag franchised location,'' according to Treadco.
Ever since Bandag announced in August that it would not renew the franchises with Treadco, its largest customer, ``everybody was beating our door down,'' said Treadco President J.J. Seiter.
But Oliver, as the second-largest retread materials supplier in the country behind Bandag, ``was the logical choice,'' he said, due to Oliver's good reputation for quality and its ability to supply Treadco's needs.
``It's nice to do business with someone who appreciates your business,'' he said of Oliver.
Oliver President Larry Enders called the agreement a ``great endorsement for Oliver.''
``For Oliver, this agreement represents an opportunity to capitalize on the investment we have made in expanding the capabilities and services we offer truck tire retreaders,'' Mr. Enders added. Oliver supplies more than 260 licensed dealers in North America.
In addition to its Bandag facilities, Treadco recently opened a shop in Las Vegas that uses the Hercules/Cedco precure process and plans to begin operations at a St. Louis shop in October using a new Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. mold-cure process. It is the BFS venture that Mr. Seiter said ``played a big part'' in Bandag's decision to drop the eight franchises.
When announcing its decision in August, Bandag said it wanted to ensure consistency and quality for its customers, and these can best be delivered ``by independent tire dealers who are fully committed to the Bandag system. . . .''