JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Jack's Tire & Oil Inc., Stringer Tire Co., and Brahler Truckers Supply Inc. have become Michelin Retread Technologies Inc.'s latest franchisees, the last two completely breaking ties with Bandag Inc. In addition, Ziegler Tire & Supply Co.'s previously announced plan to add a Michelin mold-cure plant to its retreading network has resulted in Bandag and Ziegler agreeing to part ways. The development will affect four Bandag plants in Ohio.
Jack's Tire & Oil, based in Salt Lake City, has converted three of its Bandag shop locations to MRTI precure process plants, but also continues to operate two Bandag plants—in Logan, Utah, and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Jack's Tire, among the 30 largest commercial tire dealerships and retreaders in North America, converted its Salt Lake City and West Valley, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, facilities earlier this year to MRTI Pre-Mold' precure plants, Vice President Dick Tolotti said. The West Valley plant came on stream April 1.
The conversion increases the company's capacity considerably. The three MRTI plants have a combined daily capacity of 500 units, whereas the company previously listed a capacity of 350 units a day at five shops.
Stringer Tire, ranked as North America's 35th-largest truck tire retreader in 1998, will start production at its MRTI plant in Jacksonville June 1, a day after its Bandag franchise expires. Stringer already has closed its Bandag plant in Orlando, Fla., and consolidated production temporarily at the Jacksonville plant, CEO David Stringer said.
The new MRTI plant is rated at 450 tires per day, or nearly twice the daily output Stringer reported for its two Bandag facilities.
The company also has opened a commercial sales outlet in Gainesville, Fla., its seventh location in the state. Commercial sales of $24.3 million last year make it one of North America's 20 largest commercial dealerships.
Brahler switched to MRTI at its Jacksonville, Ill., headquarters in January, setting up a pre-mold shop capable of 287 tires a day, a company spokesman said. The firm had to modify its retread plant premises slightly to accommodate the new layout, he said.
Brahler had been a Bandag franchisee since 1969, but the opportunities for new business and improved profits prompted the move, said Richard Brahler, president. Brahler has been a Michelin dealer for 25 years, and also handles the BFGoodrich, Continental and General lines.
Brahler also operates a second retreading operation, Industrial Tire Recycling, that produces industrial, specialty and truck retreads, and has six commercial tire outlets in Illinois and Missouri.
After initially announcing late last year it would add a Michelin custom mold-cure plant to its stable of Bandag precure shops, Ziegler revealed March 22 it will build a ``hybrid'' precure and mold-cure plant that will take the place of the firm's Bandag capacity.
The new plan calls for an $8.4 million, 105,000-sq.-ft. plant at a new industrial park in Massillon, Ohio. The new facility will have a capacity of 600 units a day at full capacity, or more than twice the capacity Ziegler has at four Bandag shops in Ohio.
The scope and significance of the project even prompted Ziegler Tire President Harold Ziegler Jr. to put off retirement for another year or two. The plant is expected to be operational by August.
Ziegler Tire, with 17 commercial and retail outlets in Ohio and one in Michigan, is considered Michelin's fifth largest truck tire dealer in the U.S.