Smithers to test sealant tires AKRON—Smithers Scientific Services Inc. is conducting a study of "sealant containing" all-season passenger tires offered by Continental General Tire Inc. and Michelin North America Inc.
The Akron-based research company purchased samples of the General XP20000 GT Gen.Seal and Uniroyal Tiger Paw NailGard, size P215/ 70R15 97S, for laboratory and performance evaluations.
"Although very similar in function, the sealant application in each of these tire brands is very different and warrants examination," said J. Michael Hochschwender, Smithers president and CEO.
The company's study will include a complete physical/mechanical and chemical analysis of each tire and a series of dynamic tests that will examine the tires' puncture-sealing and rolling benefits.
In the past 19 months, Smithers has evaluated a number of run-flat tires produced by various manufacturers. Results of both series of tests are available from the company.
Branick Industries debuts Web site
FARGO, N.D.—Branick Industries Inc. has launched a new web site—www. branick.com—to showcase its tire service, undercar and retread equipment product lines.
The site includes MacPherson strut service tools, brake bleeders, curing rings and rims, wheel balancers, truck tire changers, suspension tools tire cutters and tire spreaders for passenger and truck applications.
Treadco's earnings, sales rise in 1999
FORT SMITH, Ark.—Treadco Inc., North America's second-largest commercial tire dealership and third-largest retreader, reported increased sales and operating income for the fourth quarter of 1999, capping a positive year for the wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, Treadco's operating income shot up nearly three and one-half times to $563,000 on a modest 1.1-percent increase in revenues to $45 million.
For the full year, operating income jumped 44.1 percent to $3.59 million, while revenues grew 2.9 percent to $186.6 million.
Revenues from truck tire service swelled to $5.3 million in the fourth quarter, climbing 12.8 percent over the 1998 period.
"Though currently only 11.8 percent of Treadco's revenue, management will continue to emphasize growth in the service segment," said Robert A. Young III, Arkansas Best president and CEO.
Fire breaks out at Michelin plant
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—A major fire that broke out the evening of Jan. 20 in a storage area for synthetic rubber temporarliy disrupted production at Group Michelin's Cataroux tire factory in Clermont-Ferrand, where the company's world headquarters also are located.
Tire production at the car, truck, motorcycle and OTR tire plant was interrupted briefly that evening, as power to the factory was cut for an hour, but production in the plant's compounding area was halted until the evening of the 21st because of its proximity to the storage area.
Firefighters reported having the blaze fully under control the morning of the 22nd. Full production resumed the morning of the 24th after the weekend break.
In all, some 500 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze, which consumed most of the 1,400 tons of synthetic rubber in an underground storage area. Six injured firefighters—three from local fire brigades and three from Michelin's own factory force—were treated and released from local hospitals, Michelin said.
Michelin has not released estimates as to the damage. The fire spewed huge clouds of black smoke into the air, but the local fire brigade and Michelin said there was no risk for employees or the local population.