Bandag Inc. has launched a line of precure retreading materials called Continuum for the off-the-road tire market.
The new wrinkle: Unlike other Bandag tread products, Continuum will be sold through a supplier agreement that is available to non-Bandag franchisees, according to a company spokesman.
``Continuum is available now once you sign that supplier agreement,'' the spokesman told Tire Business. ``It's different than a Bandag product because it's open to anybody.''
As a result, Bandag will no longer manufacture Bandag treads for OTR tires in sizes 20.5 and above as Continuum will replace those products, he said.
Bandag noted that the cornerstone of the Continuum line includes what it called two innovative serpentine tread designs that offer more flexibility than other retread application methods and products.
``Retreading OTR equipment tires has traditionally been done with mold cure or hand-scuplture methods,'' said Robert Otting, product manager, global tire products. ``Our new serpentine tread rubber design simplifies the retread application method for a diverse cross section of equipment used in the construction, mining and port industries. When finished and cured, the retread will have a consistent, new-tire appearance far superior to the hand-sculpted method used by many tire retreaders.''
Mr. Otting called Continuum a ``premium product that delivers an attractive, high-performance retreaded tire.'' Because the serpentine tread rubber is produced in pre-measured segments that eliminate the need to cut or splice, a retreader can apply the tread segments to a radial or bias tire, adjust the gaps and fill them with repair gum, he said.
The Bandag spokesman added that because the OTR market has been changing tire sizes as well as bias and radial options, a precure tread is a more flexible option than a mold cure tread, which needs to be molded to different sizes.
The serpentine design is available with Continuum 1040 and 1070 treads for OTR retreaders. Continuum is intended for loader, grader, dozer, articulated dump trucks and other construction and material handling equipment. Bandag also is offering eight additional Continuum tread designs for specific applications in the mining and port industries.
A few Bandag OTR retreaders told Tire Business they hadn't received any information on Continuum from Bandag yet. Steve Burhenn, executive vice president of Becker Tire & Treading in Great Bend, Kan., said he assumed the dealership would use it, but he needed to see the tread and sizes first. ``We'd be interested in looking at it,'' he said.
Dennis Bull, president of BR Retreading in Glasgow, Ky., said he also had little knowledge of the product but said he didn't think he would try it if the price is at a premium due to raw material costs. He said he's more concerned with the shortage of new OTR tires-he said large tires are on a 90-120 day back order-than a new precure product line.
``Caterpillar can't even get new tires on their new equipment.... We have to have tires to retread too,'' Mr. Bull said. ``So far, we've been able to find them, and the customers are out trying to get people on retread programs. So we're trying to fill this gap because if you don't have tires, everything stops.''