In unveiling its Tire Shark tire compactor, Oakleaf Waste Management Inc. is hoping to attract tire dealers who struggle with used tire storage.
Marc Okrant, director of marketing for East Hartford, Conn.-based Oakleaf, said the machine compacts old tires to one-third their original size to cut transportation costs, necessary outdoor storage and environmental issues. The company is marketing the machine to tire dealers and recyclers.
The hydraulic tire compactor-introduced in November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas-crushes the tires flat, then four large pins are inserted in the tire with their points bent to keep the tire flat and render it unusable. Mr. Okrant said the flat tires are much easier to move and stack in trucks or bins. A 10-cubic-yard container offered by Oakleaf can hold 187 tires. Dealers then can collect more at a time and dispose of them in bulk, saving money, he claimed.
Mr. Okrant said during the SEMA Show that tire dealers seemed interested in the product, noting, ``They get it. They see the opportunity.''
The machine itself costs about $9,000, but he said the company is offering it and related services on contractual terms. A dealer, for example, could have a trial period with the unit then sign a five-year contract. Oakleaf would install and service the machine and containers, then remove them at the end of the contract, Mr. Okrant said.
Oakleaf built 25 machines initially, and around the time of the SEMA Show Mr. Okrant said one Goodyear dealer in New Jersey had signed a contract and others were in their trial periods.
The tire recycling market, he said, has been ripe for innovation and new ways to store old tires. ``Everyone sees that it's going to happen. ...It's just a matter of getting the market to switch.''