Brahler's Truckers Supply Inc. has consolidated its sister company, Innovative Tread Replacement (ITR) Inc., and in the process combined two retread plants.
The rising costs of doing business prompted the firm to merge operations Dec. 31.
President and CEO Richard Brahler II said he decided to cut overhead costs by building an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility in Jacksonville to absorb Brahler's and ITR's retread plants, both of which were 40,000-sq.-ft. buildings. ITR no longer exists as a company but now is a retread brand of Brahler's, he said.
``We call it ITR Ringtread, ITR Flat Tread and ITR Industrial,'' Mr. Brahler said.
Brahler's uses Marangoni's RTS Ringtread system and its own precure process called Flat Tread. The dealership markets Ringtread as its premium retread and Flat Tread as an economical brand, Mr. Brahler said.
Demand for retreads was up almost 10 percent during the first quarter compared with last year, Mr. Brahler said. The Jacksonville retread plant is centrally located among Brahler's six commercial tire stores and positioned for production growth, he said.
``I've got one production manager and two separate retread managers in the plant,'' Mr. Brahler said, ``and that's just to grow through this facility here.''
He said he buys Flat Treads from two undisclosed manufacturers in Malaysia. Those contract manufacturers continuosly press the precured rubber for him, stock them, then ship the treads as rolls to Brahler's as needed.
In 2007, Brahler's retreaded an average of 250 medium truck tire units per day and posted annual sales of $23.5 million.