H&H Industries Inc. of Oak Hill, Ohio, and Southwest Retread Center Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., have joined forces to develop and make precured tread segments for OTR retreads in 51- through 57-inch rim diameters, which they now both are building in their own shops.
H&H and Southwest Retread both specialize in OTR retreading, H&H concentrating on the larger-sized mining and construction tires and Southwest Retread on specialty applications geared to off-road conditions in the Southwest.
The two family-owned businesses, led by H&H Vice President Noah Hickman and Southwest Retread President Rob Dougherty, teamed up last year to fund a project to make the precured tread elements at Southwest's shop in New Mexico because there is no other source of materials for the larger tires.
Both H&H and Southwest are licensed users of Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions L.L.C.'s Continuum precured tread rubber for OTR tires, but the Continuum line is available in sizes only up to 49 inches, Mr. Hickman said.
H&H is marketing its 57-inch retreads under the Eco Tread brand name it has coined for this line. Messrs. Hickman and Doughertywho knew each other from various business dealings over the past few yearsare also considering designs and molds for tread elements for 63-inch tires, they said during an interview with Tire Business at the recent Tire Industry Association OTR Tire Conference in San Antonio.
The partners declined to say how much they had invested in the molds and product line, which for now consists of three tread designs, Mr. Dougherty said. Southwest Retread designs the molds in-house and has them made locally.
H&H is the fifth largest OTR tire retreader in North America, producing more than 40 tires a day.
The firm already repairs and makes mold-cure retreads in sizes up to 63-inch rim diameter, investing in computerized buffing, skiving and strip-winding tread rubber application equipment a few years ago for this purpose. H&H also has developed a proprietary bonding agent for its Unicure product line that it claims is superior to existing cements.
As a result, H&H advertises a seven- to 12-day turnaroundfrom customer to H&H and backfor most retreading jobs.
Southwest Retread so far is using the new lineup to retread tires up to 33.00x51, Mr. Dougherty said. He co-owns the company with his father, Dwayne Dougherty, who started the company in 1976. The firm was dormant for a few years earlier this decade after Dwayne retired, but the father-son pair restarted the firm in 2004 after Rob got the urge to go into business for himself after working for Cobre Tire and Bridgestone/Firestone for a number of years.