AKRON (April 8, 2010) — There's a bill percolating in the Georgia State Senate that has people in the retreading industry awfully riled. As well they should be.
The state's House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 981, which sets new standards for Highway Patrol and emergency vehicles, and sent it along to the Senate. If the House's 159-3 vote is mirrored in the Senate, it would ban retreads from such vehicles in Georgia.
Both the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB) really like much of the language in the legislation. The bill would require all state entities to either replace all truck tires above 16 inches with retreads, or have casings of old tires retreaded. The agencies also would have the option of using other sizes of retreads if it makes sense to them.
All well and good, except for that one sentence in the legislation: “Retreaded tires shall not be used on official state vehicles which may be used to respond to public safety emergencies.”
It's hard to believe in this day and age, some people still think retreads are junk. They see tread lying on the highway and assume it's from retreaded tires, which isn't often—or, according to TRIB, usually—the case. Retreads are saddled with a reputation that isn't deserved, definitely not for truck or other heavy vehicle tires, where they mostly are used.
TIA and TRIB representatives have sprung into action, trying to get their Georgia members to contact their state senators and representatives about the problem. As TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky put it, “We're the Rodney Dangerfield of the tire industry anyway. If this bill is allowed to pass unchallenged, who knows what will happen next?”
Retreads are good enough for the airlines, good enough for fire trucks. They should be good enough for any Georgia state-owned vehicle.
This editorial appeared in Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.