Love's is pitching its retread program as the "most inspected retread on the road," a reference to its investment in quality, from proper training of its casings inspectors to its use of electronic liner inspections, laser shearography and X-ray inspection of all casings, thermal cure repair procedures and 100-percent post-cure inflation testing. Love's offers a warranty on the casing and retread for the life of the retread.
This attention to quality was essential to overcoming many fleets' resistance to buying retreads from an over-the-road vendor, Mr. Jensen said.
To effect its retread program, Love's set up a separate company, Love's Truck Solutions L.L.C. (LTS), and hired Steve Phillips, a longtime Oliver Rubber executive, to oversee the business, Mr. Jensen said.
The four LTS plants are located within tire distribution centers in Forest Park, Ga.; Grand Prairie, Texas; Kingman, Ariz.; and Plainfield, Ind., Mr. Jensen said, locations that are within 500 miles of nearly all of the company's Truck Tire Care centers.
These locations are roughly 10,000 square feet each, with retreading occupying about 25 percent of the floor space. Each plant is rated at 400 tires a day with two shifts, although they're not running at capacity yet.
Love's did not disclose its investment in setting up the plants.
Mr. Jensen said Love's considered several of the leading retread systems before settling on Oliver as the most flexible for its needs.
Helping to make the program effective and efficient is having effective distribution, Mr. Jensen said, something Love's can accomplish through Gemini Trucking, the company's captive trucking subsidiary. Gemini has 25 tractors and 50 trailers dedicated to tire and retread distribution and casing collection.