PRINCETON, N.J — Intermodal equipment provider TRAC Intermodal is redirecting its TRAC Tire Services retreading business to serve the company's marine-chassis fleet business exclusively.
TRAC Tire Services, which operates a 102,000-sq.-ft. Goodyear technology retread plant in Florence, Ky., previously served both the company's internal needs as well as outside customers.
But the Princeton-based company said the move is consistent with a "strategy to build the industry's most modern and reliable fleet of marine chassis, while maintaining a strong commitment to sustainability."
TRAC maintains a fleet of 180,000 truck chassis that are used for intermodal transportation of shipping containers around the country. Those containers are used to transport goods from overseas, unloaded in ports or rail terminals and transferred to trucks for delivery.
TRAC Intermodal said its fleet of chassis requires over 1 million tires on the road as each standard marine chassis has eight tires, CEO Daniel Walsh said.
With a fleet of that size, the company's in-house tire retreading operation now will cover about half of the company's needs. The other half is handled by third-party suppliers, Walsh said.
TRAC Tire Services is internalizing all of the production at its Kentucky plant for the company's own fleet of intermodal truck chassis throughout the country.
The Florence plant was opened originally in 2008 by Interstar North America Inc. as an Oliver Rubber-affiliated business. TRAC Intermodal acquired the factory in 2018 and converted it to a Goodyear-affiliated business.
With six curing chambers, the plant is considered one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
"TRAC Tire Services division is an important strategic investment for Trac and we want to fully optimize its value to our organization," Mr. Walsh said.
"With this conversion, we gain greater control over the production and tire quality of our chassis fleet, accessing the innovative technology of Goodyear products. In addition, we're taking a proactive approach to sustainable business practices, using radial tire conversion and retreading programs to help reduce our overall environmental impact," he said in the statement.
Using retreaded tires reduces the company's carbon footprint, TRAC said. A retread uses seven gallons of oil to make while a new tire takes 22 gallons of oil to produce.
Preparing used tires to be retreaded also allowed the company to recycle 1.6 million pounds of rubber dust in 2020. The rubber dust is created when used tires are buffed during the retreading process.
The company also provides emergency roadside assistance through its FYX unit and maintenance and repair through its TRAC Services division.