This classification covers businesses that primarily repair and retread automotive tires. Industry firms either retread customers' tires or retread tires for sale or exchange.
All Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance
Tread increases a tire's traction, particularly on wet roads. The forward portion of a tire's contact area wipes away water so the rest of the contact area will grip a dry surface. Continuous channels from the center to the edge of the tread propel water outward, eliminating potentially dangerous "aquaplaning." Snow tires and off-road tires have deeper treads designed to grip through snow and dirt. After tire treads wear down, tire retreading and repair shops repair the tires by cutting or stamping new treads into the rubber on the tire.
Because about 70 percent of a new tire's cost is in its body rather than its tread, tire retreading shops provide a valuable and cost-effective service, especially for companies running a large vehicle fleet. A typical retreaded tire costs about 50 to 70 percent less than a new tire. And retreads typically offer service, mileage, dependability, and warranties comparable to new tires. Most truck tires can be retreaded two or three times, resulting in up to 750,000 miles of service.
Although pneumatic automobile tires — invented in 1888 — were used in the United States during the early 1900s, treads, which reduced "sideslip," were not introduced until 1910. Soon after, treads became standard on all types of tires. The massive expansion of the automobile industry, combined with the development of a national highway system, generated a strong demand for tires and retreading services during the mid 1900s. By the early 1980s, tire retreading industry revenues topped $935 million.
Because of advances in technology and gains in manufacturing productivity during the 1980s, automobile tire retreading became more cost-effective than it was during the 1960s and 1970s. Still, industry revenues grew meagerly, to about $1.1 billion by the late 1980s as the incidence of truck tire retreading slowly increased. Eventually the industry disproved consumers' perceptions that retreaded tires were not as durable as new tires and that they "unraveled," so that by 1995 retreaded tires outsold new tires in the replacement market. The industry also benefits the environment. It takes 7 gallons of oil to retread a truck tire...