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New business brings new life to old tires

By Xavier Smith, xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Jul 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Curious minds gathered at the newly opened Wilson County Tire and Retreading, which held its own open house Wednesday morning.

The open house featured tire analysis and product demonstrations, a plant tour and “Spot the Retreads” contest. Guests were also provided lunch and could enter a drawing for the chance to win a set of eight commercial-truck tires or four super-singles to be retreaded on the winner’s own casings.

Bob Majewski, owner of Sumerel Tire Service in Newport, Ky., expanded his operation to Middle Tennessee this summer with the addition of this new state-of-the-art Marangoni retread facility. Marangoni, the only independent tread manufacturer in North America, specializes in spice-less ringtread technology.

Ringtread is automated and computer-controlled for accuracy and efficiency. Marangoni delivers spice-less retreading by using tailor-made retreads shaped to fit casing, which eliminates deformations and offers longer tread life. 

Marangoni and Wilson County Tire associates guided guests on a step-by-step tour that explained the process of creating a retreaded tire from delivery to finish. Each station provided additional video demonstrations along with explanations from guides.

The A-Z extruder attracted much interest during the tour. The extruder eliminates the need for application of pressed-sheet cushion gum strips around a buffed casing by hand. The machine directly applies the hot gum around a buffed casing.

“It’s the best thing since sliced bread in the tire industry,” said Marc Fortin, service technician for Marangoni. The machine process is similar to applying butter to a sliced piece of bread. 

“It makes the splices smoother, and the width of the applier can be changed simply,” Fortin said. 

Visitors tested their knowledge and skills when they tried to spot the difference between a Marangoni retreaded tire and a new tire. Small, subtle clues hinted to which tire was retreaded by Marangoni, which is the way they would like it.

“Our process makes our retreaded tires almost, if not better, than new tires. It’s more important than new tires because of the price.” Fortin said. “Say you spend $400 on a new tire–you could spend $200 on a retreaded one and get double the mileage for it. It’s an investment.”

The facility also offers a mounted-wheel program, drive-up service and pick up and delivery. 

Rick Majewksi, an industry veteran with years of retreading, fleet and service knowledge, operates the plant. 

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