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A programme to calculate the environmental impact of retreads soon available

Kal Tire


A Canadian company launches the "Maple Program", a software able to quantify emission reduction savings when using OTR retreaded tires

Francesca Del Bello

KalTire, a Canadian company founded in 1953 by Tom Foord and based in Vernon, British Columbia, is now a major North American tire dealer. A dense distribution network connects the storage facilities, strategically scattered throughout Canada, with more than 250 stores located within the country, which deal with both services to commercial fleets and retail. And that's not all: the company can also rely on the KalTireMiningTire Group, a division dedicated to quarry tires, and on retreading activities. KalTire has been producing retreads for forty years in the firm conviction that retreading is synonymous with recycling. In the company's view, retreaded tires offer customers an advantageous alternative, also in terms of costs, to purchasing new tires, allowing, on the one hand, to reduce the total cost of ownership, and on the other to significantly reduce the environmental impact of tires. KalTire enjoys a significant truck tire retreading business in Canada, one of the largest in North America. With 10 retreading facilities across Canada using the Bandag system, the company is able to retread more than 370,000 tires a year. Furthermore, the KalTireMiningTire Group has four retreading facilities specifically dedicated to OTR tires worldwide, two of which are located in Canada, one in the UK and one in Ghana.

One of KalTire’s objectives is to ensure the on-going growth of its business, and this translates not only in terms of services to its customers, but also in terms of attention to the community and the environment. The Maple Program, recently launched by KalTire, aims to quantify the actual environmental impact produced by customers who choose retreaded tires for their fleets. The name of the program, as you probably guessed, pays tribute to the company's Canadian roots by choosing one of the country's best-known symbols.

Measuring a tire’s environmental impact is made possible by an emissions calculator that can calculate the savings in terms of fuel and carbon emissions obtained through the use of retreaded earthmoving tires, compared to the purchase of a similar new product. The measuring instrument developed by KalTire required a two-year research period, including data from the company's production records over the last 20 years of operation. After a 6-month approval phase, the emissions calculator was approved by SCS Global Services, an international third-party environmental certification body.

"We've been saying for a long time that our retreads produce environmental benefits, but now we are able to quantify these benefits," said Darren Flint, vice president of operations for Europe and West Africa at KalTireMiningTire Group. "Retreading reduces the hourly operating costs of the tire, and it is becoming increasingly important for our customers to reduce their impact on the environment. We want to provide our customers with concrete data on the environmental savings they can achieve”.

The Maple Program is very simple to operate: thanks to the data obtained from the emission calculator developed by KalTire, customers obtain a score (from one to five stars) based on the percentage of the fleet that uses retreaded tires instead of new ones. The program is currently being used in the UK and Chile, but the company's goal is to extend it to other countries where it currently operates. KalTireMiningTire Group's Vice President of Operations for Latin America, Pedro Pacheco, says this programme will provide a model for promoting the retreading process and, as a result, retreads, giving the opportunity to demonstrate their environmental importance. "By being able to offer an incentive to increase the number of retreads, we are giving tires another life, at a much lower cost and with a much lower environmental impact," continues Pacheco.

"The primary objective in all our activities is to extend the life of the tires used by our customers' fleets," says Flint. Through a series of steps to be taken over time, the company intends to further implement the Maple Program with other initiatives to protect the environment, such as the use of Ultra Repair technology, which can repair major damage to tires that would otherwise be discarded.

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