Budget cuts have recently forced our Fleet to shift it’s preferences for tires toward recapped tires. This was a hard hit to take; our environment is a tough one. Most of our vehicles do a substantial amount of their work off-road through some of the toughest most mountainous terrain that the United States has to offer. When the crews see the recaps they are clearly unhappy, they doubt that they are as reliable as a new tire, and that’s important when your 100’s of miles from a repair facility.
The saying goes that every cloud has a silver lining and the green guy in me was hoping that the environmental benefits to a recap program would make me feel better, and indeed it has. I found that recapped tires save resources by requiring 70% less oil, contains 75% post-consumer material, save landfill space, and my company will be happy to know they cost 30% to 70% less than making a new tire. I have seen the mountains of tires piled up along side of highways as I have traveled, and have seen the news headlines as one of these mountains catches on fire and burns out of control, but I didn’t realize that tire piles are also breeding grounds for mosquitoes, rodents and disease.
Saving money is our goal, but decreasing the amount of tires that make it to landfills is a great benefit. The EPA says that recapped tires “provide quality, comfort, and safety comparable to that of new tires” and I sincerely hope this is true, because if it’s not you might want to look for me at the bottom of one of the many abandoned mine shafts scattered throughout our territory.