With environmental consciousness front of mind across the transport industry and society as a whole, commercial fleet operators work hard to reduce fuel consumption, to meet strict legal requirements and help lower overall driving costs.
When it comes to tyres, one of the most effective ways operators can lessen environmental impact is by choosing retreads for their fleets. Bandvulc, the UK commercial retreader and now part of the Continental Tyre Group, has over 40 years’ experience in retreading and casing management and offers high-quality retreads in both ContiRe and Bandvulc brands.
A sustainable product and process
The positive stats which support tyre retreading speak for themselves. A retreaded tyre saves 80% of the materials required to manufacture a new tyre, therefore significantly reducing the impact on the environment. This means Bandvulc is able to save 68 litres of oil and 44kg of rubber compound on every casing that it retreads.
In addition, retreading reduces scrapping, exportation and incineration of worn-out tyres which, over the course of a year, can release over 160,000 tonnes of CO2 into the air. The retreading process avoids this, with each retread using 80% of a worn-out tyre and preventing 182kg of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
However, Bandvulc’s environmental offering goes much further than the end product – its state-of-the-art factory and operations in Ivybridge also put sustainability at the top of the agenda.
Bandvulc’s advanced energy monitoring system keeps close track of the energy levels and output of every piece of equipment across the whole factory, ensuring optimum environmental sustainability and efficiency at every stage of the process. The Bandvulc factory has also heavily invested in solar panels, as well as a steam recovery system throughout the press line to reduce and reuse otherwise-wasted heat. A newly introduced zero-to-landfill policy ensures that no production waste goes to landfill and, as a result, 100% of the company’s waste is recycled. Even rubber dust buffed off during the preparation process is recycled back into new tyres.
Arthur Gregg, Managing Director at Bandvulc, said: “At Bandvulc, we are strongly committed to protecting the environment and reducing end-of-life waste. This is demonstrated by the extensive renovations we have made to our factory and manufacturing processes. This year, we introduced two specific environmental energy teams, who are solely responsible for assessing energy and environmental savings. By taking these measures, we are ensuring that customers receive a quality product that has come from a sustainable source.”
As well as being a more environmentally conscious option, a correctly used retread is more cost-effective in the long term. A retread costs around 70% of the price of a brand-new tyre, offering excellent value for money and significantly reducing running costs in a competitive fleet market.
Low-cost, single-life tyres, are not always suitable for retreading and therefore cost more to scrap and replace, whereas premium tyres, such as those manufactured by Continental, are designed and built with the ability to be retreaded in future. A commercial fleet that uses single-life tyres uses four times as many tyres, compared to a fleet that uses premium tyres and retreading (ref: BTMA).
Arthur Gregg added, “Fleet operators can rest assured that retreaded tyres still offer outstanding performance and endurance. All Bandvulc tyres adhere to ECE Reg 109 – a compulsory standard for producing retreaded tyres, which ensures that they fulfil similar safety and quality control requirements for new tyres.
“With our stringent quality control processes, Bandvulc checks each casing over 20 times before releasing it for road use. Special compounds created by Bandvulc’s own rubber mixing facility, BV Mixing, offer benefits for longer life, low rolling resistance and damage reduction. For these reasons, the claim ratio for retreaded tyres is almost identical to that of new ones.”