As “Going Green” becomes more and more in vogue with major movers of goods in the world today, McCoy looks to bolster retread production at its Stockton Facility. Stockton Retread Facility sits just off the Crosstown at 1537 E. Market St in Stockton California. The 3/4-acre lot uses 15,000 square feet under-roof to retread about 12,000 tires in a year. The industrial Engineers for Bandag that designed the shop say it’s capable of doing 3 times that much before overtime!
That is probably a little bit farfetched, but it does tell of a real unused capacity for the monorail lay out. Monorail is a tire train system that Bandag developed in the 80’s. Before monorail retreading was much harder work. Retreaders would hoist the truck tire casings on and off the machines at each workstation. After buff, the tread area of the casing can no longer get dirty or it will be contaminated. The oil and dirt on a person’s hands will contaminate a buffed area, so will dirt or dust on a shop floor. Before monorail buffed casings were loaded onto steel carts with large “T”’s. The casters on the heavy-duty carts allowed the retreaders to get a half-dozen tires close to the next workstation, and then mount the tire on the next machine, carefully avoiding touching the tread area. Cementless cold cure retreading uses less high-VOC chemicals and energy, but retreaders have to be mindful of contamination always. With Steel Monorail super structure, the technicians in the retread shop have air powered cable lifts with bead hooks that make lifting a tire onto a machine feather-light.
In addition to tire lifts off the monorail, the shop also has air powered tread rams. Bandag packages the tread rolls that go on prepared casings in 100lb lengths. The technician loads these onto a machine with a rolling table and a knife and hub that inflates and spins a tire. The knife cuts as much of the 100lbs as the exact circumference of the tire. Sometimes a roll does 1 and ½ tires, sometimes it does 6 tires. Most of the time the tread roll does a little over three tires. The tread ram is an air-powered elevator that lifts the roll from the floor to table height. The tread ram is another way that retreaders in McCoy Stockton never have to use their backs to lift from below the knee.
The other tool that the retreaders in Stockton use to avoid having to pick tread up from the floor is their own forklift. The forklift can easily lift and carry a whole 2000lb. pallet of tread. The Retreaders intentionally leave wide aisles in the tread storage area so that new tread can be put away with the help of the forklift as much as possible.
Although the retreaders in Stockton do not have to share the forklift, they also must occasionally pack tires into the junk Trailer and Route Trucks. Not all the worn-out tires that staff bring to the shop for retread are good enough to last one more tread. The first step in retreading a tire is weeding out the good from the bad. This step is called “Initial Inspection”. Sometimes there is damage that the customer, salesman, or casing seller overlooked. In these limited instances, the truck tire casing must be discarded. A tire disposal company hauls the unwanted tires away in a 40-foot semi-trailer. The shop is billed per trailer, so it behooves the group to load each trailer as high as possible to maximize their profit-sharing. There are different ways to stack truck tires. One way is the “stair stacker method”. The Stair Stacker Method maximizes leverage and minimizes strain on the lower back but will likely need to be studied and practiced before it’s done right (See https://mccoytrucktire.com/index.php/2019/08/23/push-dont-pull/ for more info!)
People in trucking know about McCoy’s reputation for quality. We’ve had the best tire available for decades. Quality is what got us where we are today and will take us where we want to go tomorrow. Quality and quantity can be opposing objectives however, and this is why we’ll be carefully reviewing everything that trainees are doing. Everyone is an inspector, and we need teammates that not only can be proud of their handiwork, but that don’t let mistakes get out of the shop. We understand that you must crawl before you can walk, and we will eventually need you to run with us at pace because although we do love retreading, we don’t do it because we love it, we do it to improve our fortunes!