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Billings tire re-treaders boom with Bakken oil

By The Associated Press
Published On: Mar 17 2013 11:50:30 AM MDT
BAKKEN
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Business is on a roll for tire re-treaders keeping big trucks operating on the rough gravel roads in the Bakken oil boom region of eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
    
Hi-Mile Tire Manager Al Rees tells the Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/Yi6que) the last three years have been the busiest for servicing and selling tires he's seen in three decades. The company ships about 250 tires a week to oil fields in peak months.
    
Rees says new tires cost about $600 apiece, while re-treads run about $200. On king-sized trucks pulling four-axle trailers and needing 36 tires, using re-treads can lead to a savings of about $14,000.
    
Experts say trucks hauling water or oil can re-tread tires about three times, while trucks hauling lighter loads on smoother roads can do five re-treads.