The words “tires” and “sustainable” aren’t typically muttered in the same breath, but this reputation is slowly shifting for the better. New materials and recycling processes being implemented by many tire manufacturers are helping to make a tire’s life more environmentally friendly, but Champtires, a seller of used tires, says we can do better, as the company says many tires with decent tread remaining are still ending up in landfills.
“Anyone who is making purchase decisions with an environmentally conscious mindset should really consider used tires because high-quality used tires with 90%, 80% of the tire’s tread life left is a great way to prevent that tire from ending up in a landfill,” says Shilo Rea, chief marketing officer for Champtires. “So you’re reusing a product that has a lot of use left in it.”
On this episode of The Amped EV Podcast, Rea explains why EV drivers might want to look into used tires, the company’s used tire inspection process and how used tires can be a safe option for drivers.
Here’s a transcript of the show:
David Sickels: Hello and welcome back to the Amped EV podcast. My name is David. I am the editor for the Buzz, and today we have Shilo Ray. She is the chief marketing officer for Champtires. Shilo, thanks for coming in today.
Shilo Rea: Thanks for having me.
David Sickels: So, okay, I want to just get this out of the way. I’ve got this burning question for you. So first of all, Champtires. Tell me a little bit about your company and what you do.
Shilo Rea: Okay. So Champtires specializes in selling premium used tires to drivers and repair shops and dealers across the country.
David Sickels: So in preparing to speak with you, my first thought was, okay, if I’m driving an EV, it’s got all this added weight, it has this extra torque compared to an ICE vehicle, typically. If I buy used tires for that vehicle, is it just going to eat through those tires even faster and then I’m just going to have to buy more and more and more tires? Is that the case or am I thinking completely wrong with that?
Shilo Rea: Say the tire model that you’re interested in that works for your vehicle starts at 10/32 tread new. You can find a used tire or four used tires that have 9/32 tread or 8/32 tread, and you’ll save hundreds of dollars and you’re getting almost a new product. So it’s not like you’re putting on a tire that’s only going to last a couple of weeks and spending the time and money to do that. You can get almost a new tire for your vehicle, saving interesting tons of money.
David Sickels: So a really good reason that you might want to invest in used tires as opposed to new tires, let’s say you are driving along and you hit a big pothole or something to give you a flat tire and you only need to replace that one tire.
Shilo Rea: That’s absolutely correct. And then if you’re driving an EV or any kind of car, if you need to replace one or two tires because of damage or some type of issue, all you need to do is match the tread on used tires to your remaining tread.
David Sickels: So what are some other reasons why an EV driver might want to invest in used tires over new tires?
Shilo Rea: Anyone who is making purchase decisions with an environmentally conscious mindset should really consider used tires because high-quality used tires with 90%, 80% of the tire’s tread life left is a great way to prevent that tire from ending up in a landfill. So you’re reusing a product that has a lot of use left in it.
David Sickels: Sure. Yeah. We all know, I mean, tires, it’s hard to know what to do with them at the end of their life. I mean, we’ve heard of some people breaking them down into playground kind of use, but I mean, it’s hard to know and if you are thinking environmentally forward, you’re right. That might be a great option. So, I was looking at your website. You have a statement on there, buying used tires is a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly option. We just kind of went through the environment part, but can you walk me through the safety and affordability aspect of that?
Shilo Rea: Sure. So a lot of times people think, “Used tires, I don’t want a used tire.” They have a picture of them sitting next to a rickety old building with a used tire sign basically says, “Free, take me,” or whatever, “Available to a good home.” But these are premium, high quality, brand name used tires that we’re sourcing that, as I’ve said, have a lot of tread life left in them. If you’ve ever bought a used car, you’ve most likely also bought used tires. So it’s not something that you should definitely turn your head automatically.
David Sickels: Yeah, that’s a great point.
Shilo Rea: So yeah, and we really inspect every tire that enters our warehouse. We have a three-step inspection process to ensure that the tires are in great condition.
David Sickels: Can you help us to understand what that inspection process is?
Shilo Rea: Absolutely. So every tire that enters our warehouse is first given a visual inspection that’s to look for obvious defects like a nail sticking out or dry rot or any type of physical damage to the tire. Then ones that pass that process, they’re air tested, so we’re putting them on a Matteuzzi air testing machine, getting them wet with soapy water and looking for other defects that aren’t necessarily visual. And then they’re stored in our warehouses.
And when they sell and we pull them, before they ship for free by FedEx, we give them a final inspection as well. And a lot of times we’re air testing them a second time just to make sure, but we’re really dedicated to making sure that our products are really great.
David Sickels: Excellent. Okay. So if I am on Champtires and I’m looking for a used tire, how do I get started with knowing what kind of tire I need? Can you help a customer with that?
Shilo Rea: Absolutely. We have a great customer service team if you want to send an email. Emails are really the quickest way to get an answer, but we do have a lot of resources on the website. The easiest way to figure out what kind of tire you need is to go look at the tire that’s on your car, take a picture of it, and then look for it on our website. And we have more than 40,000 tires in stock at any time. So chances are we’re going to have something that’s going to work for your car.
David Sickels: Cool. So someone like me, I go to my tire shop and there are so many choices. I don’t know what’s in front of me. I just end up asking the tire dealer, “Can you help me out?” Do you have people at Champtires who can do that for the customer as well?
Shilo Rea: Absolutely, yes.
David Sickels: Oh, good. Excellent, excellent. Because I mean, especially on an EV, a lot of these drivers, they’re so new to driving an EV, it’s hard to exactly know what qualities of the tire are going to be best for my driving style and condition, things like that.
Shilo Rea: Right. So anytime anybody has any questions, they’re welcome to reach out. And we have tire technicians who are happy to answer any questions. As I said, we do have resources on the website that just give you a step-by-step guide to determining what’s going to work for you or your vehicle.
David Sickels: Very cool. So do you have any just general tire buying tips for a driver of an EV? What should they know going in?
Shilo Rea: So I think all drivers, whether you’re driving an EV or not, should just really start to consider the benefits of used tires. And the thing that you want to look for is a reputable source. You don’t want somebody who’s keeping them outside and selling tires with 4/32 or 5/32 tread. Find a reputable source that’s inspecting the tires, that’s clear about how they’re inspecting them, and how they’re storing them. And look for a source that has inventory with most of their inventory 7/32 or above because they’re taking the time to find really good used tires.
It’s a great way to make another environmentally friendly choice as a driver, and it also saves you a considerable amount of money. So drivers can save up to 80% off the price of new tires, and their prices keep increasing as the demand for rubber and supply issues are still plaguing a lot of people.
David Sickels: Yeah. Oh, yeah, 80%. That is really impressive.
Well, hey, Shilo, thank you so much for coming in today. I really appreciate it. I learned a lot about tires, about used tires and about tires on EVs, so this was a lot of fun. Thanks for coming in.
Shilo Rea: Thanks. I’m amped to be here.
David Sickels: Very nice. I’m amped that you’re here too. Thank you, everybody, for joining us today. Take care.