Bridgestone Americas wants people to think of retreaded truck tires as cool.

As part of that, the tire company created a 27-stop multi-city, high-tech roadshow to show off retreading technology, with its Akron Technical Center being the 10th stop on Thursday.

Retreading is exactly what it sounds like — taking a used truck tire and putting a new, long-lasting roadworthy tread over the underlying casing.

The Akron Technical Center is where Bridgestone Americas' employees do a lot of retread truck tire design and develop and refine the underlying compounds and engineering that go into the tires and treads.

Bridgestone Bandag, Bridgestone Americas' Iowa-based retreading subsidiary that it purchased for a bit over $1 billion in 2007, says retreading not only saves significant money for truck fleet operators but the process is also environmentally friendly.

A new premium truck tire can cost $500 or more, while a retread can cost between $100 and $200, according to Bandag.

The retreading process also uses the equivalent of 7 gallons of oil versus an average of $22 gallons of oil to make a new tire, the company said.

How long can retreading prolong tire life? Hundreds of thousands of miles is not unheard of — and Bridgestone Bandag’s roadshow, called "Fleets We Depend On," displays one tire that made it to a million miles with just two retreads.

The number of times a tire can be retreaded depends on the application and use, said LaTres Jarrett, director of marketing for Bandag.

“The tread itself will perform comparable to a new tire tread,” she said.

Some uses, such as mining, wear more on tires than vehicles that run on roads, she said. Truck tires typically can be retreaded six or seven times, she said.

“It’s our effort to educate and inform small and medium fleets on the value of retreading for their business and how it will impact their bottom line,” Jarrett said. “We are trying to showcase that there is reliability in the retread that is comparable to what you would expect in a new tire.”

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ