2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Still Make Solid Rubber Tires
The process of making the tires is lengthy and demand is high, says Dave Richards, who owns the company with his wife, Candy, since purchasing it in 2005. The company dates back to the 1890’s when it made solid rubber bicycle tires for Columbia.
Richards, who also owns a 60-year-old tire retread business, says the process includes starting with a clean sandblasted metal tire ring and bonding rubber to it in two 1/2-in. layers at a time. The rubber is cured with heat and time in a pressurized chamber and run through retread equipment to build it up to the right height. Sidewalls are molded with all the original markings and secured with uncured gum. Finally, there is more curing.
“It takes 6 to 8 weeks to do 4 tires,” Richards says.
The business customizes every order, mainly for work trucks built up to 1925. The last solid rubber truck tire was built for a Mack truck in 1933.
In addition to truck tires, Overman makes tires for steam tractors, carriages, museum pieces such as luggage carts, old military equipment such as cannon wheels, and bicycles and small carts. He also works with a wheelwright on wooden spoke wheels.
The company’s most famous project was making tires for an 1898 Ryker car that Henry Ford and other dignitaries rode in and that that been shipped to Paris for the 1900 Exposition race.
The company carries metal rings in many sizes. Truck tires average $800, Richards says, and they ship to customers all over the U.S. and Canada.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Overman Cushion Tire Co., 3321 B Bruening Ave. SW, Canton, Ohio 44706 (ph 330 454-3025; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.overmancushion.com).
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