Love's Travel Stops
“Love’s currently has six distribution centers/retread plants across the country,” says Eric Daniels, vice president of Love’s Total Truck Care.

Love's VP shares retreading, expansion plans

April 9, 2024
Eric Daniels, VP of Love’s Total Truck Care talks about new locations and the company's focus on retreading.

Love’s Travel Stops is continuing to invest in its commercial truck tire and retreading business. The company is the sixth largest retreader in the U.S. with six plants and an estimated daily output of 2,400 medium truck tire retreads. And it continues to add Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations.

Eric Daniels, vice president of Love’s Total Truck Care, provided some insights into Love’s commercial tire operation for Fleet Maintenance's sister publication ModernTireDealer, including plans for its retreading business. (Love’s sells Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama, Hankook and Double Coin truck tires.)

MTD: In early 2023, Love's announced plans to open 15 Love's Truck Care and Speedco locations, as well as two retread plants, during the year, while also adding 75 service trucks. Can you bring us up to speed on those openings and additions?

Daniels: Last year, Love’s opened nine new Love’s Truck Care/Speedco locations, adding 27 service trucks, as well as our first six truck wash locations at new and existing Love’s Truck Care/Speedco locations. Part of our newest distribution center/retread operation in Natalia, Texas, came online late last year and the facility became fully operational earlier this year. (Editor’s note: the Natalia plant replaced an existing retread shop in Laredo, Texas, where Love’s maintains “a tire delivery presence,” according to Daniels.)

Natalia has much more capacity and is a more strategic location to deploy Love’s retread tires and merchandise to locations across the region through Love’s distribution network. Love’s currently has six distribution centers/retread plants across the country.

We are planning to open a seventh distribution center in Utah, which will be fully operational later this year and will add a retread operation to that location at a later date.

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MTD: In terms of production and pounds of rubber used per year, Love's is one of the 10 largest truck tire retreaders in the U.S. Why has it been a priority to develop that part of Love's business? Does Love's still use the Oliver system?

Daniels: Love’s focus on the retread space is part of its overarching goal to elevate our value for customers, including owner-operators and fleets. We saw the business opportunity in recycling worn commercial truck tires from customers and running them through a best-in-class process to provide a safe, quality product that drives profitability beyond our national tire brand partners.

Oliver brand tread rubber products are utilized in Love’s differentiated retread process.

MTD: What's your go-to-market strategy for both Love's Truck Stops and Speedco?

Daniels: Both Love’s and Speedco offer fast, clean, friendly service to customers over the road. We act as a one-stop shop for professional drivers, casual drivers and RVers through a nationwide network of locations. The company is investing in technology, vertical integration and people in both organizations. In the travel stops, that includes technology such as Love’s Connect, our mobile app; vertical integration in fuel and private brands; and leadership development training. In Truck Care & Speedo, that includes technology, such as Shop Connect CORE, our point-of-sale system; vertical integration in retread tires; and Love’s Truck Care Academies.

At our more than 400 Truck Care and Speedco locations, we focus on meeting the truck service needs of professional drivers. We offer warranty work for Freightliner and International trucks, light mechanical services and emergency roadside assistance to best serve our customers. In most cases, Truck Care and Speedco services are offered at Love’s Travel Stops locations. We aim to be that one-stop shop for casual and professional drivers.

MTD: In general, do you foresee greater competition within the truck stop channel for new commercial truck tire and retread sales?

Daniels: We do see our competitors planning growth in the tire/maintenance space, in terms of adding locations.


This article was originally published on ModernTireDealer.com.

About the Author

Mike Manges

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.

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