DOWNEY, CA - Fifty-four fleet professionals attended the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association's (MEMA) bimonthly meeting on May 19 in Southern California. The meeting's focus was tires.

Parkhouse Tire hosted a tour of its retreading facility in Bell Gardens, Calif. Attendees were led through a tour of the retreading process, including visual inspection; buffing, which removes the old tire tread; application of new tread; curing process; and final inspection. Retreading of trucks and equipment is estimated to cost one-third the purchase price of purchasing new tires. Proponents state it is an environmentally friendly process that reduces waste, and rubber dust and excess accumulated from the process is recycled and used as asphalt and other rubber products.

Following lunch, three guest speakers presented their products to attendees. Philip Tubert, CEO of Tubert International, distributor of PermaSeal Tire Sealant, spoke about the benefits of the product, which he said would decrease fleet operation cost by eliminating puncture flats, extending tire life, and maintaining a set tire pressure. The company later did a demonstration of a van with PermaSealed tires driving over nails, showing no change in tire pressure afterward.

Robert McGeachy, manager western region, government & AFV sales, Chrysler, presented information on the new 2012 Fiat 500. Although of Italian design, the Fiat is engineered for U.S. customers and includes changes to meet safety requirements for the U.S. and Canada, McGeachy said.

Kevin McGuire, commercial advisor, Nissan North America, spoke about the Nissan NV commercial van regular and high roofs, including a price comparison of similar vehicles.

The Fiat and Nissan NVs were outside for viewing.

The MEMA meeting concluded with association business.