TreadWright, Inc has a long history of making retreads. It began with grandpa Joe Hawkins in Colorado Springs, co-training young Rick Hawkins at 13 years old. Rick remembers hearing, “If a jobs worth doing, do it right!” and tried to always keep that in mind. He valued his customers and liked to treat them well and is greatly rewarded when he sees them return again and again.
In 1981 he began his own business named High-Tec Retreading. His business began very small with just a couple of tire presses and some financial help from a friend, but also as a customer. He looks back fondly, proud knowing that customers he had then are also customers for his sons today.
The family environment for TreadWright, Inc has continued. As Rick’s wife Debbie raised their sons to grow strong and tall she passed them onto Rick for training. Even Debbie has answered phones, forwarded from the tire shop, from home a time or two when the guys were busy keeping up on orders from their valued customers.
In 1996 High-Tec Retreading moved from Berthoud, CO to Edgemont, SD with a few goals. Rick wanted to downsize and specialize in light truck tires as well as spend more time with his family. Because of the smaller population in SW South Dakota their mail/phone orders greatly increased.
One of Rick’s sons, Aaron Hawkins purchased the company from Rick in about 2003 but of course was no newcomer because he had been in the industry since his youth. He focused on adding 17” tire molds and was able to secure an account providing tires for the Post Office in several states. He likes knowing he is providing a service to the community by offering “recycled” tires at a reasonable price.
Joel Hawkins, current vice-president and owner of TreadWright, Inc, has done a number of things to improve customer satisfaction. He not only enjoys living in the Black Hills of SD but is glad he is able to provide a quality product with such a long history. One of the first things he did was change the business name from Hi-Tech Retreading to TreadWright, Inc to match their new focus. He and co-owner Rick Jr. (also his brother) added 7 presses to increase customer availability in design, production, and sizes. He has also upgraded the website twice and constantly looks to improve office and operational production for the benefit of their customers, new and old.
In speaking with Rick again, previous owner and father of the current owners of TreadWright, Inc, he says, “It’s great knowing that my boy’s are all making a living with a company that I began and filling a special market that isn’t being found elsewhere.”