How to Start a Tire Shredding Business


Tire shredders process car, truck, commercial and industrial tires which are then used as high energy fuel for cement kilns, pulp and paper mills and industrial boilers, as well as for playground cover, rock substitute or roadway filler. Starting a tire shredder business is an expensive venture and should only be attempted by a serious entrepreneur. With start-up costs exceeding $500,000, financing is a must. Start with a detailed business plan.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Liability insurance
  • Business license
  • Tire shredder
  • Conveyor, grapple or loader
  • Tires

Draw up a business plan that identifies the market and proves that there is enough demand for a tire shredding business in your area. Identify local competition and how you intend to compete. Detail whether you will ship outside of your local area. Detail costs of equipment, marketing, licenses, permits, insurance, obtaining a site manager and getting staff. Detail any state or county safety regulations that may affect your business.

Find a location for your site within reasonable distance of your clients to minimize transportation costs. An outdoor site should be at least two acres in size. An indoor site should have at least 10,000 square feet. SSI Shredding systems recommends that you look for an area where you can collect at least 1,000,000 tires annually.

Contact your city hall about obtaining local permits. Get zoning approval for your site location. Prior to approval, you’ll need proof of liability insurance. Purchase extensive liability insurance for your business, equipment and workers.

Purchase a tire shredding system. At a minimum, a basic car tire shredder will cost about $100,000. Truck tire shredders start at about $235,000. Factors to consider when selecting your shredder include the type of tires you will shred, the rate at which you shred them and the output you need, such as crumbs, chips, chunks or granules. In certain cases, you may need more than one shredder. If processing car tires alone, you can get away with a smaller model and hand feeding off the conveyor. For truck and industrial tires, you’ll need a much larger shredder. In addition, you must have a conveyor, grapple or loader for loading the tires into the shredder, as well as hauling equipment, a truck, dumps and safety equipment.

Learn the bidding process so that you can successfully bid on state and commercial clean up contracts. Review successful bids to gain tips on how to improve your own.

Detail the benefits of using recycled tire materials. Present this to potential commercial, industrial and consumer markets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you've detailed all expenses, determine how much you need to charge for tire disposal, such as $2 per tire.
  • Learn the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labor and safety regulations. Always be in compliance.

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