Tire recycling shredders have been growing in popularity as landfill disposal costs increase, environmental awareness broadens and new uses for recycled tires become known. Shredded tires can be used for landfill daily cover, as tire-derived fuel and in a range of crumb rubber products.
While some general-use shredders on the market list tire shredding as a capability, experts say if you want to shred tires, you definitely need a shredder made specifically for tires. That's because of torque required as well as the need to pull the tires apart in a specific manner, especially if you don't want to deal with exposed steel. Some models are specially designed for shredding semi-truck tires. Tire shredders are available in both mobile and stationary models. Sometimes, a primary shredder (or cutter) takes the first pass through tires, creating strips before they're passed along to a secondary shredder. Manufacturers include Columbus McKinnon Corp., Barclay Roto-Shred, SSI Shredding Systems, Inc., American Pulverizer Co., Komar Industries, Shred-Tech and more.
Professional tire shredders buy high-end models costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and pay well over $1 million for a complete crumb rubber system. Pro-quality tire shredders can be found used for as little as $50,000. (A popular resource for finding equipment is the industry publication Scrap Tire News.) Primary tire shredders (to be used in tandem with tire shredders) start at around $18,000 new.
Unless you're in an industry that calls for frequent shredding of tires, you may be better off renting than buying a tire shredder. Top-of-the-line tire shredders can be leased for as little as $600 per month.