The evolution of the DrivewaySpikes™ product

Back in 2006 a Mother’s Day flood caused the Merrimack River in Massachusetts to devour large sections of a road that the Town never repaired. Mr. Don C. the ultimate inventor of the DrivewaySpikes™ product had a nearby driveway that became the turn-around for all the passing vehicles. Don being a friendly sort, watched as the problem got worse and worse. Often, even with having 200-foot-long driveway cars traveled the extent of the driveway, just to turn around. Property damage soon followed and with many irate drivers, even personal safety was at risk. Something had to be done! Don tried the typical Traffic Cones and roping off the end of the driveway however, the cones didn’t stop the traffic unless they were placed in the driveway, then in that case, the cones or the rope had to be removed with every personal passing both in and out of the driveway. The idea of parking a vehicle at the end of the driveway was tried but, that was equally troublesome. What to do?

Don being somewhat of a Gentleman Farmer raised chickens for family and friends. Eggs were plentiful and the meat helped with the budget too. Having the idea to build a handmade chicken feather plucker Don’s wife Gayle happened to notice rubber chicken ‘fingers’ were actually a product a person could purchase. The idea for the DrivewaySpikes™ product was born!

The first prototype units for the ‘base’ were produced using a wooden ‘plank’ with the rubber chicken ‘fingers’. Don placed the sample product at the end of the driveway and Wow, the DrivewaySpikes™ stopped all the unwanted vehicle turn-arounds. Knowing that the wooden plank was only a temporary ‘fix’ the next step was to come up with a way to make the product out of rubber. Being that Gentleman Farmer Don took a thick rubber mat from the horse barn and shaped it into a useable base. The DrivewaySpikes™ product development moved to another plateau.

With interest quickly growing in the product, Don began searching for a rubber product manufacturing company, enter Tire Conversion Technologies. TCT being a design and manufacturing company of rubber products offered our expertise. With Don having somewhat limited exploratory capital, TCT designed and created a prototype wooden mold capable of producing several hundred samples. Normally production molds would be fabricated using steel molds at much higher price points. Before too long, sales had gobbled up the opening production run and Don was left with a big decision. Should he invest into an expensive tooling upgrade? Having recently retired from the Postal Service and cutting back on his farming activities making this type of an investment just was not in the cards.

Once again, enter Tire Conversion Technologies. TCT had the ability to design and fabricate the required tooling to manufacture the original Model DS-22 DriveSpikes, add another larger model the DS-47, while upgrading the black colored rubber chicken ‘fingers’ to a yellow colored flexible polymer ‘spike’ providing even more of a deterrent for unwanted traffic. Entering a joint venture with Don, TCT pays royalties for every DrivewaySpikes™ product sold.

Tire Conversion Technologies – Company History

Back in the 1990’s saw the beginnings of what would become Tire Conversion Technologies but, those times were quite different than the company today.

There was an inventor who had the idea of using old tires to create a board that could be used in the railroad industry for rail ties. The hope was these boards could also be used in construction, landscaping, and other markets. So, this inventor developed and was awarded a Patent for the process of remolding an old tire. First by cutting off the side walls, then cutting the tire to length, then remolding the tire under compression causing it to reshape itself into a flat board. The product was named Duraboard. The product had various manufacturing & marketing issues to overcome. One problem was the old tires came in many different sizes with the amount of thread having various levels of use. Dimensional product thickness was difficult to maintain. Another problem was wooden railroad ties were substantially less expensive. The Duraboard would last many more years in service than the treated wooden ties however, there was a resistance to pay the added costs.

During the time of the Duraboard Mr. Walter L. Robb a retire Vice President of General Electric and a local venture capitalist and philanthropist became involved with the start-up company. After a few years Walt recognized the Duraboard product had limitations but, remained interested in the business of using the discarded tires for other uses. So, beginning in the year of 2004 the company began a transition to the current structure of manufacturing custom molded recycled tire rubber products. The company was incorporated under the name of Tire Conversion Technologies Inc. Walt has sadly passed on but, Tire Conversion continues to market our products throughout the U.S. and has grown into a multinational company having a strong presence in the European Union.

TCT, using what is commonly referred to as crumb rubber, being small ‘chunks’ of ground tire rubber, remolds this recycled material into new rubber products. We design our products based on our knowledge of certain industries and the need for a rubber product. We also create custom O.E.M. products for use as a ‘part’ or raw material used in other products. We work with the engineering and product development teams from many customers to assist in the development of new products or we can create the tooling and the manufacturing systems from designs submitted by our customers.

Our products find there way into many different markets. We design and manufacture our recycled rubber product for the solar, HVAC, fall safety and wire management markets for commercial rooftop applications. We have products for the Oil & Gas industry.Others for construction and landscaping. We also manufacture and distribute our line of Traffic Safety products.

Our business in the Traffic Safety market led us to the DrivewaySpikes™ product.

Please visit us at; www.tire-conversion.com