SSI Shredding Systems

SSI Applications: Tire Shredding

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No Tire is Too Big For an SSI Shredder...

SSI offers a wide variety of solutions for people who want to process tires for cars, trucks, aircraft, agricultural and OTR/Mining tires. Our focus has been to develop reliable, robust and easy-to-work-on equipment that will reduce whole tires down to chunks ranging in size from long “strips” to 1" or 2" (25-50mm) chips. We have systems that can process tires at rates ranging from 2 tons (200 car tires) to over 30 tons (3,000 car tires) per hour. Tires do not need to be debeaded in order to be shredded in our equipment.

Main Shredder Types Used For Tires

Single-Pass Shredders

Also known as "Rough Shredders", Single-Pass Shredders are commonly used in landfill applications to destroy tires prior to the using them in the landfill cells, or in mobile applications where customers want to densify the material at a job site in order to reduce transportation costs when moving the tires to a centralized processing facility. SSI offers these shredders in both stationary and mobile configurations and they can be re-deployed for service in a chip production system at any time.

Some examples of these shredders include:
Single Pass Shredder: M85 SystemM85 Stationary: Car tires at 6 tons per hour
Single Pass Shredder: M120M120E Stationary: Car and truck tires at 12 tons per hour
Single Pass Shredder: M100 MobileM100 Mobile: Car and some truck tires at 9 tons per hour
Single Pass Shredder: M160 MobileM160HD Track-Mounted/Remote Control: Car,truck, aircraft & ORT tires at 35 tons per hour

TDF Production Systems

This is the bulk of SSI’s experience in tire processing, machinery to reduce whole tires to a chip that can be 1", 2", 3" or 4-6" in size (25mm to 150mm). We’ve built these systems to shred any size tire from throughput rates ranging from 2 tons per hour to more than 30 tons per hour. Generally, you’ll need more than one shredder in a chip production system if you either want 1" (25mm) chip sizing or you want more than 10 tons per hour in system throughput.

Some examples of these systems include:
TDF Production Systems: M120 SystemM120E with Vibratory Screen, 2" 50mm: Car and truck tires at 6 tons per hour
TDF Production Systems: TrommelM120E with Trommel Screen, 2" 50mm: Car and truck tires at 7 tons per hour
TDF Production Systems: M160 SystemM160 with Disk screen, 6" 150mm: Car and industrial tires at 15 tons per hour
TDF Production Systems: M120 PortableM120 Portable, 2" 50mm: Car and truck tires at 6-7 tons per hour

Mulch Production (wire-free chip) Systems:

SSI has many shredders employed in front of higher speed machinery that is used to make wirefree "mulch" material. Depending on throughput, a prospective customer can use either an SSI single-pass shredder or a TDF production system in front of the mulch processing line to feed it. Generally, the smaller you make the chips before you feed them into the mulch system the better. Smaller feedstock results in more hourly production and lower operating costs after the fact.

SSI is now offering the new GT900 for these applications.

A typical Mulch/Wire-Free system will have three separate processing systems like this:
Mulch Production

Crumb Rubber Production Systems
(granules or powder that is steel and fiber free):

SSI has many shredders employed at the front end of successful crumb rubber production systems that can reduce tires to sizes ranging from 10 mesh (rock salt size) to 40 mesh (beach sand or powder size) materials that are free of wire and fiber.

SSI does not manufacture crumb rubber production systems.

A typical Crumb Rubber System will have four to five separate processing systems like this:
Crumb Rubber
Things To Know About Opening a Tire Shredding Business

Why Should I Consider Shredding Tires?

1) If you plan right, it can be a profitable business.

2) It is an environmental service:

  • Tire fires release toxins into the atmosphere and the soil, they can burn for weeks and they can take years to clean up.
  • Tire piles have been ignited by lightning, extreme heat (oxidation of the steel in tires at the bottom of a pile) and by Arson.

3) It’s a public service:

  • Disease: Scrap tires left unattended will accumulate water. Once that happens, it creates an ideal habitat for mosquitoes and many studies have concluded that this is foundation for the rapid spread of West Nile Virus and other insect transmitted illnesses.
  • They don’t go away. If you’ve ever been in the forests of the world you have certainly encountered tires during your journey. These don’t decompose, and they don’t sink into the soil. They’ll still be in the same place 100 years from now.

4) There’s no other good way to get rid of them:

  • They can’t be land filled unless they’re shredded because they "float" back to the top of the cell. They can’t be buried in the ground for the same reason. They don’t erode or go away (at least, not in our lifetime).
  • They’re made to be indestructible so they can provide long-lasting reliability on your car. They are long lasting. They are tough to process too.

What Are The Basics?

  • Getting PAID: You make money by being paid to take in whole tires as well as by selling your shredded tires. Don’t think you will make money if you’re not receiving cash for the whole tires.
  • Permits: You will need a permit in order to process tires in your state or country. This typically means you will also need to carry certain amounts of liability insurance.
  • Site Requirements: You will need to have a site for your new business identified before you can get a permit. Most operations are on an 2-3 acres (0.8 to 1.2 hectares). If you choose to have your processing operation inside, the ideal building would have a ceiling height of at least 25 feet (7.62 meters) and an area of 10,000 to 75,000 square feet (930 to 7500 square meters) depending on your operational throughput (number of tires processed per year) and the final output products you intend to make.
  • Equipment Needs: It takes more machinery and will cost more per ton to make smaller products. The smallest size you can accomplish with one shredder is 2" minus TDF (40-50mm chips). If you want to make 1" (25mm) material, you will need at least two shredders. If you want to remove the steel from the rubber chips, you may need additional equipment. If you want to make crumb rubber or rubber granules, you will need more than just one machine to accomplish this task.
  • Cost of Equipment: Tire shredding systems to make chips start at $500,000 USD. Tire shredders only start at $100,000 USD. You will not be able to make small chips with just a shredder. You will need a shredder, a screen and some conveyors to make chips, which is why “systems” are more expensive than shredders only.
  • Transportation: Don’t forget that it will cost you to transport both whole and shredded tires. Position your site accordingly.
  • Budget Extras: You will need to include a budget for consumable parts and material handling equipment in your business planning phase. Many people forget this and it will cost them in the end. Also, it is good to plan at least 6-9 months worth of operating capital in initial budgeting because it may take that long to turn a profit as a start-up business.

How Do I Start My New Business?

If you’re just starting to think about getting into the tire shredding business, you’ll need to review the following steps BEFORE you start looking for a shredder. In fact, the shredding solution should be the last thing you look at when creating your business plan.

Step #1: Find Your Niche

Find out what you want to do with the tires after you shred them. It’s easy to get paid to accept tires, but you need to have a solid outlet for the material before you can get into this business. You’ll find out later in your research that the tipping fees you collect in accepting tires generally cover your overhead costs only, and your profit will come from your shredded material sales to an end market. (TDF, ground cover, soil stabilization, aggregate replacement material, crumb manufacturer, civil engineering applications, etc). Markets vary quite a bit depending on where you are located. A good resource for information on tire shred and chip uses, general market information and tire makeup information is the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association website.

Below is a graphic illustration of the tire shredding markets in the United States over the past 10 years.
(click image to enlarge):

Scrap Tire Info
Scrap Tire Info Chart

Step #2: Location, Location, Location

Find a location and then see if you can collect at least 1,000,000 tires per year within a 150 mile radius of where you plan to start your business. If you can’t do this, it will be hard to justify the capital equipment costs of shredding machinery and pay inbound material freight too. Choose your location wisely. It typically costs around $8-12 per ton per 100 miles (depending on fuel prices) to haul tires or tire chips. Once you’ve selected your location, you will want to contact the state about getting a processing permit. Each state has different requirements, and you’ll want to see what kind of costs are associated with getting “legal” before going any further.

Step #3: It Takes Money to Make Money

Look into your finances. Tire shredding machines start at $115,000, and systems to make chips start at $500,000. Please see the price section to learn more about what this machinery costs. Besides the capital cost, tire shredding systems will cost between $12.00 (rough shred) up to $25.00 (chips) per ton of tires processed to operate. This includes power, preventative maintenance labor, consumable parts costs and labor to exchange consumable parts. It does not include facility or trucks, general overhead, depreciation of equipment, labor to load the machines or inventory spare parts.

Many new processors are not profitable until they have been running for 9-12 months. Be sure that your financing package is adequate to cover your costs for at least that amount of time.

Step #4: Let's Talk About Shredding Options

Now you’re ready to look for a shredder. In order to help us determine what machine is right for your application, please take the time to answer these questions:

  1. What types of tires do you anticipate processing (e.g. passenger, truck, aircraft, agricultural, mining, etc.)?
  2. Do you have a specific size requirement (1" material is more expensive to produce than 2" or 3")?
  3. What do you think your material mix will look like (mostly car tires, car & truck, mostly truck, etc.)>
  4. Do you have any site or space constraints (building height, floor space, etc)?
  5. Do you have any power requirements or constraints?
  6. How would you like to feed a system (conveyor, grapple, front-end loader, etc)?
  7. What throughput rate (capacity) are you looking for (how many tons per hour, tires per day or trailers per day)?
  8. What shift arrangement do you plan on (8, 12, 16 or 24 hrs per day) ?
  9. Do you have budget requirements? What are they?
  10. Where will your processing facility be located?

Once we have your answers to these questions, we can help you to determine the best solution for your facility needs.

Photo Gallery

Below are photo examples of typical shredding systems built by SSI.
(click an image to enlarge)

What Makes SSI Shredders Unique?

SSI Dual-Shear Shredder Line


It is very difficult to be selective in the business of shredding tires. You will receive small tires, large tires, radial tires, bias tires, agricultural tires and much more. Because of this, we recommend machines that are optimized for the application of truck & supersingle tire shredding (with no de-beading) and then sized to process tires at your desired throughput rate. The key in this business is keeping your consumable parts in good condition (the shredder cutters & cleaning fingers) so that they can make clean cuts on the material and stabilize your output product quality. Our truck tire shredders feature large diameter, solid cutters (22” to 33” diameter) so you will have a great deal of surface area to wear, which means they are long-lasting.


We have incorporated some unique features into our machines that protect them and improve the useful life span of your investment, these include:

  • Patented ACLS™ System provides more inward force than the shredder can produce in outward force, which cannot be accomplished with the threaded clamp-nut designs found on many other shredder designs. The significance of this is that it keeps the cutters and spacers tight on the shafts, which not only improves cutter life but also minimizes the possibility for materials to work in-between the cutters and seize them to the shafts, making cutter set maintenance procedures much easier to complete.
  • Patented SSP™ System protects the shredder’s electric motor and gear reducer from catastrophic damage by acting like a clutch and allowing the motor output shaft to “slip” when there is an event that causes the shredder shafts to stop quickly, like a non-shreddable material in the cutting chamber. Slippage of the coupling (clutch) is monitored by the shredder’s PLC and the machine will reverse itself automatically if the coupling sensor detects too much slippage. Automatic reversing in conjunction with clutch slippage is done to both protect the shredder drive and to re-orient the material, which provides the shredder with a better chance of processing the material without additional clutch slippage.
  • Proprietary Cleaning Fingers keep material from building up or wrapping between the cutters over the top of the spacers the shafts. In tire shredding applications, hard facing material is applied to the cleaning fingers have proven to extend the useful life of these consumable parts by up to 40% depending on the shredder and processing conditions. SSI shredders also employ a "floating" cleaning finger design, which allows these parts to be re-used when cutter sets are exchanged or replaced individually if needed.
  • Modular Cutting Chamber Design allows for removable and replaceable sidewalls in the event that you want to change the length of your shredder (i.e. reconfigure a primary shredder to become a chipping shredder) or if your sidewalls wear in time, you do not need to replace the expensive parts of your shredder frame.
  • Water Misting System is incorporated into the shredder hopper, and typically has 3-4 spray nozzles. It is plumbed to a single connection point so that it can be connected to a feeder hose. The purpose of this is system is to reduce dust during the dry months and also to lubricate the cutters and material, which can improve cutter life in a tire application by 20-30%.
  • Unique Bearing Protection on SSI Shredders employs a “false wall” design (we call them "splash plates") that takes the impact and abrasion abuse produced by the material during the shredding process. These “walls” are set inward of the gearbox and endplate on the shredder by several inches. The open area between the splash plates and the bearing cavities is called the “drop zone”, which provides an area for any material that passes between the shaft and the gearbox or endplate wall to fall out of the bottom of the machine before reaching the bearing cavity. In the event that any material does make in into the bearing cavities, SSI has designed a proprietary labyrinth and mechanical seal arrangement that will prevent the material from reaching and damaging the bearings.
  • Direct Drive Design does not use a mechanical gear reduction design inside of the shredder gearbox. Instead the gear reduction is accomplished via planetary gear reducer outside of the shredder gearbox, making field maintenance possible. In-direct designs, found on other types of shredders, require maintenance personnel to empty the shredder gearbox oil and disassemble key components just to gain access to the gears when they need inspection. This is a significant process and will require significant downtime to accomplish. By contrast, the SSI design incorporates a removable plate on the top of the gearbox and direct access to the drive and driven gears for inspection (without having to drain the gearbox oil or replace seals). Our larger shredders do not have any gears inside the shredder gearbox at all; gear reduction on that equipment is accomplished externally with planetary gear reducers.
  • Cutter design and diameter are critical when building tire shredders. The hook design affects the shredder’s ability to grab, pierce and chop the tires. The diameter must to be adequate to create geometry in the cutting chamber that will optimize the shredder’s ability to capture the material as well as maximize useful component life. Improper shredder configurations can lead to compression related component failures, which can happen when the thickness of the folded tire exceeds the distance between the sweep of the cutter and the opposing shaft. Other issues arising from improperly designed cutters include the inability of a shredder to grab hold of materials it’s trying to process and reduced cutter life-span.
  • Control Systems by SSI all include fully integrated controls that are driven by PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and most are modem equipped so that we can perform on-line diagnostics and troubleshooting from our factory in Wilsonville, Oregon. This gives you the ability to add equipment into our systems or change the operating characteristics of a system if you have a need to reconfigure a device (like your screen) or service a new end market. There is a common Operator Control Panel (OCP) that allows for single-button system starting and stopping. The OCP also includes AMP meters for the shredder motor(s) and a HMI screen to facilitate system maintenance and local diagnostic needs. Each component in a system can also be manually started in a maintenance mode if needed. The PLC monitors the shredders, motion of the conveyors and (in some cases) performance of the system. In addition, we can a tire counter on the feed conveyor (can be mounted on the conveyor or on the OCP) so that you can easily keep track of system performance.

There are other components that are commonly used in conjunction with our shredders to complete a tire shredding system solution. These generally include conveyors, magnet(s) and screen(s). We can provide more information about our recommendation for these components after we understand your project needs because there are different combinations and configurations available to optimize specific application requirements (like particle size, footprint, throughput, etc.)

How Much Do These Machines Cost?

While we need your answers to the questions listed in Section B, step 4 to provide you with pricing on the right equipment for your project, we are happy to provide this budgetary information for your information:

Car Tire Shredders (shredders only)

These machines start at $100,000 and go up from there depending on how many tires you would like to shred per hour or per day. You’ll need to feed them with a conveyor belt and you will probably need a conveyor to take the shreds away from the shredder. Conveyors are not included in this pricing.

Truck Tire Shredders (shredders only)

These machines start at $235,000 and go up from there depending on how many tires you would like to shred per hour or per day, and what size truck tires you’re looking to shred (supersingle too?). You’ll need to feed them with a conveyor belt and you will probably need a conveyor to take the shreds away from the shredder.

Conveyors are not included in this pricing.

Industrial Tire Shredders (shredders only)

These machines start at $425,000 and go up from there depending on how many tires you would like to shred per hour or per day and what kind of tires you’re looking to shred. You can feed them with a conveyor belt, grapple or front-end loader and you will probably need a conveyor to take the shreds away from the shredder.

Material handling equipment is not included in this pricing.

OTR & Mining Tire Shredders (shredders only)

These machines start at $700,000 for tires up to 7’ in diameter and $1,350,000 for tires up to 14’ in diameter. You will probably feed these shredders with a grapple or loader and you will probably need a conveyor to take the shreds away from the shredder.

Material handling equipment is not included in this pricing.

Chip Production Systems

Systems (shredders, conveyors and screens) to make 2” chips start at $500,000. Most of them are priced between $650,000 and $1,000,000 depending on how much volume you would like to process and also how the machinery needs to be configured to fit into your site. Please complete our questionnaire if you would like specific information on a system to meet your project needs.

Please contact us by phone at 503-682-3633, by email at or fill out our online Quote Request Form.

Watch it Shred

View videos of tires being shredded: