January 18


Cheapest Road Tubes

By Mike Spack

January 18, 2010

Minitube1 I've always bought tubes for my mechanical tube counters from Jamar Technologies.  About five years ago I tried, unsuccessfully, to find a manufacturer so I could cut out paying a middle man.  Thanks to google, I've been able to track down new suppliers.  I got quotes for EPDM tubing that meets the spec of the tubes Jamar supplies (60 +/- 5 Durometer Black EPDM Tubing – ASTM D 2000 3BA620 A14 C12 F17 G21).  I tracked down prices for regular tube (.187" inside diameter x .600" outside diameter) and mini-tube (.187" ID x .365" OD).  The minimum order size was only 100 feet with each of the suppliers.  Here's what I found –

  • Hanna Rubber Company:    $0.38 per foot of regular tube, $0.24 per foot of mini-tube
  • Thomas A Caserta, Inc:  $0.645 per foot of regular tube, $0.425 per foot of mini-tube (note – they provide significant price breaks if you order more than 2,500 feet)
  • Trigg Industries:    $0.72 per foot of regular tube, $0.44 per foot of mini-tube
  • Jamar Technologies:  $0.66 per foot of regular tube, $0.45 per foot of mini-tube

As a bonus, Hanna Rubber will deliver the tubes in 50 or 60 foot lengths so we won't have to do any cutting ourselves.  Caveat emptor – I don't have first hand knowledge of working with Hanna Rubber yet, although Chad Myre has been very responsive.  I'll let you know if I have problems with their tubes when I order them this spring.

We use a mix of regular tubes and mini-tubes, but have been using more and more mini-tubes.  Washington County has used mini-tube exclusively for many years and I just found out Mn/DOT is going exclusively with mini-tubes.  In the long run, we'll probably keep a few heavy tubes around just for doing gravel roads.

  • I just tried Hannah Rubber since they’re local for me and the quote was $0.65/foot for standard tube. Not really any better than JAMAR. FYI.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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