Why retreads perform great for some
Feb 1, 2004 12:00 PM
MILLIONS of retreaded tires are performing beautifully for truckers all over the world in all kinds of weather and all kinds of roads — from super highways to some of the roughest roads imaginable.
Yet, according to the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB), there are still many truckers who sear at, instead of searing by, retreads.
More often than not the answer is improper tire maintenance. When truckers neglect to check tires on a regular basis, they are looking for trouble. This means more than simply checking air pressure regularly, although by keeping tires properly inflated most tire-related problems disappear, TRIB says.
“And let's not forget that a properly calibrated tire gauge is a tire's best friend,” says Harvey Brodsky, TRIB managing director. “I can't resist adding that for those truckers who think they can determine proper air pressure in a tire by thumping, they should also just thump the hood of their truck to determine if they need any oil. Think how much time they can save.”
He adds that proper tire maintenance is much more involved. Tires in dual wheel positions need to be properly matched, not only with similar tread designs and tread depths, but within a tolerance of not more than 1/4-inch in diameter, not more than 3/4-inch circumference, and not more than 1/8-inch radius on twin screws, regardless of the tire size.
Tires also need to be kept in proper alignment and the alignment needs to be checked on a regular basis. A visual walk-around on a daily basis can usually spot the beginning of alignment problems. Another important benefit of a visual walk around is the opportunity to spot bulges, tread, and sidewall damage, which can not only lead to tire failure, but also can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Faulty brakes contribute to premature tire wear, not to mention accidents and deaths — just another reason to check brakes on a regular basis.
Brodsky says retreaded tires can, and do, perform as well as tires that have never been retreaded, and they do it at a tremendous savings over the high cost of new tires.
“Truckers need to remember that every reputable truck tire manufacturer, with no exception, manufactures their tires for multiple lives, meaning they are designed to be retreaded,” he adds. “When an owner-operator or a trucking fleet doesn't retread today, they are leaving a lot of money on the table — which is just not a smart way to run a business.”
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.