Did you know 90% of large trucking fleets use semi truck retread tires in their operations? That’s because they’re both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to extend the life of semi truck tires.
While retread tires are nothing new, the process has been perfected over the last 100 years to produce high-quality tires that rival their new counterparts. So if you manage a fleet, be sure to learn more about retread tires to decide if they’re right for your business.
How Does Retreading Tires Work?
Retreading is an excellent way to give old tires new life. Through a remanufacturing process, tire casings are fitted with new treads, saving both money and material.
There are a few simple steps tire technicians take to retread semi tires:
- The worn tire is subjected to both visual and instrumental checks to ensure the casing is suitable for retread.
- The casing enters a machine to buff off any remaining tire tread; the amount depends on the type and size of the casing.
- The buffed casing then moves onto the crater processing stage, where its inspected, and surface imperfections are corrected.
- The tire casing is then coated with a sticky layer of vulcanized rubber or gum.
- A pre-vulcanized ring tread liner is stretched and fitted around the tire.
- A laser ensures the tread is centered, and clamps push the tread liner onto the casing.
- The machine holding the tread withdraws and rollers smooth the tread liner to the casing
- The tire is vacuum sealed with a rubber envelope and brought to an autoclave to be cured at high temperature and pressure for a few hours.
- The finished retread tire is thoroughly inspected, and finishing touches are applied.
While it’s technically possible to retread automotive tires, it doesn’t make financial sense with new auto tires being reasonably inexpensive. However, this is far from the case for semi tires.
Besides being a cost-saving strategy for trucking fleets, retread tires extend the life of tires and are more eco-friendly than their new counterparts. Still, there are many questions to be answered about retread semi tires.
How Long Do Tires Last On a Semi?
Semi truck tires need to be replaced approximately every three to six years. However, the mileage covered, types of terrain driven, and type of tires all impact the longevity of semi tires.
Can You Buy Retread Tires or Do You Need to Retread Your Old Tires?
Yes, it’s possible to buy retread tires. While many trucking fleets choose to retread their old tires, plenty of tire retreaders are selling them.
How Much Does it Cost to Retread Tires?
As of 2018, the average cost of retreading a tire is around $165, not including the casing. With new semi truck tires costing about $500, you can retread your fleet’s old tires for roughly a third of the cost of buying new!
How Many Times Can You Retread a Tire?
Typically, you can retread tires two or three times. Proper maintenance is key for preserving casings for multiple retreads.
Are Retread Truck Tires Worth It?
Yes! Retreading semi tires is an excellent way for your trucking fleet to save money and be environmentally friendly simultaneously.
Things to Consider with Retreading Tires
When looking to retread tires, there are a few factors you should consider to ensure your tires meet your company’s rigorous standards.
While retread tires are significantly less expensive than new tires, they can still be costly. And while you can extend the life of tires through retreading, eventually, you will need to replace them. So be sure to weigh both price and value when deciding to retread and choosing a retread center.
A tire casing is the main body of a tire and is the foundation that the tread sits on. Only casings that pass inspection can be retreaded, so you may buy a new casing even when you want to retread your tires.
Retread tires often get a bad rap, with many people considering them less reliable than new tires. Fortunately, that’s not the case, with retread tires being no more dangerous than new tires! However, choosing a certified, reputable retread tire company is essential for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Proper maintenance and monitoring are vital both for safety and for extending the life of your tires. This is still the case with retread tires!
Be sure your retread tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications, check tread depth weekly, and watch for signs of misalignment. Through proper retread tire maintenance, you can significantly improve driver safety.
Find the Right Application
Selecting the right semi truck retread tires is influenced by several factors specific to your fleet. Besides finding a reliable and educated professional to retread your tires, the retreader must understand your application needs based on cargo types, geographic location, amount of drive time, and driving styles.
Advantages of Retreading Truck Tires
- Extend the life of tires: Tires that have been well maintained can be retreaded two or three times.
- Save money: Retread semi tires cost less than half the cost of new semi tires.
- Environmentally friendly: Less energy is used to produce retread tires and less carbon dioxide is emitted in the process.
- Ability to reuse casings: Casings account for approximately two-thirds of the cost of a new tire.
Disadvantages of Retreading Truck Tires
- Risk of inferior quality: While retread semi tires have come a long way, unreputable retreaders may produce bad retreads.
- Perception: There is still some outdated stigma attached to retread tires. Some people still believe they are unsafe or perform poorly, and this perception may be hard to shake.
New Tires Vs Retread Semi Truck Tires
Trucking fleet managers have a lot to consider regarding their trucks. With every one of their decisions affecting truck driver’s daily life, it’s no wonder many are stumped choosing between new semi tires and retreads.
Brand-new tires are great. They’ve never been used before, so there is no risk of having quality issues leftover from a previous life. Many drivers also find new semi truck tires to have more cushion and higher performance. However, with new semi tires costing between $400-$600 each, the price can quickly add up.
On the other side of the coin are semi truck retread tires. They can use the original tire casing, saving money and resources. They are also held to the same standard as new tires for quality. In contrast to the high price of new semi tires, retread semi tires are usually $150-$200!
If you’re looking to replace semi tires for your trucking fleet, consider retreads! Not only can you save money by extending the life of your tires, but you can reduce your company’s impact on the environment at the same time.
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