You can choose from a wide range of OE and aftermarket tread patters and compounds to optimize tire life or fuel efficiency. EPA now recognizes retreads as fuel efficient tires, so fleets can reuse the same casing for different applications at different wheel positions.
Retreading tires provides the absolute lowest cost per mile of any tire management strategy. When coupled with other enhanced preventive maintenance measures, a retreaded tire can easily go half a million miles or more, all things being equal.
Matt King, president of King's Tire Service in Bluefield, W.V., a ContiLifeCycle retread dealer, says some of his over-the-road customers are averaging three to four caps in a casing life, depending on the application.
"We suggest the first cap on a name brand casing should be a drive recap, and then go to the trailer tread if the casing comes back again," he says. "Generally speaking, the casing is best used for the application it was in when it was new."
Getting several retreads out of a single casing can reduce overall tire cost by something like 40%, and that should appeal to just about anyone.
If you still need convincing, consider the vastly reduced environmental consequences of using retreaded tires. According to the Tire Retread Information Bureau, it takes approximately 22 gallons of oil to manufacture one new truck tire, but only about seven gallons to produce a tread for a retreading application. I
If you can extend the life of the casing out to two, three or even four retread cycles, you're saving about 50 gallons of oil per wheel position over the life of the truck.
And if that's not enough to convince you, consider that each time a tire is retreaded, there's more warranty applied to the tire. All the major retreaders and many retread shops offer some form of warranty, sometimes prorated, on the tread and the casing down to varying tread depths. That lowers the cost of potential failures, provided the tire is properly maintained.
Ah, you're saying; properly maintained ... That's the rub. Who has the time and resources to chase after retreaded tires?
"Retreaded tires require no additional maintenance compared to a virgin tire," says Tom Bowman, vice president of the commercial tire division of Belle Tire in Allen Park, Michigan, near Detroit. "Any irregularities that would harm a new tire will do the same damage to a retreaded tire. Inflation pressure maintenance is critical, but so it is with new tires, too. If you don't keep the pressure up, the tire – any tire, retread or new – will die a premature and possibly ugly death."
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