Truck tyres – Can retreads be as good as new truck tyres?
When it comes to truck parts, its tyres are probably the most important. They’re the sole connection between you and the ground, and they play a massive part in braking and handling. Only with the right truck tyres will you be able to haul your load safe and secure.
In this article, I’ll explain the benefits of using retread truck tyres, how they are produced, and give you a few tips to make sure that when you buy retreads for your truck, they won’t blow out half a kilometre down the road.
What is a retread truck tyre?
Simply put, a retread is a tyre casing that is reused. The old, worn tread is removed and replaced with new.
How is a retread truck tyre made?
Retreads are manufactured by either hot retreading or cold retreading.
On a suitable casing, a new tread is added. The casing itself must be stable and undamaged. Finding a suitable candidate for retreading can be hard because most truck tyres have done hundreds of thousands of kilometres before the haulier is ready to discard it because of worn tread.
Once a suitable casing has been found, any remaining tread is skimmed off. The result is a smooth casing ready for retreading.
When a hot retread method is used, hot rubber is gradually added to the casing in thin strips around the tyre. Once the depth is correct, the whole tyre is put in the press. It heats the tyre to 300 degrees Fahrenheit plus. The press also imprints the new truck tyre rubber with the tread pattern.
In the cold retread method, instead of strips of rubber, a whole ring of rubber is added to the base tyre. We then use a machine called an autoclave to add steam and apply pressure until the new rubber has bonded to the old.
Whichever method is used to retread a tyre, the truck tyre is tested for resistance and resilience to the loads that it will be subjected to when in service on the road carrying your products.
What is the advantage of retreads over new tyres?
The most obvious advantage over new tyres is the cost. A retread uses around a third of the rubber needed to produce a new tyre. The typical truck tyre requires 21 gallons of oil in production – a retread uses only around 7 gallons. The typical cost of a retread truck tyre is around 50% of its new equivalent (though it does vary).
However, there are other benefits that are less obvious. For example, retread tyres are the green option. As we’ve seen, retreads need less oil to produce. As well as this, each retread tyre is a tyre that has been salvaged and recycled. In the United States, three out of every four truck tyres are recycled, and most of these are retreaded.
Every truck tyre retreaded is a truck tyre that isn’t discarded in a tyre dump. That’s safer for all and better for the environment.
The big question: are retread truck tyres safe?
The one-word answer is ‘yes’. A good retread can be as good as a new tyre. If you want proof of just how reliable it can be, look at the airline industry. I doubt that you’d find heavier loads and tougher conditions in which tyres operate. An aeroplane tyre could be retreaded dozens of times before being discarded.
Not convinced? Look at your insurance forms. Nowhere will you see that you need to declare that you use retreads. That’s a big pointer to the safety of retreads right there. If retreads were less safe than new tyres, insurance companies would be all over it like a tramp on a sandwich – any excuse to squeeze a few more dollars from drivers.
How do you buy quality retreads?
To make sure you get the best out of your retreads you should ensure that they are as good as new tyres. You wouldn’t use a sub-par, shoddy new tyre, so don’t accept retreads that are below the standard you’d expect from a new tyre.
Here are a few tips when buying retreads for your trucks:
1. Don’t buy on price alone
You’ll save money with retreads, but you get what you pay for. As with all tyres, the real cost benefit is in how long they last, and the kilometres they cover before they need to be replaced. Always buy the highest quality retread from the highest quality retreader in Brisbane.
2. Make sure you see samples and testimonials before buying
Ask to review the retreader’s work, reviewing testimonials from satisfied customers and examples of retreaded tyres.
3. Take a look at the testing equipment
Ask to see testing equipment, and ask to see it in action. If the retreader doesn’t have any, then you better move on to the next retreader as fast as possible.
4. Don’t go alone
Take someone with you to inspect the tyre shops and retreading facility. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and especially if the second set is someone from your tyre department.
Follow these four simple steps, and there should be no reason why your truck retreads are every bit as good as the new tyres you used to spend twice as much buying.
Contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book an appointment to check out the quality of our retreads.
Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,